Delta Medallions Must Call To “Downgrade” From Comfort Plus per Delta CORP and Changes to Fare Class Upgrade Wording on

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what is on the way 16may16

Do you see the 16MAY16 warning?

Myself, and VERY notably RenésPoints blog contributor Laptoptravel, have been trying to get the warning out to Delta Medallion elites about what is on the way for 16MAY16 (see these posts for more information).

elites can pick an exit row free on delta

I like exit rows. Do you?

As an elite, even the lowest Silver Medallion, you are able to select preferred seats like exit row seats. Now as a top Platinum or Diamond medallion, you for you only are able to get an “instant” upgrade to Comfort Plus (C+) after the changes on the way 16MAY16 (if space is open). But this comes with some big risks and issues.

choices for medallion upgrades on your PNR on delta-com

To click or not to click!

Once you have your ticket, you are able to go in and “manage upgrade” and you will be presented with two boxes. One of them should be by default checked, that is, the shot at a complementary elite upgrade to business / 1st class. The other box is for C+ upgrades. I, personally, will many times just say NO to this upgrade (really a “sidegrade” if you will) as to me exit rows on many Delta jets are better than the C+.

you choose to upgrade to comfort plus

C+ upgrade. Goodie?

But what if you decide to check this box and request the upgrade to C+. What then? The system, again if space is open, will upgrade you and now it waits for you to pick a seat (vs before when it just picked one for you). But what if you want to go back to your coach seat after that?

you can not pick a normal coach seat after you are UGed to comfort plus

NO C- for you. You must call now!

Nope!, once you have “upgraded” to C+ will not let you “downgrade” to a C- or standard coach seat including exit row. So what then? I reached out to Delta and was told by company representative Anthony Black:

“[It is] just like First Class upgrades. If a member would prefer to downgrade after receiving a complimentary upgrade and a seat is available they can do so but must do so by contacting Delta Reservations. This functionality is not available online.”

So you have to call. I was also told there is no charge for this downgrade. But what a pain that we have to call to get this done when everything else can be accomplished online.

old delta fare class upgrade codes

Old UG fare class list

new w fare class for upgrades

New UG list on

Lastly on this topic Delta has updated the wording on the order for upgrades, per each fare class, it has been updated to reflect W class (sometimes) will have a higher upgrade priority. Please note a WU, that is, a complimentary upgrade to C+, will NOT bump you higher up the upgrade list as it is your original purchased fare class that matters here. – René



  1. Delta’s new “upgrade” policy is so condescending. Medallion members will see this as a slap in the face.
    Being “upgraded” to another coach seat? Really?
    Is Delta trying to impress non-Medallions with this inane policy?
    I understand the need to maximize revenue by selling as many F seats as possible, but does this policy really accomplish anything other than more distrust and possible confusion?
    The whole thing seems to be quite the cluster…

  2. It won’t be long when complimentary upgrades will only be 1 class up to comfort+. The you have to buy comfort + ticket to get first class upgrade.

    On another note, Delta should offer complimentary upgrade from basic economy to regular economy…

  3. Rene,
    Does this mean that platinum/diamond folks will “clear” right away for comfort+ after booking if there are seats available? And yes, I do agree with you that exit seats are a lot more comfortable than comfort + unless you are in a bulkhead seat. Just need to wait a little longer to deplane.

  4. @Eric – Yes. Instant upgrade (if you call it that) to C+ for PM & DM is space open or not held back by REV MGT for sale.

  5. While I agree this is another stupidity from Delta I still prefer a seat in the front than on a Exit row in a domestic flight. International is a different story but for me to be more towards the front of the plane rather than on the middle or back makes a huge difference. I cannot stand people that bring their “house” with them on board and take forever to deplane.

  6. For DMs (and I think PMs, too) for domestic flights the new systems works like this:

    1. Make a reservation selecting a standard or preferred seat at the time of booking then exit the reservation.
    2. Reopen the reservation and click on MANAGE COMPLIMENTARY UPGRADES.
    3. Request an upgrade to C+ seats. A window will open which reads Select Seats.
    4. Select C+ seats.

    As a DM I have made approximately 20 reservations using the new procedures and I have yet to be denied a complimentary C+ Seat. But it does involve the extra steps. It’s important to understand, unlike upgrades to First/Business class (which you do not have to request) you MUST request C+ seats. If you fail to do so you will not get them but oddly enough you could still get a complimentary upgrade to First/Business Class within the appropriate status ungrade window.

    Gold and Silver Medallions I assume follow the same steps, except they can’t select complimentary C+ Seats until 72 and 24 hours before departure.

  7. So W fares clear after B? Or they clear after L, which was the available main cabin fare when I booked.

  8. For me, the only reason I truly want Comfort+ over an exit row seat is for free drinks and most importantly FREE delta studio. I find it beyond rude when I book a last minute flight, am a Diamond stuck in a non-comfort seat, and I have to pay $5.99 to watch a movie on a 5 hour flight from SAN-ATL. Elites should get studio for free.

  9. As a Gold Medallion I have found that there is ZERO difference between myself and a traveler that has a credit Card and flys once a year. We both are Sky Priority and we both get a free bag . Weeeeee isn’t that great!! I fly 2-3 weeks a month and we are valued the same by Delta. As a Gold if u wait on C+ they will be sold out. I have been in the Main Cabin twice this month where I have not been there the last 4 years until they changed the system.
    I am NO LONGER loyal to Delta as I am now flying AA now as well.

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