Rookie Wednesday: Watch your Delta seats like a HAWK & 6,5,3 & 1 matter!

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RenesPoints Rookie

Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.

Your upgrade is now confirmed delta points blog

As you read this I am about to board my flight to start my next mileage run into SFO. I have really been enjoying (the now working again) E-mails from Delta that your “Your upgrade is now confirmed”! After E-mails from my readers, these are just about my favorite E-mails 🙂

best seats 767-300 delta points blog 1

But how does this apply in a rookie way? It all has to do with seats. When I get an email from Delta I jump onto the phone app (if I can ever get it to load-up) or and I get to go look at the 1st class seats and see what is open and what seat is the BEST in that cabin for that type of plane. For me, what is important above all is leg room. That is king. Next, I like it when no one reclines into me. So I often pick row 1 in biz unless it is a night flight.


But when it comes to coach, as I have talked about before, you really have to check a bunch what is the best seat.

The next big key is the medallion upgrade calendar even if you are NOT a medallion. Why? When they hit the upgrade window they get moved from, presumably, the best seats on the flight. They would have picked (or I would have) the front row of economy comfort like on a 767-300 internationally configured bird. They get upgrades around 6:PM EST on day 6, 5, 3 & 1. Thus, you had better, if you are not happy with your seat, get online and see. The flights also clear by low number first so say Delta 1012 would clear before Delta 3014.

best seats 767-300 delta points blog 2

Or, as in the case of the 767-300 domestic one, to me, hands down row 26 either side is the best seat on the plane in coach. You can see the leg room above is unreal and you can almost not touch the seat in front of you. I have spent a bunch of time in these seats on my way to Diamond Medallion status.


So what else do you need to know? The most important, and most frustrating, is Delta will not tell you if your seat gets changed. Even if you PAID for an upgrade to economy comfort you may find yourself back in standard coach. All that Delta is required to do, per the contract of carriage you agreed to when you got the ticket, is to get you from point A to B at around the time you booked. That was one of the neatest things about the now blocked service Award Wallet as they would email you an alert when your seat had changed so you could jump back in and see what was up.

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Since we don’t have that we must keep checking like a hawk what the situation is with our next trip. Has an equipment change happened so we were automatically moved by Delta? This is also a reason to make SURE your seat preference is at least up to date at and click on “My Delta” and then on the icon “View My Profile” and you should see the above that way if an auto-change happens you can at least get the kind you like if open.

flight preferences delta points blog

After that, I do, despite it’s issues, strongly recommend the Delta phone app so that you can, along the way, keep track of just where you are seated as equipment “swaps” can happen at the very last second and being able to switch your seat from your phone is SO much better than waiting in a line. If you have the twitter app also installed and are following @DeltaAssist, you can even tweet them to fix or move you to a seat you want in case of one of these events.The last BIG opportunity is 30-40 minutes before the flight when medallions “clear” into first class and their old seats open up – be ready to JUMP on those with the phone app as well. – René

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  1. You’re giving away all my secrets! Great review of strategy, though.

    Of course, I would add the importance of SeatGuru and the nice FAQ post on Flyer Talk about Delta EC seating by plane.

    Also, even though I may have checked in at the T-24 mark, doesn’t mean I can’t still change my seats online. If I’m not happy, I keep checking, as people inevitably move or even change their travel plans, right up to flight time.

    Great post. I just hope the people reading it are not playing “seat jockey” on my flights! LOL

  2. ” Even if you PAID for an upgrade to economy comfort you may find yourself back in standard coach.”

    So even though I’ve been charged $35/seat x 4 seats x 2 (round trip) for EC upgrade for a January 2014 trip, you’re saying that I may not receive the upgrade to EC?

    Also, it’s my family that’s traveling. If they move ONE of us, do they move all FOUR of us? I can’t have my 5 and 8 year olds sitting by themselves.

  3. @Matt, I think the problem with row 25 is that those seats do not recline because the exit row behind them, where row 26 do recline. Hence 26 is better.

  4. Rene, my wife and I are flying ATL – SLC for a ski trip next Feb. As we are both GM (thanks Vanilla) we can get EC at no charge. Row 26 F and G are available on both legs, but SeatGuru says exit rows seats have less padding, it can get very cold next to door and the armrest tray makes the seat a little narrower. Do you still think 26 is better than EC? Thanks.

  5. Another frustrating seat swap that has happened to me in coach is when I book a good seat through Delta, yet it is on a codeshare flight with KLM. KLM has often changed our seats at the last minute – and they have been pretty bad – I mean in the middle of the middle section. Does anyone know when KLM usually makes these seat changes? Is there a typical time? One month out? One week out? Two days out?

  6. @Mike – you need to setup a KLM Flyiing blue account. Then you can log in to and use the Delta PNR to see the “real” seatmap that KLM will use.

  7. Delta Airlines is the WORST airline… For the 3rd time, they bumped us out of Economy Comfort seats that we had PAID (and been charged in December) to upgrade on our April trip. To add insult to injury, they did not notify us and also did not refund the fee. My husband is even a Silver Medallion, which looks like means nothing to Delta anymore. We just spent an hour on the phone, and all they would do was finally process the refund of the fee with hardly an apology, only a gruff statement that they don’t guarantee seats, even if they have charged you for them. We picked the flight based on there being Economy Comfort seats available at the expense of a less desirable schedule (it made us overnight in Atlanta because of flight times). What a bait and switch. What TERRIBLE customer service! Please fly anyone but Delta. They not only lost our business, they also lost the business of the corporate travel of the 265 employees work for my husband.

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