Another Medallion downgrade from Delta – Platinums no longer JFK-LAX/SFO upgrade eligible. #KeepDescending

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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.

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Being Platinum sure is not what it once was. There are a BUNCH of Diamonds out there (and why not). I am sure if you are a Platinum you are going to see a bunch less upgrades this year over last year.

As I blogged about the other day, Delta is now allowing all medallions to upgrade on the JFK-SEA route but it is no longer a “Delta ONE” type route. On the plus side you should be able to request and use Regional Upgrade certificates for this route now rather than just Global ones.

The downside of this changes is Delta had made it so that ONLY Diamonds can, as of today, request upgrade to JFK-LAX/SFO. While I have nothing from Delta on this you can call the elite line yourself and confirm this.

The new rule is effective immediately! It does not matter when you got the ticket and the memo has gone out to everyone! Don’t go looking for this on as you are not going to find it anywhere as officially this route is a non-upgraded route. This is an unpublished perk.

So there you are folks – two days in a row of elite cuts. How are you enjoying Skymiles2015 so far? – René

EDIT: For even more updates about JFK-LAX/SFO upgrades see THIS POST!


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. Theses guys are really making it too easy to jump ship…I sit halfway between a regional airport serviced only be UAL and an Delta hub. Hmm. UAL, free parking and always get an extra segment plus a flight to ORD and sit in coach or GM this year sitting in coach….No reason to stick with Delta at this point..

  2. Pingback: Delta Negative Transcon Upgrade Devaluation for Platinums Medallions

  3. I have to admit I feel soooo smart for jumping ship on Delta awhile back. Although I feel bad for people who flew in 2014 trying to qualify for an essentially worthless loyalty program…

  4. Hmmmm. I am a Platinum whose MQDs WELL exceed the Diamond threshold. I just got the LAX-JFK upgrade last wednesday… I’ve already qualified for Silver this year, and I’ll get to Gold with have I have booked. It might just be about time to start taking the direct flights to Chicago and DC (from LAX…no direct options…really?). Dammit. They’re really pushing me hard.

  5. …also, they need to backpedal on this one. Now. What is the benefit of taking it away from platinums? If there are so many Diamonds they’re gonna get the seats anyway. There’s a value to having your name on the list even if you’re not going to get it, and it costs them nothing. I’m… but.. sigh…

  6. Steve Case Reply

    Delta just made an extra $2 billion because of fuel cost savings and yet the bad new keeps on coming. People, vote with your wallets!

  7. I agree with Garrett. The changes of a PM getting the upgrade is slim anyway, why go after them? Is it because us Diamonds are next and this is the warning shot?

  8. I just received an upgrade on JFK-LAX as a PM on Friday. So happy I go that in! BUT I was the last to clear. On the way back I was 13/14 with seats avail. So, as others have said it’s rare that you are going to get an upgrade as a PM on those routes anyway.

  9. Pingback: Platinum Medallion Love from Delta - NO UPGRADE FOR YOU! - MJ on Travel - MJ on Travel

  10. If PMs know there’s no upgrade possible, they’ll maybe burn PWM or GU that they might not otherwise – a net benefit to DL

  11. Rene, delta is positively depressing with a capital D. How can you deal with this stuff on a daily basis and remain unaffected?

  12. Last week I was on the phone with my PM buddy while he was at JFK waiting to fly home to LAX. Suddenly.. POW! (complimentary upgrade!) When did this new rule start? On a side note he did not like the 757 lie flat seats. He is tall and his feet were wedged in that corner configuration.

  13. When are you to change the name of you blog to Descending Delta, Rene? Hopefully it won’t wind up being called Disappeared Delta.

  14. I am a pm with a Delta Reserve Amex, I travel lax>jfk once a month. last year i was upgraded 85% of the time. I called the elite line today, and they told me pm can still get upgraded. maybe she wasn’t informed of this change?? thoughts??

    • @Ed Moore – NO. Have 100% CONFIRMED with Delta CORP folks. Enjoy last few you can get from folks who have not yet been updated about change!

  15. I just flew in via JFK-LAX as a DM and there were only two of us on the upgrade list with seven seats available. I was wondering what was up.

