Delta is now allowing in-air sales of C+ seats on mainline domestic flights. Will you be buying this “upgrade”?

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delta comfort plus seat renespoints travel blog

Sell, sell, sell! Buying an airline ticket nowadays sure is about the hard press sell. I mean think about all the “choices” you have and the “trip extras” you can get (because much of what once was included is now an un-bundled choice)!

1) Bag fees
2) Gogo Wifi pass $16
3) Movies
4) Food
5) Drinks $6-8 each
6) Headsets $2 each
7) Hotels
8) Car rental
9) Credit cards
10) Trip insurance
11) Club passes $59 one time visit
12) Mileage booster i.e. selling you more SkyMiles
13) Priority boarding privileges
14) 1st class upgrades

delta selling 1st class seats

And now, like on international flights once you are at altitude, you can buy your way to a Delta Comfort Plus seat by use of the flight attendant GST or Guest Service Tool or the flight attendant hand unit.

I was told by Delta company spokesman Anthony Black that:

“Following upgraded technology, Our InFlight team now has the capability to sell Delta Comfort+ seats on board, after departure and after the aircraft has reached 10,000 feet and the fasten seat belt sign has been extinguished. This option is designed primarily as a service opportunity for those customers interested in moving into a new seat and allows our InFlight team the capability to support these requests. We do not plan to actively promote this service.”

delta upsells after you buy a ticket

wifi – points – hotels – cars!

Delta sure is doing all they can to showcase this section of the aircraft by “branding” it as special. The most important thing for you to understand is the seat is the EXACT SAME SEAT as the rest of coach so it is just a little more leg room and pitch / recline you are gaining. Some of the normal perks for these seats are:

  • Free drinks including alcoholic beverages
  • Free enhanced snacks on some longer flights
  • Free premium streaming entertainment

But this will not, for now, be the case for those who move to or buy these seats and that is a complete SHOCKER to me. I asked about how Delta Studio will work for those who on-board upgrade and was told:

“Customers who switch to Delta Comfort+ will not have complimentary access to premium Delta Studio content.”

This really is a huge disappointment. However, this does explain just why Delta is not planning on “actively promoting” this on-board upgrade service when it does not offer the same full published benefits for the C+ seating for those who confirm the seat before boarding. But what about on-board service?

Delta flight attendants work hard. Really hard. But there is only so much they can do as many of the tasks are required by the FAA etc. and they are there, after all, primarily for on-board sales, err I mean, our safety! For now no announcement will be made on domestic flights like they are on international ones that these seats are available for purchase. I am sure that will change over time. Mr. Black further told me:

“We expect very low volume and anticipate no impact to on board service.”

Well, maybe. We will see. Normally on a flight, C+ will be the first to be served, often even before 1st class in my experience.

My issue with this change is that if, later on, C+ sales comes first that it could delay service throughout the entire cabin. Or, if you do choose to upgrade, will you maybe miss out on service waiting to get up in the air and to pay for your upgrade while service has already begun in this section of the aircraft?

trip extras from delta

bundle and save? no thanks Delta!

On the plus side I was told by Mr. Black that ALL medallions, once “status can be verified” can move free of charge and will NOT need to pay to move to Comfort Plus seats. I am most pleased with this decision by Delta and I sure would think many will want to take advantage of this, that is, if they know they can take advantage of this since Delta is not advertising this change.

The other big issue is that this is a “first come, first served” offer so you may not get that free seat after all as an elite. So, please be quick if you want to change seats. Personally I would alert an FA you are interested in moving as soon as you board so that you can grab one once you are up in the air!

The last question is cost for non Delta elites. Sources tell me that will be based on the flight not what you paid for your ticket. You will have to find out once you are on-board.

What do you think about this new on-board selling of C+ seats with limited perks. Will you be buying? – René



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  1. Doesn’t bother me. Don’t remember last time I was on a flight with open C+ flight anyway.

  2. It’s almost at the point where the flight becomes a means to an end. At some point Delta will have figured out a way to ring every penny they can out of a flier and in doing so shut down the mileage game. Be prepared some day to just sit on the porch unless you plan on taking the flight for business or to enjoy the destination you have booked.

  3. Why put this on the FA’s? From ATL-MYR the FA’s barely get through the cabin service before the captain starts the decent into MYR. Adding this would mean some on the plane would not get service, guaranteed! This whole scenario begs the questions of, why isn’t this done the same as first class with upgrades and a waiting list?

    Ooooohhh… I’m sorry, that means that Delta would’ve given something away for free as compared to selling a seat to a non-medallion. #Sillyme #LoyaltyAye

  4. So these are the C+ seats that remain after Medallions secure seats 1-3 days before the flight, right? In recent months I’ve seen only a handful total of empty C+ seats, so this change is not worrisome to me.

  5. Wait! What? Am I reading this wrong? If I’m a medallion and I’m in coach and there are C+ seats available why wasn’t I automatically upgraded already? Why am I left fighting for a seat after the plane has taken off? What did I miss?

  6. @Susan. I believe you can upgrade yourself to C+ prior(depending on Med status) to the flight simply by changing your seat at Delta.dumb or the mobile app. Assuming Delta is not blocking these online.

  7. And, what exactly happens after a medallion moves to an open C+ seat and then a non-medallion also moves to an open C+ seat? Does the FA have to stop what he/she is doing to go yank that person out of the C+ seat and make the non-medallion move back to his original seat?Remember, this perk was not announced ahead of time so the non-medallion doesn’t know he is not supposed to do this. And, what happens if two medallions battle it out for the open seat and both try to claim it? How embarrassing for all involved.

  8. I grabbed an earlier flight and upgraded to Delta One. The Delta Studio which asks you to enter name and seat # for pay-per-view content) did not recognize me and thus I was stuck with free content. So, I can see why on an on-board upgrade would not include the pay-per-view content. Maybe this a Go-Go problem.

  9. Sounds like a recipe for confusion and passengers getting upset. Why wouldn’t they sell C+ at the gate? Are people that didn’t want to pay ahead of time want to pay once they see what there seats look like? I have heard of people wanting to upgrade mid flight and being told it can’t be done. What happens if people redistribute in C+ ? People can hardly handle boarding, musical chairs mid flight is goin to be fun.

  10. If only FC seats were on a swivel so I could turn around and watch the madness. Another bad idea by Delta. In reality I’m not sure how many C+ seats are available. Every DL flight I took this year was full.

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