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From constant award devaluations and convoluted Comfort+ policies to frequent procedural changes and some clearly flyer-unfriendly moves, there’s a lot not to like about the Delta SkyMiles program. At the same time, the airline offers a very good in-flight product and service and can provide a lot of value when you’re in a bind, so if you care more about the overall experience and less about the value of your miles, Delta can still be a good option — even for frequent flyers.
And today, the airline is making a rare improvement. Beginning this fall, when you’re traveling with a companion on the same reservation, Comfort+ and first class upgrades will clear based on the priority of the individual with the highest level of status. So if a Platinum Medallion is flying with a Diamond, upgrades will clear based on the Diamond status, rather than Platinum. This can (and likely will) mean the difference of scoring a free first-class upgrade or not getting one at all.
Here’s how Delta explains the change:
Coming This Fall: Complimentary Upgrade Improvements for Medallion Members Traveling with a Companion
We recently surveyed our Medallion members about our companion policy for Complimentary Upgrades, and a majority of you voted that Medallion members traveling with a companion should clear for Complimentary Upgrades based on the higher of the two status levels.
So, we’re investing in making things better. Starting this fall, Medallion members traveling with one companion will clear for Complimentary Upgrades to both First Class and Delta Comfort+™ based on the status of the higher-tiered member. Diamond and Silver traveling together? Your upgrade will clear at the Diamond level, when available.
It’s one of the many ways we’re striving to offer the best elite travel experience for our most loyal members. Be on the lookout for more details and the official start date for these changes that will be announced this summer.
What’s most interesting about the statement above is this line: “It’s one of the many ways we’re striving to offer the best elite travel experience for our most loyal members.” Delta clearly wants its top customers to know that their business is valued by the airline, despite ever-eroding perks. It’s definitely great to see this improvement, but there’s no question that American and United continue to offer more generous loyalty program benefits, despite what Delta may want you to believe.
What do you think about this latest Delta change?