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FCM or First Class Monetization – now on your Fly Delta APP as well!

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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.


fcm app upgrade

I blogged back in July about how excited Delta was about the rise in 1st class conversion or up sales. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for Delta making boat loads of money. I have touched on this before that I would love for Delta to sell every single 1st class seat they have at really big numbers for those to whom money is not an issue.

However, the downside of this is that there are less and less seats for upgrades and we medallions do seem just a teeny tiny bit obsessed about getting those upgrades.

delta want to upsell me biz for 213 no thanks no way

So far these up-sales have simply been the difference between what we have paid for our tickets and the current price for a 1st class seat. For my last trip I was not about to pay twice the price I paid for my ticket and, by the way, all of my upgrades did clear for that trip anyway!

But now, with a thanks to a reader for the tip and screen shot, we can pick a CASH upgrade via the Fly Delta APP as well as on Delta.com even as late as check-in (here is another answer to all those who keep asking me why Delta is holding SO many seats for upgrade).

Once again I don’t have an issue with this and think it is great. If some are willing to pay for a 1st class seat, at the current rate, great for Delta.

However, what I am and continue to be concerned about is the “what if” and what could happen. We all know even small improvements in yields per ticket results in much improved numbers when you look fleet wide for Delta. What we, medallions, don’t want to see is an up-sell at a greatly reduced rate as that would have a HUGE impact on seats available for complimentary upgrades for medallions.

So thanks readers for keeping an eagle eye on what the mothership is doing and if you happen to see an “el-Cheap-O” first class upgrade be sure to let me know ASAP! – 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.

18 Comments

  1. FNT Platinum Reply

    Did you notice the screenshot has a Delta graphic saying, “Upgrade to business class”? This is interesting. I’ve always seen it marketed as first-class. $212 and change, for me, isn’t worth it, especially if I have the first row of economy comfort on the aisle.

  2. Delta first is referred to as business class if it is a continuation of an international flight.

  3. FNT Platinum Reply

    I know that but this looks like an entirely domestic flight.

  4. I wish they would do that on my TATL flight to and from Germany. I’d pay 300 bucks to upgrade on a flight back home every day of the week. Outbound not so much since job one is to sleep right after the dinner service, but coming home in the daytime I like to try and enjoy four movies on the IFE so BE is very nice. Wonder if they’ll extend this to Z fares.

  5. Don in ATL Reply

    DL would love to sell every last one of those empty FC seats rather than give them away. I’ve noticed when I check in and they offer me the upgrade, the price seems to be getting less and less for the upgrade. It is now less than the normal differential. (It might even be decreasing the later you check in, but I can only check in once so I can’t do that experiment.) I DO THINK however that this is eating into our complimentary upgrades as Medallions. I’m a DM and on a recent trip I was #1 on the list with 4 seats open. A cinch, I thought. No! I stayed #1 and did not get the upgrade. As I was boarding I did ask one of the passengers sitting in one of the seats I remembered was open when I last checked the seat map, and he told me he paid for the upgrade. I didn’t ask how much, but I bet that 4 people paid the differential for upgrades on that flight– buying those 4 seats. Delta says business is business. Killing the goose that lays the golden egg is something else.

  6. Phil in ATL Reply

    I found some el cheapo ones Rene. I’m a Platinum taking some family members from ATL to NYC for the holidays. I booked 3 tix to LGA and while gardening the itinerary the other day, Delta.com offered me the chance to upgrade everyone for $69 each round trip. That’s less than $35 per person per segment on a breakfast flight going up and a dinner flight coming back. Interestingly enough, I called to see about upgrading other family members on the same flight for the same price and they couldn’t do it for less than $1,000. They said when I got the $69 upgrades that I took all the “A” seats that were left.

    • @Phil – But was the price you paid + the UP price the same as the current lowest 1st class fare? That is the KEY! If it was LESS total then THAT is what we need to FEAR!

  7. Phil in ATL Reply

    @rene Unfortunately, I think it was less but not a whole lot less. So with the paid upgrade and all fees this first class ticket per person is $450 rt. To simply purchase a 1st class ticket straight up, the best price on that same itinerary right now is $611. The best price I ever saw was $544.

  8. FNT Platinum Reply

    This might explain why as a platinum with the Reserve card I haven’t been getting upgrades of late. Perhaps 50%. Sometimes I’ve been number one, number two or number three with one seat left and thirty people on the list, even though there were five, six or even eight seats open a couple days before the flight.

  9. Phil in ATL Reply

    I agree! My upgrade ratio has really gone down lately. When people have the chance to upgrade for cheap prices ($35 on a dinnertime flight) they are going to do it. Fewer free upgrades for high status flyers… add that one to the list Rene. ;(

  10. Just noticed on my Delta Screen – RT upgrade from MKE – PHX for the Holidays were $126. Not sure if we are considering these to be an “el-Cheap-O” first class upgrade.

  11. Just did the math… We Paid $564 for econ seats + $126 with the upgrade = $690. Current Fare is over $1,100 for business class.

    • @Joelle – YIKES – that is not good at all. Now the upgrade is often for just ONE leg. Is the $1100 biz for RT all legs?

  12. I just plugged in what I thought my itinary is… but I did do it with my actually ticket.

    Business Class Fare for the same flights would be $2,120.20 – There was some difference with the Class of fare though –
    With the purchased upgrade flying A,A, P,P
    With the Business Class Fare flying P,P,P,G

    I am not sure how much of a differnece that is. I can put together a screen shot email of everything you would like later on tonight.

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