How to get on delta upgrade list - Airlinespolicy

The days of getting on the Delta upgrade list by dressing nicely are all tricks of the past. You can get a seat upgrade on Delta Airlines by using Skymiles, and if you’re a Medallion member, you can apply for complimentary upgrades. You can also apply for a Delta seat upgrade via the official website or the DeltaFly app.

How to get on delta upgrade list - Airlinespolicy

Unlike other airlines, Delta has strict guidelines that assure that upgrades are allocated to elite members or requested before the scheduled departure. Passengers can get on the Delta upgrade list. If an upgrade is offered, you may pay cash or utilize miles during the booking process or for an existing reservation.

What are the types of Delta upgrade flight?

Delta Airlines offers various upgrade possibilities, such as mileage upgrades, free upgrades for Medallion or Elite status members, and many others.

  • Free upgrade – Upgrades are offered for free to Medallion Elites on most domestic routes to Delta One, Comfort Plus, or first class and are subject to availability.
  • Global upgrade certificate – Diamond Medallion Elite members can use Global Upgrade Certificates for Delta upgrade to business class and First Class on domestic, international, or regional flights operated by Delta 
  • Regional upgrade certificate – Platinum and Diamond Medallion Elite members can use these to upgrade to the Delta One cabin class on regional flights within the US and Hawaii.
  • Upgrade Using Miles – When making a reservation, you can use miles to upgrade on some flights within the 50 United States. Upgrades can be purchased with miles on selected international flights with confirmed reservations. The only fare classes that can be upgraded internationally with awards are Y, B, M, H, Q, or K.
  • Companion upgrades Delta – Passengers who are flying with Medallion Elite members on the same reservation are eligible for complimentary companion upgrade Delta.
  • Same-Day Standby Upgrades – These are available to all passengers for a price on the day of departure for a selected route primarily in North America, the Caribbean, and Cancun, depending on availability.

Who gets on the Delta Upgrade List First?

Delta SkyMiles Upgrade Reserve Basic Card Members get on the Delta upgrade list order on a priority basis as the eligible card members have priority in upgrading over other passengers.

Delta complimentary upgrade hierarchy

Below is the table that will tell you how the airline determines your spot on the upgrade list – 

Delta Upgrade PriorityFree Upgrade HierarchyClass of Service
1Medallion statusNA
2High Priced faresB, M, H, Q, K, L, U, T, X and V
3Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express CardAny Cabin Class or Delta fare, except Basic Economy
4Delta corporate travelersExcept Basic Economy
5Card members who earned medallion statusNA
6Medallion Miler status.NA
7Date and time of the upgrade request.Any Cabin Class or Delta fare, except Basic Economy

How to attain a Medallion Status to get on Delta Upgrade List?

Members of the Delta Medallion upgrade program are entitled to unlimited free upgrades to first class and Delta Comfort Plus. On flights within the United States, free upgrades to Delta One business class are also offered.

Elite-tier members are given precedence when it comes to the timeliness of getting an upgrade.

Your elite status tier counts when it comes to the timeliness of upgrade clearance or when your new seat is confirmed. Because top-tier members are given precedence, the greater your elite level, the more likely you are to be upgraded.

Upgrades to Delta Comfort Plus are available to Medallion members in the following order and are subject to availability.

Delta Medallion StatusUpgrade Confirmation Timing
Diamond membersRight after the booking gets ticketed.
Platinum membersRight after the booking gets ticketed.
Gold membersStarting 72 hours before departure.
Silver membersStarting 24 hours before departure.

Here is the time frame for when Medallion members can expect a Delta free upgrade to become available for first-class seats –

Delta Medallion statusUpgrade confirmation timing
Diamond MedallionStarting 5 days before departure.
Platinum MedallionStarting 5 days before departure.
Gold MedallionStarting 72 hours before departure.
Silver MedallionStarting 24 hours before departure.

Please Note: International passengers are not entitled to free Medallion upgrades.

How to get Delta Upgrade flight and by American Express SkyMiles Card?

Holding the American Express SkyMiles Card in any category will push you ahead of other Medallion members in the same tier on the upgrade list.

