Delta extends upgrade certificate expiration, adds online availability tool
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.
Editor’s note: This post has been updated to reflect that Upgrade Certificates can now be applied to award and Miles + Cash tickets.
One of the best perks of Delta Platinum and Diamond Medallion status is the opportunity to earn Upgrade Certificates.
Upon hitting these status tiers, elites get to pick several “Choice Benefits,” including Global and Regional Upgrade Certificates. These certificates have a higher priority than Medallion Complimentary Upgrades and may be requested and (subject to availability), cleared as early as when you book your ticket.
The only problem? Many elites haven’t been able to use them due to reduced travel during the pandemic.
Most expiring certificates were only extended until the end of 2020. Additionally, there hasn’t been an easy way to check upgrade availability.
Fortunately, that’s changing.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Delta extends Upgrade Certificates
In April 2020, Delta announced that Upgrade Certificates set to expire between March 1 and June 30, 2020, would have their expiration dates extended to Dec. 31, 2020. Additionally, members with ones that would expire after June 30, 2020, will receive an additional six months beyond the current expiration date.
There was no plan to extend these certificates any further since Platinum and Diamond elites would be getting a second set of Choice Benefits for the 2021 program year without needing to requalify. However, in a fortunate turn of events, Delta will be extending them after all.
All unused, active and/or previously expired Global Upgrade Certificates and Regional Upgrade Certificates that were selected between March 1, 2019 – Dec. 31, 2020 are being extended or reissued so that they may be booked and flown by Dec. 31, 2021. Delta says that these updates will be automatically reflected in your SkyMiles account by March 8, 2021.
As a quick refresher, Diamond Medallion Members may choose any of the following three options as one of their selected Choice Benefits:
- Four Global Upgrades
- Eight Regional Upgrades
- Two Global Upgrades and four Regional Upgrades
Platinum Medallion Members may choose four Regional Upgrades as their single Choice Benefit.
Note, other Choice Benefits, such as the $200 Delta travel vouchers, weren’t extended any further.
You can now search Upgrade Certificate availability online
In addition to giving elites more time to use these certificates, Delta is also making them easier to use them.
For the last few years, the only way to search for upgrade space was by calling Delta and hopefully landing with a skilled agent to search the flights you’d like. But now, you can search for availability directly on Delta’s website.
Simply log in and search for flights as you normally would. If you have Upgrade Certificates in your account, there will be a line indicating whether upgrades are available found just below the flight details that lists the route and flight times.
If your itinerary has multiple segments, you can click on the text to check flight-specific availability.
And while you can check availability online now, you can’t yet apply the upgrade certificate online yourself. When you’re ready to use the certificate, call Delta and request that an agent apply it to your reservation. You can also request to be placed on a waitlist if a confirmed upgrade isn’t yet available.
If you’re booking flights for multiple people, Delta will only show that an Upgrade Certificate is available to use if there is availability for the entire party. So, if you’re traveling as a group, you might want to book your flights individually.
Upgrade Certificates can now be applied to awards
The improvements aren’t done yet.
Upgrade Certificates used to only work for paid bookings. However, they can now also be applied to award tickets and Miles + Cash tickets on Delta-operated flights. This is especially great since the prices for Delta One or first class awards outright can sometimes be extremely high. Most other airlines, such as American Airlines, don’t let you use upgrade certificates on awards. Just note that basic economy fares are still excluded.
Delta’s good news today is that it is extending Upgrade Certificates and now allows you to search upgrade availability online. Plus, you can now use the certificates on award and Miles + Cash bookings. Overall, this is great news for Delta Platinum and Diamond members looking to maximize their coveted certificates.
This isn’t the only positive development for Upgrade Certificates in recent months. Back in October, Delta also made Global Upgrade Certificates more valuable for partner flights. All told, Delta elites are well-positioned for a hopeful return to the skies in 2021.
Featured image by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees