Skip to content

Delta will restart automatic elite upgrades to first class and Comfort+

June 04, 2020
3 min read
Delta will restart automatic elite upgrades to first class and Comfort+
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.

Every airline is approaching social distancing differently. While most U.S. carriers are blocking middle seat assignments, few are going so far as the cap the number of tickets they'll sell on each flight.

Of the major U.S. airlines, only four — Alaska, Delta, JetBlue and Southwest — are capping ticket sales. On Wednesday, Delta became the first carrier to extend its social distancing policy through the summer.

And in that announcement, the Atlanta-based carrier also confirmed that it's restarting automatic upgrades beginning on Wednesday, June 10.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

For more travel tips and news, sign up for our daily newsletter.

When Delta first introduced its social distancing policy, the airline temporarily stopped processing upgrades in advance. This way, gate agents could ensure that they didn't go over the seat cap for the forward cabins. The caps have now been automated, so upgrades will once again be processed in advance.

Delta Airbus A220 (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

This is great news for those who've restarted traveling. A bump to first class will ensure that there's no one sitting on your side of a narrowbody plane, since first class is capped at 50% capacity. In addition to first-class upgrades, Delta is also restarting Comfort+ upgrades, as well as those to Delta One on lie-flat equipped jets on domestic segments.

While first-class upgrades are subject to availability with the 50% cap, Diamond and Platinum Medallion Members will clear beginning 120 hours (5 days) prior to departure, Gold Medallion Members will clear beginning 72 hours (3 days) prior to departure and Silver Medallion Members will clear beginning 24 hours (1 day) prior to departure.

Coach and Comfort+ is capped at 60% of available seating. For Comfort+ upgrades, Diamond and Platinum Medallion Members will be confirmed shortly after ticketing, if there are seats available. Gold Medallion Members will clear beginning 72 hours (3 days) prior to departure and Silver Medallion Members will clear beginning 24 hours (1 day) prior to departure. Again, all subject to seat availability within the caps.

Related: The ultimate guide to getting upgraded on Delta

Of the U.S. "big three" carriers, United has also paused automatic elite upgrades in advance. Like Delta, UA is manually processing them at the gate before departure. The Chicago-based carrier hasn't announced when it plans to restart automatically clearing upgrades. American Airlines, on the other hand, has continued to process elite upgrades in advance throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Delta Airbus A220 (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

As travel slowly begins to restart, Delta loyalists will certainly appreciate knowing whether or not they've been upgraded well before departure. Though you're promised an empty middle seat in coach, most flyers would likely appreciate the extra space up front. Plus, if you didn't score the upgrade on your desired flight, you'll also have the opportunity to make a same-day change to a flight with better odds.

Nonetheless, even if you do indeed score the upgrade, note that the inflight service will likely look a lot different than before.

Featured image by Bloomberg via Getty Images

TPG featured card

Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 6X points
6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x 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.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Earn 100,000 points75,000 points
Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

Annual Fee

$125

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
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.

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 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 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x 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.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • 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

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 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 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees