TM Travel World points out that since Delta upgrades can be used on Air France there’s a real strategic improvement that many people are missing.
Folks still need to buy nearly full fare economy tickets in order to upgrade from economy. And in general there’s much displeasure that upgrading from economy on Air France — now that Air France and KLM upgrades are now possible via the Skymiles program — only gets you premium economy.
But Troy points out that often buying premium economy is cheaper than buying full fare economy. And buying premium economy lets you upgrade to business class. So that’s sometimes the best strategy to use with Delta upgrades — discounted Air France premium economy fares to get business class on Air France, rather than buying full fare economy on Delta or on Air France. Cheaper, and (to some) a better product.
I’m not a big fan of Air France business class, when I flew it most recently a year ago I found the seats in terrible shape and among the least comfortable ‘angled flat’ I’ve experienced (almost closer to recliner style). The amenities were poor, video on demand meager, and flying to Paris the food was mediocre, the food was better on the return. Still, it’s business class and it’s transportation. And Air France business class awards and upgrades (both come from the same ‘O’ bucket which can be searched at FlightStats.com) are generally quite available from many markets, especially my own home market of Washington Dulles.
In early June the afternoon Air France Dulles flight goes to an A380, and business class award/upgrade space is wide open… So that should be a better, newer product and easy to name with purchase of premium economy tickets.
As Troy points out, you must contact “Delta agent to request upgrade. Please note: Many agents have no clue how to process them, so expect some long wait on phone”