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Delta Diamond elite members will now have to wait longer to board

Aug. 04, 2022
2 min read
Delta Diamond elite members will now have to wait longer to board
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Diamonds to the back. At least a little bit.

Delta Air Lines is changing its boarding process for domestic and international flights. The airline updated its website on Thursday with the new boarding process.

While most things remain the same, Diamond Medallion members — the top published tier in Delta's SkyMiles frequent flyer program — will now board after Delta One or First Class.

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Diamonds will still board before premium economy passengers and all other elites, aside from members of Delta 360, the airline’s invite-only tier. Previously, Diamonds boarded with the premium cabin regardless of where they were seated.

A spokesperson for Delta confirmed the changes to TPG, citing two main reasons. By having the front cabin board first without anyone from the coach cabin, aside from pre-boarders like people with mobility issues or travelers with small children, the on-board flight crew gets an extra few minutes to clean and prep the main cabin.

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Additionally, the change is meant to help manage congestion at the boarding gate early on during boarding that can slow the whole process down. This is particularly noticeable on heavy business travel routes where there can be a lot of top-tier elite members.

The good seats: The ultimate guide to Delta One Suites

In a statement, Delta characterized the change as a minor one.

"As customers continue to return to travel in high numbers, Delta is implementing a minor boarding update across the system on August 3 that will simplify and better meter the current boarding process. This adjustment will shift the boarding order for a small group of premium customers while still offering them a preferential boarding experience."

Travel demand has surged in recent months to near pre-pandemic levels, despite airlines operating less capacity than in 2019. With more demand and fewer flights has come more crowds, with many flights operating with full loads. Delays and cancellations, along with other operational issues across the industry, have worsened the crowds at airports.

Whether you’re road-tripping or globetrotting, the suite life is always better. Download the free TPG App to upgrade your travel!

Featured image by Photo by David Slotnick/The Points Guy
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
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Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees