One of the common questions infrequent flyers ask all the times is what seems like a basic question, that is:
“Can I upgrade to 1st class with my miles on Delta”?
Until 1JUNE of this year I always said no because my guess is you did not purchase an expensive fare class ticket followed by did you buy the ticket on Delta.com or somewhere else. But as of about two weeks ago my answer now is yes domestically and maybe international flights as Delta says that:
Within North America (US, Canada, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean) and Northern South America (Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela), Mileage Upgrade Awards may be used to upgrade on published Main Cabin fares booked in Y, B, M, S, H, Q, K, L, U, or T class.
For all other International markets, Mileage Upgrade Awards on Delta-marketed and operated flights may be used to upgrade on published Main Cabin fares booked in Y, B, M, S, H, Q, or K class.” – Delta.com
Now just because you CAN do a thing does not mean you SHOULD do a thing. Delta being Delta does not tell you how much it costs you to upgrade from a ticket, that is, they hide the upgrade charts (<-LINK to charts) just like they hide the normal award charts (<-LINK to charts) from us.
KLM is, as of 1JULY16, opening up cheap fares (booked with KLM) for upgrades. Sounds great right? Not so fast.
KLM does have a “handy” tool (rather than hiding the numbers) to tell you what it will cost to upgrade with Flying Blue points from whatever fare class ticket you have to business class.
Ouch. Take a look at that price to upgrade to business class from Atlanta to Amsterdam booked on a cheap fare class KLM ticket. Keep in mind that it is not all that hard to find a KLM business class award for 62,500 points so in this simple example, much like Delta’s ridiculous prices, you are paying MORE than the cost to outright buy an award, that is, you are paying 81,250 + whatever amount you spent in cash buying the ticket.
Bottom line is I am sure you will see folks flushing their hard earned SkyMiles down the upgrade drain at the new 1JUNE16 prices because they don’t know any better. Please don’t let this be you! – René