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When will Delta fix the “hidden” 1st class seat maps on (or is this a new “enhancement”)

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it bug

Delta is not all about empowering flyers with information. They are all about empowering them with information Delta wants you to know, that is, for example, when you search for a flight the “default” choice is rarely ever the lowest price. For example:

default search atl to lax one way 10july15

change delta-com search for best price

Now this is no bug. This is done by design. While most travel sites are wanting to provide you with the best price, Delta wants you to provide them with the most money. Thus, the default search is by “Best Match” (whatever that means). This is one of the primary reasons I log in to then start my flight searches at as that WILL give me the “Best Price Match” and once that is found it can be simply sent over to for me. But I hope you see my point.

delta hiding 1st class seats for booked trips

And that brings us to the current ongoing bug (or at least is seems like a bug) in that Delta is “hiding” the 1st class seat map on when you have already purchased a ticket. Take a look at a flight I have upcoming from Minneapolis (MSP) to Anchorage (ANC) booked in coach. All black mean all the seats are “taken”. But are they really? Notice if I search to buy a ticket in 1st class for this flight on

seatmap if you go to buy a seat on delta-com

AH HA! So all the seats are NOT taken. In fact, only two seats in the entire cabin are taken by passengers. Well that is interesting, but is this a bug or a planned move by the “mothership” to keep even more information from us? Let’s fire up the Fly Delta App and see what it shows for my flights,

fly delta app shows open seats in 1st and coach

So clearly here in the app I can see the 1st class seat map by simply clicking on the 1st class tab and it does show me, just like when I am trying to buy a ticket on, the seats that are open.

What does all this information tell us? Now I know, given the fact that Delta IS doing so much to restrict information from us, and tends to make program changes without telling us (we have to sleuth them out on the web) that the instant thought by most is something like:

Oh no, here we go again. Delta is once again making an unannounced change and restricting even more information we need to make informed choices.

But I don’t think, in this case, that is what is happening here. I think it is a bug of some kind. Granted it is strange the bug has gone on for weeks and weeks now but I do think Delta will fix this one. Why or why not?

FCM or First Class Monetization. Delta has stated they want to continue to press the up-sells of 1st class seats. They are succeeding and to me this is one of the big reasons for the latest Regional Upgrade gift e-mails that went out as elites are getting MUCH less upgrades this year. So, with that in mind, why hide the 1st class seat map intentionally when seeing what seats are open, along with the 1st class up-sell pitch, may cause a flyer to buy it?

That is the reason why I think it is a bug. But what if it is NOT a bug and they have just not figured out a way to block access in the Fly Delta App yet and that is on the way next? While I disagree with this, it would be a way to both cover up information and help prevent complaints from elites who feel shorted when it comes to upgrades. If you can not see how many seats there are open it is hard to complain about not getting an upgrade. Also, when SHENA events happen, a blocked seat map does help hide what is going on behind the scenes. Again, I don’t think either of these are happening.

What I do hope is Delta fixes this some day soon. It has gone on way too long. Maybe it is due to tech folks on summer vacation. I sure hope that is the reason anyway. You tell me, bug or planned event?- René

The current blocking of the 1st class seat map on is:

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  1. Rene, I didn’t see a button to hit so I can vote.
    My spin, they are testing the waters to see if folks complain. When selecting flights I do look at open seats in the front. Sometimes that determines if I choose one flight over another.
    I know the Delta spies read this blog. Maybe your comments will stir up movement on the issue. dcw

  2. I noticed this problem a couple of weeks ago and contacted I also took the opportunity to remind them that is the only way to find FC seats since they ordered ExpertFlyer to stop providing that info. Here is the response I got on 6/25.

    “Thank you for your email to Delta. I apologize for the inconvenience you experienced while trying to view First class or Business class seats online.

    Although there was a temporary outage, you should now be able to see seats online. Since they are not currently viewable, we have notified our technology support team to research what happened. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention and regret any uncertainty this may have caused. Rest assured, you may now view seat map on Also, we want our customers to login at so that we may serve them with our best available option.”

  3. Definitely a coverup! I didn’t get / haven’t gotten any DL emails about extra MQM or RUC as a PM. I’m valued like a rock.

  4. Corbett Kroehler

    I suspect that it’s a bug BECAUSE of FCM. In parallel, it seems that the mothership has tweaked the setting for Diamonds to clear upgrades in advance of the flight. I keep a hawk’s eye on availability for my upcoming itineraries on a regular basis. Flights with about 15% open in first class which would not have upgraded until day-of in earlier time periods now do. To wit, I just scored an upgrade on an L ticket at 3 days as part of the Gold sweep, leaving just 3 of 26 seats open.

  5. Dale #2 – I talked to the DM desk about seat selection and ask them about the issue of seeing seats. The rep assured me it was a IT issue. When I asked when it might be ‘fixed’ she laughed. I guess the Delta IT team doesn’t get an +A grade with the DM reps.
    I too have only received rocks. Maybe I should call and ask?

  6. I not sure what to make of the hidden FC seats. I’m inclined to believe that it is simply a technical glitch because for 24 flights which I currently hold reservations, only four of them have hidden FC seats. But it’s pain in the neck because I have to pretend I’m looking to book a new reservation in FC to see what seats are available for upgrades on those four flights.

  7. I like the “best match” default sorting of flight results, since I’m not shopping based on price most of the time. I’m never interested in the very-AM or very-PM multi-stop flights (and the business traveler isn’t either), which are usually the ones that go to the top when you sort by price.

  8. Pingback: Delta AT LAST unblocks 1st class seat map. Then proceeds to break the C+ seats instead! :-( - Delta PointsDelta Points

  9. Bill Morton

    Still doing this more than ever (late June 2017)!

    Super annoying!

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