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 Delta.com
“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