  • It should be noted that complimentary Delta upgrade flight are not available in basic economy.
  • If money is short, be aware that choosing a basic economy ticket will prevent you from getting on the upgrade list.

Use Delta upgrade certificates to get seat upgrade

Upgrade certificates are exclusively offered to Platinum Medallion and Diamond Medallion members. They can be used only on flights operated by Delta.

Types of Delta upgrade flight certificates

The airline offers two types of upgrade certificates – 

  • Delta Regional upgrade certificates: These are valid on flights within the U. S., and Canada. It also includes flights to and from Mexico, the Caribbean, Bermuda, and Central and South America.
  • Delta Global upgrade certificates: can be used on flights to any continent, including South America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania, and are only accessible to Diamond Medallion members.

Availability of upgrade certificates

Four regional upgrades will be given to Platinum Medallion members who choose to receive upgrade certificates.

Diamond Medallion members can select from the following rewards –

  • 4 worldwide upgrades.
  • 8 regional upgrades.
  • 4 regional upgrades and 2 global ones.

How to use Delta upgrade certificates?

To get on the Delta upgrade list order from the upgrade certificate, contact Delta Airlines Customer Service. 

  • Using a certificate gets you a priority for a free Medallion upgrade, but it does not guarantee an upgrade.
  • And, depending on the service classes available on your flight, you may find yourself on a waiting list.
  • If the flight you’re traveling doesn’t have a Premium Select cabin, you can be upgraded to Delta One as soon as a seat becomes available.
  • If there is no availability and you cannot use it, you do not lose the upgrade certificate. It simply returns to your SkyMiles account till the next time.
  • Notably, regional and worldwide upgrade certificates lapse after your Medallion year. However, you can use them to upgrade Delta flights for other passengers who are traveling with you to keep them.

How to get Delta upgrade with miles effectively?

You can use Delta SkyMiles upgrade points to get a seat upgrade on Delta Airlines. Below is the overview of how you can get an upgrade to first class on Delta using miles.

Delta upgrade with miles at the time of booking

When booking a Delta flight within the United States, the Delta Upgrade with Miles option can be available.

To book your flight, log in to your Delta account and select the Main Cabin flight ticket. Passenger will be offered the option to upgrade their reservation for cash or miles for 1 cent per mile. You can choose to redeem 45,000 miles, for instance, if the upgrade costs $450.

Travelers can assess the offer’s value by looking at the pricing, which will be displayed. But, it’s not always the case.

Upgrading Existing Reservation with Miles

It’s possible that you can use a mileage upgrade award to upgrade your existing reservation. When you log in to your account and see your trip, you may see the opportunity to upgrade with miles.

You will need to speak with a Delta SkyMiles team if you are unable to upgrade online. If the reservation qualifies for a Delta upgrade request, the person will inform you and give you the price estimate.

If the upgrade is confirmed, your account will be deducted for miles.

Depending on the route, certain fare classes are only eligible for upgrades. The following fare classes are eligible for Mileage Upgrade Awards in North America and Central America: Y, B, M, H, Q, K, L, U, and T. For international flights, the fare classes include Y, B, M, H, Q, and K.

Can you get a free upgrade on Delta?

Delta offers limitless free upgrades to first-class and Delta Comfort+ seats on all Medallion tiers.

  • All Delta Medallion elite members have access to limitless free upgrades to the Delta One experience on flights within the United States, and to Hawaii.
  • Provided that the flight must be operated and marketed by Delta Airlines. 
  • Diamond Medallions are given preference over lesser-tier Medallions for Delta upgrade priority. 
  • If room is available, Diamond and Platinum Medallion members can immediately transfer from Main Cabin to Comfort+ after booking. 
  • Delta Silver medallion upgrade members must wait until 24 hours prior to departure to clear into Comfort+, while Gold members must wait until 72 hours.

Do You Know?

Delta is steadily selling more first-class tickets. The airline continues to sell more of its forward cabin rather than giving it away as an upgrade. Its revenue maximization methods are pricing first-class tickets in a way that encourages more people to buy them outright.

