Travel Related

The Delta upgrade elites want to “JUST SAY NO” to. Avoid Delta Comfort Plus upgrades Medallions! Exit row seats becomes the new elite battleground.

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr
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.

just say no sign

Say it with everyone, “Just say no” to drugs Comfort Plus upgrades. Seriously! I am not kidding and I will personally be doing this from now on when traveling with my wife as a top ranked Delta Diamond Medallion member (and soon Million Miler).

be sure to say no to this upgrade unless you like middle seat delta comfort plus
Middle seat? No thanks Delta!

For any of my domestic flights after 16MAY16 I will NOT check the one box that gives me a shot at an “upgrade” to Comfort Plus seating.

PLEASE dont do what Delta tells you to do
This is REALLY bad advice from Delta

Despite what Delta suggests I do, I will not follow their advice. Why? As already talked about and proven (and clearly told by Delta) you may be “upgraded” into a center seat in the front part of coach called “Comfort Plus” but really it is just the same seat as the rest of coach with a little more room and some extra perks. No thanks!

delta exit row seats will be the new elite seat of choice renes points blog

What this means is “exit row” seats will now again become the new battleground for elites as you can still select them free at booking, for you and your companions, and as long as you do not check the box to be auto-moved with an “upgrade” you will stick in those seats (unless there is an equipment change etc. that auto-moves you without your permission, that is).

delta exit row seat - watch out for little extra space delta 737-900er jet

Now all exit rows are not created equal. Take for example the 737-900er that is slowly becoming one of the most plentiful, and popular, aircraft in the Delta domestic fleet. The exit row on this jet is nothing to get exited about and many of the rows do not recline at all. Then again, even the Comfort Plus rows on this jet are nothing to get really excited about either.

delta exit row seat rules from delta-com

yes your non elites still can get exit row with you on delta after 16may16

So my wife and I will, like in the days before the glorious change to Comfort Plus, be focused on exit row seating. We will bring our own entertainment on our tablets or phones, buy a drink if we want one and even bring our own snacks if we must.

Delta really has “lost it” and gone “bat crazy” when it comes to selling something that is NOT better as an amazing whiz bang experience in the air. Folks, it is not that great.

Some final bits to think about. It is good this is NOT impacting international flights. For domestic flights my wife and I will be just fine in exit row. I will, naturally, make sure I do check the box for 1st class upgrades as that is still the goal for most elites. Also, when flying alone, I will take the C+ seat if an aisle is open but will not risk a center seat if one is not.

I will also brace myself for the issue that can and will come up, that is, IROPS and equipment changes that could result in me being moved to a center seat where I do not want to be. I will be bugging Delta Assist and the Medallion line more than ever when these kinds of events happen and get their help to “downgrade” me if I need it back to an exit row over any C+ middle seat. After all, there are few things frequent flyers fear more than getting stuck in a middle seat anywhere in coach (or even in business class for that matter).

These sure are interesting times in Delta land. Not to depress you more than you already are this weekend but do know more pain is on the way from the mothership. This C+ change was all about money for Delta. “Enhancements” to the frequent flyer program are still yet to be announced.

Be very afraid everyone! – René

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. Rene,

    I’ve mentioned this before – this is just Delta’s way of eliminating upgrades for those flying on Y fares.

    Diamond Flyer” “Hi – any upgrades to Business available this morning?”
    Delta: “You would like to upgrade? Sure let’s check…”
    Delta: “Hmmm I see you are in 67B, yes – we can take care of that for you…OK I’ve moved you to a Premium Economy middle seat closer to the front – 37G…”
    Diamond Flyer:’But Wait! that’s not really an upgrade”
    Delta: “This is absolutely an upgrade – let me remind you that you are allowed a one class upgrade…Here’s your boarding pass – have a nice flight!”

  2. Time to make sure the HMRS knows of Delta’s new class so they can tax that appropriately.

  3. To clarify, if you’re flying solo on a PNR post May16, you can just pick a Comfort+ seat at booking as a PM or DM. Right?

