Last year we saw the sad and frustrating move by Delta to begin to sell, both via the Fly Delta App and online, 1st class seats as an upgrade and the impact on medallions. This was done segment by segment or leg by leg for your trip. Initially the price was very high and I think most choose not to spend the money on these types of upgrades.
On a personal note I have never nor will I ever pay for one of these upgrades. I find this effort an absolute slap in the face for the loyalty of those who spend the most with Delta on tickets to have upgrades likely snatched away by someone who understands that their upgrade chance is very low (or non-existent) so the only way to get one is to buy up. The result, clearly, is less seats for complimentary medallion upgrades.
Now even these leg by leg efforts have yielded results as the “money” folks at Delta have crowed about at each of the latest many quarters of financial result meetings. They are pushing the up-sell percentage ever higher and want more more more (yeah, one day upgrades will be gone, me thinks). And just take a look at what we NOW are seeing on Delta.com (in case you have missed it):
Yep, you are not seeing things, Delta is selling, not just leg by leg cheap upgrades, but entire trips for one low price for the “entire trip”. Oh joy!
I hope you fully appreciate just what a blow this is to elites and loyal frequent flyers. I have been told that the vaulted Delta360 highest Delta Diamond Medallion flyers always get upgrades as they are often manually pushed into first at the 6/5 day window. But if the seats are sold out, there is no space to push any elites into first class, even those who spend north of $50,000 MQDs a year with Delta!
Honestly less upgrades is nothing new to Delta elites this year. Most readers here on the blog have expressed that is the case for them. Delta has even started, in a targeted fashion, giving out more upgrade certificates to placate this growing trend in 2015.
We know things are only going to get worse and now we see one more of the reasons why this is the case. I was really OK when FCM first came out because Delta was keeping prices rather high and, as already talked about, selling them leg by leg. This one price for a round trip is a game changer. Gosh I hate being right some days!
What do you think? Does Delta selling round trip upgrades for one low price impact your choice to stay loyal to Delta as an elite flyer? – René
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