All the reservations, which include purchased tickets, SkyMiles award tickets, Pay with Miles tickets, and SkyMiles Companion certificates, are eligible for Delta free upgrades.

  • Delta Comfort Plus 
  • First class 
  • Delta One (all Delta-operated domestic flights, including Hawaii and Alaska).

How To Get on Delta Upgrade list?

However, passengers on the Delta upgrade list would be considered on the following basis too – 

  • Elites who attained status in the current year or previous year will be given Delta upgrade certificates for elites whose status was prolonged. For instance, Medallion members with earned status will have a higher likelihood of getting upgraded to extended elite status.
  • All Medallion members with Y-class tickets are eligible for Delta free upgrades.
  • If two Platinum Medallion members have K-fare tickets but only one of them has a Delta Reserve credit card, the passenger with the card will be given priority.
  • Delta first class upgrades are available to Diamond and Platinum Medallion members starting 5 days before scheduled departure.

What is the eligibility to get on Delta upgrade list?

Please note that not all classes of service are eligible to be on the Delta upgrade list – 

  • Basic economy fares
  • Delta Premium Select
  • Upgrade to Delta One is not eligible for reservations outside the US.
  • Delta complimentary upgrade service would not be available onboard.
  • Delta companion upgrade must be requested 3 hours before the scheduled departure.
  • Reservations or ticketed fares that do not earn miles.

How to increase your chances for upgrade?

Passengers can get a secure upgrade with or without Delta SkyMiles Medallion Elite Status. 

With Delta SkyMiles Medallion Elite Status – For members, this is how to get on an upgrade list.

  • Obtaining the status of Delta Diamond Medallion Elite will grant you access to regional and global upgrade certificates.
  • Earn Regional Upgrade Certificates by being a Delta Platinum Medallion Elite member.
  • Get a Delta Reserve debit/credit card.
  • Same-day flight upgrade for Diamond, Platinum, or Gold Medallion members. There is no change fee.

Without Delta SkyMiles Medallion Elite Status – Without Medallion Elite membership, there are limited options to request the upgrade. Such as –

  • Request Delta Comfort Plus upgrade up to 3 hours before the scheduled departure.
  • Spend miles to upgrade an existing flight.
  • Book discounted business, first, and Premium Select fares on partner airlines like China Eastern and Aeromexico.
  • When a flight is overbooked, offer to give up your economy seat in return for a Delta complimentary upgrade.
  • Wondering how to upgrade to First Class on Delta? Book last-minute, first-class upgrade

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

How to upgrade Delta flight?

SkyMiles members can use miles, Medallion members are eligible for complimentary upgrades, and Diamond and Platinum Medallion members can utilize regional or global certificates.

How to upgrade on Delta international flights?

By Using the My Trip section, Passengers can upgrade Delta International Flights Another way is to simply call the airline’s customer service. A request for an upgrade needs to be completed up to 5 days before the scheduled departure.

Can I upgrade my Delta flight after purchase?

Customers can upgrade from Main Cabin to Delta One, Delta Premium Select, First Class, or Delta Comfort+ at any time after a ticket is issued until 3 hours before departure or until the check-in window closes.

How to get free upgrades on Delta?

Delta Medallion members of all categories are entitled to limitless complimentary upgrades to first-class and Delta Comfort+ seats. Medallion members are also eligible for complimentary upgrades.

How many miles to upgrade on Delta?

The value of the upgrade will determine whether you should utilize Delta SkyMiles to upgrade your seating class. The standard amount for upgrades at Delta is $0.01 per mile.

Can Delta companion tickets be upgraded?

You can ask for a Delta companion upgrade at during the booking process, later in My Trips, or at Delta Airlines check-in before departure, provided you and your companion are on the same reservation.

Can I upgrade from the

basic economy to the main cabin with Delta?

No, with a Delta Basic Economy ticket, you are not qualified for either paid or free upgrades.

Does Delta give complimentary upgrades on international flights?

Yes. You will learn about the Delta Airlines upgrade at the time of check-in. These are generally booked with cash or SkyMiles rewards.


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