Delta Just Seriously Improved the Way It Does Upgrades

A middle seat in a better cabin category isn’t necessarily an upgrade for everyone.

Delta Just Seriously Improved the Way It Does Upgrades

You can now select your Delta upgrade seat preferences in advance.

Photo by MPH Photos/Shutterstock

What may be an upgrade to one person might not be considered an enhancement by someone else. That has definitely been the case with Delta Air Lines’ complimentary upgrades for its elite (or Medallion) SkyMiles frequent flier members—upgrades that would sometimes land those members into a not-always-cherished middle seat.

Previously, Delta Medallion members could request a complimentary upgrade to first class or Delta Comfort Plus (which includes more legroom, amenity kits, and premium drinks and snacks). But what you couldn’t request was the kind of seat you wanted, which meant that frequent fliers could get upgraded into a middle Comfort Plus seat if that was all that was available.

Now, however, Medallion members can set their Delta Comfort Plus seat preferences, opting into or out of aisle, window, or middle seats. In order to do so, members with any level of status can request a Delta Comfort Plus upgrade for an upcoming flight through the Fly Delta app, then select their seat preferences, and then select: “Only upgrade if my seat preferences are available.”

Once members have completed that process, they will only be upgraded to Delta Comfort Plus if their preferred seats are available. For now, seat preferences need to be set individually for each flight.

“Following nearly a year of testing, Delta is launching the ability for all Medallion Members to choose their seat preferences on a flight-by-flight basis for complimentary upgrades to Delta Comfort Plus, ultimately resulting in a better upgrade experience for this loyal group of customers,” the airline told AFAR in a statement.

The Points Guy reported that the upgrades to a Comfort Plus middle seat have long been a major complaint for SkyMiles Medallion members. And Delta acknowledged as much, telling AFAR that when it comes to complimentary upgrades, some Medallions members would rather keep their current seat than be upgraded to a seat they don’t prefer in Delta Comfort Plus.

As before, elite members who are cleared for an upgrade can choose to either take the upgrade or stick with their original seat.

>> Next: A New Airplane Seat Design Promises to End Middle-Seat Misery

Michelle Baran is a deputy editor at AFAR where she oversees breaking news, travel intel, airline, cruise, and consumer travel news. Baran joined AFAR in August 2018 after an 11-year run as a senior editor and reporter at leading travel industry newspaper Travel Weekly.
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