    • @JustinB – As long as there is W inventory space you can. If not, waitlisted and hope for center seat “upgrade” 🙁

  4. So do you think Delta will only upgrade Medallion members to business or first who’ve purchased a Comfort+ seat?

  5. Don’t worry – delta will do the same with exit row seating as soon as all of us sheeple accept this latest downgrade. I CANNOT believe that delta is saying that the lowest level flyer counts when flying together and trying to get the C+ seats. One of the intentions of this is, once again, to make you buy a seat instead of using your points i.e. I haven’t purchased a ticket in at least ten years because I always use my husbands miles the one or two times a year I fly with him. Thus, I have 0 mqms, 0 mqds, etc. When I do fly with him, one of the “perks” was that we got to pick C+ seats. I always choose an aisle seat in case he gets bumped to first. Now, no status for me, no choice of seats AND no bump opportunities for him because we have to link our flights. Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky. He has been a platinum every single year since they instituted this and is a two million miler. Ridiculous!

  6. Is it just me or maybe a temporary bug in the system, but last time I was booking a ticket, exit row seating availability was “greyed out” and didn’t show until after I had purchased the ticket. Then I could go back in and select my beloved exit row aisle seat (Gold Medallion).

    So now we might have to chance it on exit row availability too. There have been times when I have booked tickets based on that, but now I can’t even do that.

    When will this insanity stop?? For me it is now and I am the one the has to break the cycle. Time to get rid of the last $kypesos and becoming a free agent on the airline market. Delta will only be booked if and only if they offer least expensive/shortest flight time combo. Otherwise I will be going elsewhere.

  7. Well this should make for an interesting chat in DFW next week on the run. We can sit around enjoying a real lounge and speculate on the changes when the other shoe drops. Sad times indeed. But we can also chew the fat on AA status matches or perhaps the value of being an Alaska elite. Or not being an elite at all.

    I have no travel booked next year besides one DL MR but I can tell you as of right now all travel for me and my crew will be cost shopped and I will simply buy the lowest cost FC seat available regardless of the carrier. If it’s DL so be it but I will now begin to look at non stop flights and can value not connecting in ATL. Heck I already value MR and UR greater than SkyMiles and add to that the much improved Thank You points I can dump my Delta branded AMEX cards for good. That’s a LOT of spend Delta and AMEX will not see.

    #KeepDecending indeed.

  8. And this is why I just book the best flight in the best seats. I care less about loyalty and points. I fly to ORD from DFW frequently, and instead of a whole day going via ATL or MSP on a substandard product, I fly the AA Dreamliner both ways – usually for around $500 in first class. Delta and all of them have made a mockery or their “elites” and it’s not worth it. Just get what you want to be happy and let the chips fall where they will with points etc.

  9. dotti cahill Reply

    so that is why i keep getting the middle seat lately esp cross -country yikes did not get that demotion memo!!!!!

  10. So does this mean only Delta can “upgrade” you to C+ or can you unselect the upgrade and pick the seat when your upgrade window opens? Also, are the days of paying for only one segment in C+ after purchase over?

    • @Deborah – If you check the box, and space is open and you are DM or PM, you can instantly “upgrade” to C+ and if other seats are open you can move. If under PM then in the window 3/1 day. No you can still pay to get C+ but please don’t 😉

  11. This really stinks for the one or two times a year we fly with the kids. My DH is a PM and the rest of us have no status. We can’t sit in exit rows because the kids aren’t old enough. If there is no benefit to flying Delta with his PM status, why wouldn’t we just fly the cheapest airline? This will seriously impact our trips in the future.

  12. I’m a bit confused. If you are a diamond and take the “upgrade” into a C+ seat at booking, does that mean you’re done and can no longer be upgraded into F at the upgrade window?

  13. As a first time reader of this blog, I’m a little confused about this.

    On business travel for about the past year I have been booking C+ for the extra leg room. I’ve become disenchanted with exit row seats because of the arm rests, and sometimes the seat won’t recline.

    But if I cannot get anything but a middle seat in C+ when I go to book, what is the best fare class in main cabin to pick to enhance my chances of getting an upgrade? I don’t think I can get the beancounters to approve K. What are other good options a little cheaper?

Write A Comment