  16. Pingback: Best photo + United meals + Bid for Virgin upgrades + Delta downgrade + New Asian nonstop for SJC - TravelSkills

  17. I am PM that just sat in the back this evening SFO->JFK with over 6 seats empty in first. Delta is really dealing a low blow on this one.

    • I wrote to several Delta execs to express my continued dissapointment with the SkyMiles program, and especially with no longer upgrading PM on the lax-jfk route. Here is one response and its complete nonsense and doesn’t answer my question of why no upgrades for PM

      Hello Ed,

      RE: Case Number xxxxxxxxx

      Thanks so much for your email to Allison Ausband. She’s asked me to reply to you directly on her behalf. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re disappointed with the changes to the 2015 SkyMiles program and the upgrade changes to transcon flights, specifically between JFK to/from Los Angeles.

      Our SkyMiles program is one of the best in the Airline industry and yet there are still times when we don’t meet our customer’s expectations. I’m sorry you had to write regarding your concerns and to be sure you have all the information you need – we have all of our Program Rules & Conditions on our website for you to view.

      I can honestly tell you that we do listen to our passengers and the valued feedback SkyMiles members like you provide. It’s disappointing to when some of the decisions we make, aren’t pleasing to our customers.

      In this instance, you’re right. Effective January 22, 2015, the decision was made to no longer make Platinum Medallions eligible for unpublished transcon upgrades between JFK-LAX and JFK-SFO.

      At the same time, another change includes that Complimentary Medallion upgrades are now available for all medallions on the JFK-SEA route. So now, passengers traveling between these cities will now be automatically added to the upgrade list for these transcon flights.

      I assure you that we’re always making changes that we feel will enhance our passengers travel experience in new and better ways. We really are listening to our customers and it’s your feedback that creates change. I’ve already forwarded your comments directly to our SkyMiles, Airport Customer Service and Marketing leadership teams for their review when considering future changes.

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. We do care and will definitely consider your comments. We appreciate your loyalty and hope to be welcoming you onboard with us for years to come.


      You Share, We Care

  18. I just spoke to a delta supervisor who said that this “secret handshake” was still available for PM.

  19. I am also a 2 million miler,I have been top tier for years and a diamond since its inception, I fly internationally almost 2 times a month as well as many domestic flights during the year. I have enough miles to be diamond until 2019. I rolled over 273,000 miles, I usually fly ~200,000 a year and and as soon as they changed things at the start of 2014 my upgrades have turned around for the worse from 90% all years up to 2014 to NOW 10% upgrades during 2014.
    I ask you, who is flying more than me, and WHO IS GETTING THE UPGRADES BECAUSE IT IS NOT ME.

    • What routes are you flying? I’m a DM with only about 300K lifetime miles (Delta convert) and get upgraded on LAX-JFK over 50% of the time and seemingly 100% on non-JFK-LAX or ATL routes.

  20. In regards to “secret handshake” was still available for PM.”

    After I emailed Patty Beyer again about empty seats up front, this is part of the response- “To be more specific, Complimentary Upgrades are not included on flights between New York-JFK and Los Angeles or San Francisco. This policy has not changed. However, during slower periods or as the operation allows, there may be instances in which some Medallion members will receive upgrades on these flights.

    At this time we’re testing various options for customers as we evolve our transcon premium cabin to include enhanced products and services. During this time, we may offer minimal complimentary upgrades to some passengers, yet not others during this testing process.”

    Not exactly sure what this actually says… stay tuned

  21. I am a pm with a Delta Reserve Amex, flew this past Monday jfk-lax with 7 empty seats up front, and i sat in back. Done. #KeepDescending

  22. Pingback: Oh, I really didn't think Delta would go there - but they did! Delusional and sad. - Delta PointsDelta Points

  23. divesh mehra Reply

    I flew JFK to LAX 2 months ago and as a Diamond they let me go on the wait list 24 hrs before my flight. Both segments cleared and I enjoyed Delta One. I am flying tomorrow and I just called them to add to the wait list. Guess what?? They don’t seem to value their Diamonds anymore and as of August 1, 2015, this is no longer allowed. Seems like they have taken away this ‘silent’ perk when they started to allow regional upgrade coupons to be used for JFK to LAX and SFO. As a diamond you have very good chances to getting upgraded so why would i waste my regional upgrade coupons on this?? Delta seems to be joining the BS United ways of operating!! Should I look at AA as I hear they dont do this!!

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