Delta does away with middle-seat ‘upgrades’

Dec 6, 2019

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If you’re a Delta Medallion member, the days of being “upgraded” into a middle Comfort+ seat may be over.

After almost a year of testing, the airline has updated its upgrade request process. A new option now allows all elites to specify what kind of seat they’re willing to be upgraded into.

Once your itinerary is ticketed, passengers who qualify for complimentary upgrades can specify if they’d like to be upgraded into a aisle, window and/or middle Comfort+ seat. The automatic upgrade will only happen if their chosen preferences are available.

“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+, ultimately resulting in a better upgrade experience for this loyal group of customers,” the airline said in a statement.

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Related: Delta’s CEO explains why your Sky Club is so crowded


New Delta upgrade options. (Screenshot of the Fly Delta app by Zach Wichter/The Points Guy.)
New Delta upgrade options. (Screenshot of the Fly Delta app by Zach Wichter/The Points Guy.)


Upgrades to a Comfort+ middle seat have long been a major complaint for SkyMiles Medallion members.

Delta started experimenting with solutions to passenger complaints as early as 2017, when the airline started allowing elites to choose their seat once a Comfort+ upgrade cleared, or reject the upgrade if they’d prefer to stick with their original selection. This option will still be available with the updates, according to Delta.

The airline began testing selections to upgrade only if window or aisle Comfort+ seats were available in 2018, and some users started seeing the option to customize even further earlier this year.

Delta said it’s received positive customer feedback throughout the tests, and that the new upgrade system “will offer more choice, flexibility and control” for its elite frequent fliers.

More: Choosing the best credit card for Delta flyers

Related: Snapshot: A look at Delta Air Lines by the numbers

Featured photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy.

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