The other day, in this past week’s FAQs post about Comfort Plus upgrades, reader Tom challenged me that I was wrong that buying a C+ “W “fare (not a free upgrade to C+) could improve your shot at an upgrade to first class. He commented:
“I bought a W fare. Delta agent asked me why I bought into W since the upgrade is free for me as a Platinum. I said I wanted higher upgrade priority for first class and she was quick to call out that it does not impact domestic upgrade priority as there is still an underlying economy fare class (L in my case) despite buying into W. Maybe the one rep I spoke to is mistaken, but I’ve seen it confirmed on Flyer Talk forums as well. Worth looking into…”
Well Tom, confirmed on FT can mean a great many things and it could be spot on or it could be not so spot on at all. As for agents, well, they can often be the last to know anything. As you can see, Tom suggested it was worth looking into so I reached out to a Delta CORP company representative at Virginia Avenue (the home of Delta Air Lines) and was told this:
Q) Comfort Plus domestic W fare class. Where does that fall in line for upgrade fare class priority? Is it above YBM or below YBM?
A) We do not publish the exact order the fare families fall into.
So, well, that is an exceedingly less than helpful to answer our question. But notice what it says on Delta.com (our source for the most accurate Delta information – they say) regarding upgrades and fare class:
We all know the fare class order would be kinda important here right? So why would Delta not publish this “exact order”? Let’s look further down the page:
Well that “seems” to show a fare class order does it not? I mean they could scramble the letters in any order they want – right? So this, to me, is an indication of fare class order. Let’s dig deeper:
Now this, to me, is the absolute final answer. What you see above is what happens when you go to book a ticket. Once “pricing” starts to get involved Delta gets really picky as they can end up in a world of hurt with the government when it comes to tickets and prices if they are playing games with us at any point along the way. Accuracy really matters when it comes to price!
So, by posting the fare class in THIS EXACT ORDER when it comes to pricing at the time of purchase that tells me this IS, in fact, the correct and exact order for upgrades. Plus, it just so happens to also match all the other lists printed all over Delta.com.
So Tom, to answer your challenge to me, Delta is not telling us – and yet clearly they are! I stand by my post that it is correct and that a purchased W class fare WILL, in fact, help you get more upgrades – until Delta tells us otherwise. – René
UPDATE: If you want to get into the nitty gritty of fare class codes and discussion look at the comments below on this post and the link to DeltaPRO for more of how it is done.