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

Aug 4, 2022

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter.

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.

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 photo by David Slotnick/The Points Guy.

Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card

Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy Bonus Points after spending $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 8/31/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.99% - 26.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$125
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.