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Delta – AT LAST – testing new Medallion boarding priority!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

new boarding process

I got, at a very early AM time, a tweet from a reader asking what I thought about the new Delta test boarding procedure that was stated also very early on FlyerTalk.

First off, there is nothing like waking up to a tweet about something brand new you have not even been told about from Delta Corp. Especially when it is an item I have personally sent Delta a request that this would be a great way to reward medallions with no cost to the company. But I digress.

So today on my UBER discounted 1st class fun run I am having a blogging gold mine. First I get to fly the 717-200. The Captain was amazing and let me board 1st and get lots of photos (blog on the way tomorrow). Then I get, due to few signing up, 3x10Min chair massages in the A17 Skyclub. After that, I get to see the new test boarding process via medallion level.

I have long been a proponent of 1st class and DM boarding 1st. There are not that many DM’s on a flight that do not get upgraded to begin with so letting them at least board the jet before everyone else is just a good thing.

Well, as you can see by the card and by the video (and the FT thread) this is a nationwide test at many locations.

I love it. The FA s did comment they have never seen the boarding go so fast. I have to agree. After all, “most” medallions know how to get onboard, shove their stuff out of the way, and get into their seats; it is the casual flyer who takes his/her time to board, stow their stuff, and get out of the way.

What do yo think? Do you like the idea of medallions first boarding by “rank”? – René

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. I love it because Silvers will get an edge they have earned over AmEx holders.

  2. It sounds like the one guy in the background is just livid at the idea. I wonder what zone he thought he was supposed to board in?
    the new way would definitely help in foreign countries. I have been on many flights from Tokyo to Detroit and it is a free for all there. No order and no personal space is allowed. I hate going through there….

  3. I like it however why not let FO’s get on before AMEX card holders (Zone 1)? Seriously my 40 some odd segments should mean something. Besides as noted medallions usually don’t have baggage and know how to board faster than the average soccer mom.

    I won’t make the mistake of being FO again. I’ve already booked 10 layover segments just to avoid being a second class citizen hopefully I can hit Gold by August!

  4. Corbett Kroehler Reply

    I try not to be snooty about my Medallion status but I am on track to move from Gold to Platinum by the end of summer and would LOVE to board ahead of the sea of Gold Medallions who seem to invade many of the routes I fly, especially ORD-MSP and ATL-MCO. They’re nice enough but, if there’s no seat for me in the forward cabin, at least give me this convenience. Besides, I almost always sit window, which would simplify things for all concerned.

  5. If it saves time in the boarding process, great. But, I am the type who wants to be the last person to board.I understand a lot of people need access to the overhead bins, but is there any other advantage to getting on board early? I shake my head at AA for implementing a boarding policy that allows those with small bags not needing the overhead bins to board earlier. I don’t get it.

  6. DeltaSegmentFlyer Reply

    Wow. I actually love this idea. It is also a no – cost perk as long as the boarding is a fast or faster then before. Plus as a DM I do like the idea of what other DM’s are back in Coach with me when I don’t get the upgrade. 🙂 I would have liked this even at other levels. Great Idea Delta!

  7. Interesting, but I didn’t hear anything about partner airlines. Since it’s a test, I’m going to assume that it’s an oversight. However, if they were to roll it out and force partner elites to board in zone 1 or 2, I’m sure there would be a tit-for-tat and Delta Medallions could soon see a loss of privileges on partners.

  8. Since I am only Silver, it does not matter to me, if GM+ are in the same group or divided. They are all ahead of me no matter what.
    But If I as a Silver get priority over the “rest” of the current zone 1 (Amex, EC) I wouldn’t mind that 😉

  9. As an AMEX holder that really enjoys the perk of boarding in Zone 1, I would hope Delta would allow Silver Medallions the opportunity to board in their own group!
    They have earned it more than credit card holders, plus the AMEX members will still get bin space as they board ahead of the rest of the main cabin.
    It would make it more enticing to stretch for FO if they were a bit differentiated from my AMEX.

  10. You know, after writing the previous comment, I decided to send it directly to Delta. This is what I sent using their feedback web page:
    I was reading today’s Delta Points Blog and noticed an article on a new boarding process, on which I would like to comment. The article is here:
    First, I think boarding by Medallion level is a great idea! I am not a medallion, but I do feel those that earn that level, especially with the new spending requirements, should be rewarded as much as possible for their loyalty to the airline.
    Second, as an AMEX Delta Platinum card holder, my favorite perks are early boarding and one free checked bag (in that order). However, I was always dismayed that Silver Medallions boarded in the same group as those of us who pay an annual fee. This is especially true since many Delta frequent fliers likely use the Delta AMEX products, as well.
    As such, I would like to request Silver Medallions board before Zone 1 in the proper order of their higher level counterparts.
    Thank you for a fun airline to travel with. Even though I do not fly enough to earn status, I am happy with the pseudo-status the AMEX card provides. I try to fly Delta if the choice is available, and I am happy to support this airline.
    Thanks for bringing this forward, Rene!

  11. I vote that the check bag fee be dropped and nobody brings a checked bag on board. Then board window seats first, middle seats second and aisle seats last. I HATE boarding an airplane now in comparison to how it used to be back in the “good old days” when you started at the back and moved forward. Sorry, feeling grumpy about delta and all of the changes I’m not looking forward to.

  12. Would love to see this implemented at SDQ. As soon as they open the door the masses just start pushing and shoving to get on the plane before any zones are called. One woman tried to board with a live chicken. I’m wondering, how did she get that through security? Oh year, it’s the DR. Even as a PM I realize there is no sense in fighting the masses to board in my zone, best to just stand back and enjoy watching the melee.

  13. dotti cahill Reply

    I was on DL flight today chicago -atl and could not believe how long it took to board first class–and they all looked like seasoned DM guys.. they also took too much overhead space leaving none for us over our 2 seats… The same thing happened yesterday.. the bins in both cabins filled up before zone 1 finished boarding…THAT is a real problem esp if too many people think they should put all of their stuff up there then jump up and down 4 times to get stuff (while boarding still happening)

  14. I agree with Cory. Why be first on the plane?
    The real issue is all the bags that people insist on bringing aboard. If Delta and the other airlines would enforce the baggage limits and sizes, the boarding process would be greatly improved. When over half of the plane is Zone 1, it is a total zoo. The most efficint boarding process is to board from the rear of the plane forward

  15. I received this card when I boarded AMS-MSP on 31 March. I thought it was just for Amsterdam as there is such a free-for-all to board any flight/for any carrier in AMS.

    The card, however, was given to anyone who was a Medallion, including Business Class pax without status. That is OK with me, but what happened was EVERYONE who had the card boarded when the Business First pax boarded. I was in EC so the only problem with it was it made the boarding process just as congested as it usually was.

    This is probably just part of the learning curve, but all-in-all, I think it is the right step.

    BTW, SAN and ATL did not use the card on 01 April.

  16. Chris - OHM Reply

    Now I’m not so thrilled that I lost silver status last year when my travel changed to be more car-intensive than air. On the plus side, it led to more, if shorter trips, and hit SPG Platinum, so still get the free bags with Crossover Rewards.

    Which brings me to my next point, I wonder where in the pecking order the SPG Platinums fall with the Crossover Rewards program?

  17. Pingback: Fair enough, what are the Delta #KeepClimbing events over the past few years? - Delta PointsDelta Points

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