Delta updates wording on Diamond Global Upgrade certs with new Premium Economy seats (and it’s not all bad)!

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All photos from Delta News Hub

Delta today put out a neat News Hub PR page with a 3D view of the new PE or Premium Economy seats on the way. They look very good and while I still would not want to be stuck in the middle seats, they will be fantastic on daytime flights with your +1.

My biggest fear with these new seats would be that Delta would no longer allow Diamonds to upgrade from coach to D1 or Delta One with GU Global Upgrade certs. Those fears have been, to a degree, put to rest. Take a look at the updated wording on

“Certificates are flexible — they can be used to upgrade directly from Main Cabin to either Delta Comfort+, First Class, Delta Premium or Delta One [and Delta One Suites]. Or they can be used to upgrade from Delta Comfort+ to either First Class, Delta Premium or Delta One [and Delta One Suites]. Or they can be used to upgrade from Delta Premium to Delta One [and Delta One Suites]. Once an upgrade clears however, the certificate is considered used and a different certificate would be required to upgrade again, even to move to a different cabin on the same flight.” – BOLD MINE + additional wording confirmed with Delta spokesman Anthony Black

This is both good news and bad news. The good news is we are not going to be required to buy a PE seat to get a D1 upgrade. However, as you can see, if we choose to upgrade to PE we cannot, if seats open up later in D1, jump ahead another class of service without burning another GU cert.


I have used each and every one of my GU certs since they came out. I have cleared well before flight (when wait listed) or booked flights in advance that had open space to begin with. I will continue to use this strategy in 2018.


There are a number of neat things to think about with this new PE seat. First off, I do see a bunch of “free” upgrades happening as Delta does pull up medallions from coach when coach is oversold. Also, I expect Delta to really push PE upgrade onboard for sale with the hand units (and maybe even at the gate). It will be very interesting to see this in action.


Also, as I have mentioned before, I can see the new PE seats becoming a real value when it comes to burning SkyMiles. I have no need for a D1 seat on daytime flights and would be more than happy with this type seat if it saves me tens of thousands of SkyMiles for a trip.


Either way I am thrilled Delta at long last is back to “real” 3 cabin service as C+ has never been anything to ever get excited about. A real PE seat – that has me smiling. What do you say? – René


  1. That new language is both interesting and makes me pause because I feel like Delta rarely introduces something new that is good for the customer. Why do I have a feeling that in practice, on Premium equipped flights, they will control the upgrade inventory so that if one wants to move from economy to Delta One, two certificates will always have to be used?

  2. Interesting. I have a sinking feeling that these new PE seats will be exorbitantly priced both in $$ and SkyMiles on most flights.
    And how long until another deval when Delta installs their newest D1(“enclosed suites”)?
    1MM SkyMiles anyone?

  3. I say it’s only a matter of time before Delta dashes our hopes and will require 2 GUC to go from main cabin to D1. I’ll take this good news for now but we all know rev management will eventually win out on this one. We know they are foaming at the mouth for a true three class cabin. So am I but only for the up front cabin.

    I do like the C+ seats and agree I could deal with them for a day flight and save some miles, at least until it goes to 1 mile = 1 cent. At that point I am a free agent again I guess and will leverage MR and UR points.

  4. Will the flights wth Premium still have C+ seats? If not, Diamonds and Paltinums will be stuck in regular coach seats for these flights, correct?

  5. @SFCav – I doubt there will be C+ on the PE birds but maybe since it is the same size seat. My guess, and just a guess at this point, is no C+ when there is PE. There would be too much confusion.

  6. @Vicente – Not yet. I am sure they will splash it big time when they enter service and what route will the first to get it.

  7. I believe the A350 will replace the retired 747.

    I fly DL275 & DL276 about 4 times per year, I waitlist for upgrade with Cert every flight and have been successful only about 1 in 4 flights.

    I would not be surprised if Delta moves to 2 certs to get to D1 in 2018 once they have a few A350’s out in the fleet.

    BTW, Kroger started selling Delta GC’s. Not a game changer though as they are only up to $100.

  8. My fear is that delta will make purchasing a PE fare a de facto requirement to upgrade to business class. Surely those who have purchased PE will have priority on the upgrade list for business class over those in MC. It would be nice if you could switch the upgrade request to PE if business class does not clear.

  9. @John – I don’t think so to point one. As to point two, oh sure and I agree with this one and kinda like the idea. Buy PE and then if GU clears great but if not PE is a nice ride anyway. I can see myself doing this often if the price is just a bit more than stock coach or when on sale.

  10. Rene, If you and others like the many DMs who fly international but who have employers who won’t pay for a business class ticket start paying for PE and delta gives DMs in PE priority on GUcs over DMs in main cabin, then it seems that DMs in main cabin who try to use GUCs may often be out of luck for an upgrade to business class. Of course delta only gives four GUCs to each DM so this may not be as big a problem as I’m imagining.

    For RUCs do you know if a DM or PM on a C+ fare has priority over a DM or PM on a MC fare?

  11. @John – A RU trumps status unless there are two who have status then you start defaulting to status and fare class and time of ticket etc etc.

  12. rene

    i am looking to use gucs in mid 2017 from florida to london.
    i don’t think delta premium will be out by that time
    the way i read this is if i buy main cabin – i could get comfort plus now and certificate is burned on intl flight?
    i have used these gucs to go from main to first in the past
    can you specify you only want to go from main to first only now?
    delta premium seems acceptable as an upgrade in future but comfort plus is useless

  13. rene

    i thought that complimentary comfort plus was only for travel in 50 states and some other routes but not to europe?
    Am i incorrect?
    I still have strong concern that if I use a GUC from main Cabin on Europe route that I will be dumped in Comfort Plus? instead of First Class

    Medallion members must opt in to request a Complimentary Upgrade to Delta Comfort+ now that Delta Comfort+ is a booking option, like Main Cabin or First Class. This applies to:
    – all flights within the U.S. 50 and Canada
    – flights within select Asia Pacific markets and select Latin America / Caribbean regions

  14. @Jake – You need not worry about C+. It is only PE you need to worry about. BTW they still have not said if a PE bird will have C+ seats at all. Don’t stress this one. If you are a DM or PM go do a test booking and you will see you can pick C+ seats no problem!

  15. Rene, do you have any sense (or guesses) whether Premium will be available to Platinums as a free Medallian upgrade? I love getting free C+ seats the day I book on my many flights to Asia. I never get an op-up to One. Any chance empty Premium seats will be filled by Diamonds and Plats without using a GU certificate?

  16. @Rene Thanks for the quick reply! You rock!

    If so and they’re removing C+ seats from those birds, then I’m out on staying a PM or future DM. 75% of my miles are over the water to Asia. Getting absolutely no hard product loyalty upgrade would be a deal breaker, but I guess that’s the modern Delta.

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