Yesterday afternoon @semajkung tipped me off to the changes on the Delta SkyMiles News & Updates page that now shows Silver Medallions (again as “back in the day” you could as well) on award tickets can upgrade all the way to first class (not just C+). If you are now a Silver you maybe be saying:
“So what – not going to happen anyway”!
Now I agree that this one the face of things looks like a “meh” moment. If you are a Silver you have seen your name out of Atlanta near the bottom of a 50 or 60 or 80+ upgrade list with maybe one or two seats open. Your chance on an award ticket (fare class matters for upgrades) will be so tiny that this change just does not matter one bit. But I think there are many situations this Delta change does help. Let’s look at a few.
The first thing about this that stands out to me, and that Delta should be warmly commended for, is they are once again showing some “love” for the lowest rank elites rather than just beating them up and taking more away. This, to me, is really a nice change. #KeepClimbing worthy.
Now the biggest impact I see from this is when you are a solo silver on an award. You now have a shot at an upgrade to first class you did not have before. And it can happen. Oh really, like when? Sure not on a Monday morning out of just about any Delta hub city but off peak times there can be a shot. On Saturdays there can be a real shot or markets like the Caribbean where at times first class seats go empty because there are no more elites to upgrade at all (even SPG Crossover Rewards elites).
The other positive part of this change is it slightly makes gifting Silver status as a Platinum “Choice Benefit” a little more valuable. Now I am not saying this makes is a no brainer, but the bottom line is it does add some value and adding vs taking value away is a big deal when before this year we have seen nothing but cuts to SkyMiles. I will take anything positive we can get.
How else does this matter? Think #TeamBoardLast. Before this change, as a Silver on an award, you might as well board. Now, if I were a Silver, I would be the last body on the jet as we know the chance to score that upgrade still matters most if you are the last one standing and someone who had the upgrade did not show up.
As a Silver you are fighting for every perk you can get. You are at the entry point of elite status and not “that” loved by Delta or Skyteam. But this change shows that maybe, just maybe, Delta is slowly changing that feeling once again. I am pleased! – René
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