Will I Be Upgrade Eligible For My SkyMiles Award Ticket Once I Achieve Silver Medallion Status?

by on October 6, 2013 · 17 comments

in Delta, Sunday Reader Questions, Video Blog Post

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TPG follower Robert is about to become a Silver Medallion with Delta SkyMiles and wants to know:

@thepointsguy I booked a SkyMiles award ticket and will soon achieve Silver Medallion status. Will it update my itinerary to show upgrade requested?”

First, congratulations on becoming a Silver Medallion, and let me warn you that elite status is addictive, so once you earn it, you’re going to want to achieve an even higher level.

When it comes to your question about whether your award ticket will be listed as upgrade eligible on Delta, the answer is no because Silver Medallions do not get upgraded on award tickets. That currently is a benefit for only Gold, Platinum and Diamond Medallions.

Delta Gold Medallion

Delta offers upgrades on award tickets for Gold Medallions or higher.

Let’s say you did have Gold or higher status. Delta should automatically list you for the upgrade, but what I always like to do is to call the airline to make sure your new status is reflected on all tickets that you purchased or redeemed miles for before you had the status. Just give a day or two though from the time you earned the status for it to reflect in the system since it may take a little bit to get updated. After qualifying, whenever they book a ticket, Gold and higher Medallions should see the “Upgrade Requested” appear on their ticket when they view it online.

You should see your reservation say "Upgrade Requested" online

You should see your reservation say “Upgrade Requested” online

What can be annoying is if you just got elite status and are traveling the next day and it isn’t reflected yet. You could always go up to the gate agent and sometimes they can see it and will be able to manually add you to the upgrade list. This goes for all airlines and even hotel companies. I know when I first got Starwood Platinum status, my reservations that I made prior only reflected my Gold status despite calling Starwood to update them, which was a bit annoying since they normally process elite upgrades the night before and I missed out.

Starwood Gold

Once you reach a new elite status level, make sure your reservations reflect the new status.

So what I would recommend for hotel stays is to cancel and rebook once you have the new status if the same rate or same amount of points is available just to make sure the new status is reflected correctly.

For airlines, it’s great to be proactive and to call the airlines or even tweet them just to make sure your reservation shows as upgrade eligible, and if not always ask at check-in or even the gate agent to make sure you get that hard deserved upgrade.

Great question, and be sure to tweet me @thepointsguy with any others.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Deborah McKee

    Don’t get too excited with Silver status. I never once got upgraded on Silver. But I live in a hub city.

  • Alex

    I lost my silver status deliberately with DL, even though I don’t live in a hub city. It is a high traffic route to ATL. I did get upgraded once as a silver on an award ticket, probably because First class was near empty and the flight was late. I have better luck on US Air gold.

  • Slee

    Agreed. Silver is basically a non event. Since upgrades are virtually zero, the lone benefit over a Delta Amex card is selecting exit row at check-in. In the rare IRROPS, you’ll also get priority over non-medallions, but this is nearly useless as well.

  • NPH

    If you have Silver Medalion status AND the AMEX Gold Sky Miles card you will be (at least I am and that’s my situation). In fact I got upgraded this week on a short jump from MSP to DCA.

  • econjon

    How does an AS MVPG work in this tier?

  • Guest43

    Surprisingly, I was upgraded twice yesterday and I’m Delta Silver. Granted they were short flights out of non-hub cities on a weekend, but there are apparently times when silver has its benefits.

  • DBest

    I have the AMEX Plat and was also upgraded once as a silver on an award. But I think it was because Y was oversold. Also, I was only upgraded on 1/4 segments.

  • Kiooooly

    How? I have both and my future award booking says “Not Upgrade Eligible”

  • Darth Chocolate

    Best things about Delta Silver:

    1) First Bag fee waived.

    2) Set to use Medallion desk at check-in

    3) Zone 1 boarding

    4) Occasional (but rare) upgrades.

    But I usually fly long haul international Business Class. Made Gold on my last trip, and will make Platinum later this week.

    Once you get Gold, the biggie is that as SkyTeam Elite Plus, you get into international lounges on coach tickets for free.

  • PV

    You can fly Economy Comfort — you can upgrade to that at check-in. My experience is you get upgraded ahead of higher statuses if you have flight delays and switch to a different flight. Finally, you also now qualify for rollover miles, which means that even if you don’t get Gold this year, these miles will help you get it next year.

  • Rob Brown

    Hey TPG – this is Robert from the question. First, thanks for taking the time to not only answer the question, but also to write a post about it!

    Second, in the time after I reached out to you, a coworker achieved Diamond medallion status and gifted Gold medallion to me, so I look forward to benefiting from your knowledge about the gold medallion privileges!

  • Danny

    Yeah, i think I got upgraded once on Silver, and it was a fairly unusual route (into Syracuse I think). Other than that one time, no dice.

  • james

    I’ve been silver for 3 years and get upgraded more than half the time. Not 75 percent, but more than half. Just be choosey when selecting the flights. A few months ago got the upgrade from Las Vegas to Memphis even.

  • ogi

    A gate agent, if you approach them nicely, can give you an upgrade when you’re a FO. It happened to me twice LGA-MCI-LGA on an award ticket – F was flying half-empty.

    I was lucky during my FO days – getting upgrades out of LGA about 1/3 of the times to MCI, DFW, ORD and the like Delta Connection flights. Your best bet to get upgraded as a FO or GM is if you’re on an Embraer jet. The ratio of Y/F is what helps there. As someone stated below, be chosey when you travel (10am on Monday is more likely to get you upgraded than a 8am – also summer is the way to go…).

  • Craig

    Interesting…I was upgraded quite often as Silver on Delta. I am now Gold but again never had a problem being upgraded on my Silver Status.

  • social researcher

    I got upgraded to first class twice as a Silver within a month after becoming silver. It all depends on how full the flight so do not go for times that business travelers prefer. It was a pretty great experience

  • social researcher

    I agree… it helps if you already upgraded yourself to economy comfort

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