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Delta NOW allowing AMEX BOGO, Cash & Miles & more for Medallion upgrades! #KeepClimbing!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

delta update on upgrades with bogo and more

A huge change today* and a big source of frustration for flyers. Today Delta has announced on the news page the following changes:

“Now traveling with your companion is even better. Starting April 6, 2017, companions traveling with Medallion Members will be eligible for Complimentary Upgrades not only on paid tickets but Award Tickets, Miles + Cash tickets, and Pay with Miles tickets. Companions traveling with a Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Member on a SkyMiles Companion Certificate will also be eligible for Complimentary Upgrades. – (bold mine)

Here’s what Medallion Members need to know:

A Medallion Member and a traveling companion may both enjoy a Complimentary Upgrade to First Class, Business Class or Delta Comfort+® when traveling on Delta and Delta Connection carriers, as long as that companion is a General SkyMiles Member or a Medallion Member in the same reservation.

Complimentary Companion Upgrades must be requested at during the booking process*, afterwards in My Trips, or during check-in prior to departure.

To easily update your upgrade request preferences for an individual flight through My Trips:

Log into
Select Trips from the drop down menu under your name
Click “Details” on the trip you want to update
Select/Unselect the cabins you would like to be upgraded to in the Upgrade Request section
Click “Confirm”

For more information, please visit Complimentary Upgrades.

*Requesting companion upgrades through the booking path will be available for Pay with Miles tickets and SkyMiles Companion Certificates beginning April 6, 2017 and for Award Tickets and Miles + Cash tickets by July 1, 2017.” –

This really is great news as in the past there was a real hodge podge of what did or did not qualify for medallion upgrades and this makes just about everything wide open and simple. I TRULY commend Delta for these changes and upgrades to the program.

This also makes the Delta AMEX Platinum card coach BOGO worth that much more as we can again fly in C+ (if open) as well as have a shot at a 1st class upgrade. Not just that, but under the new +1 rule, even on an award ticket, the +1 on awards will also upgrade at the “Elite-lite” highest level. Love this!

What do you think of these latest changes? Let us know in the comments below! – René


Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


    • @Hari – Agree! This really is amazing news. Love this.
      @Drew – It seems (to me anyway) the Good=Bad we had last year is less and less under Ed Bastian and I really respect this.
      @Gregg – Well, time to make more in the family top elites maybe 😉

  1. That’s Great news, I have to use my DL Plat Amex companion ticket to fly my son out to PHX from FLL for his college orientation in June. Now I will look to use that on the longest most out of the way route I can find (try and increase the MQMs for me).

    Now if I could only figure out how to try and upgrade my 2 kids and myself as we go to NYC this weekend……

  2. WOW! That was a big reason I’d give the companion certificate to family since we couldn’t even sit in C+. Dare I say positive news from Delta? Only scares me it’s a buffer for another ‘enhancement’ coming…

  3. Completely agree, Rene. Ed has been a step above so far and I’ve notice more reception to customer comments/complaints.

  4. @René,

    Be lucky if i get above silver this year. Almost no work travel and my son isn’t doing Drum Corp this summer, so I lost out on three R/T of Florida to Oregon.

    Gotta find some good cheap weekend mileage runs to boost my MQMs.

  5. Does the complimentary Plus 1 also qualify for Diamonds who are upgraded 3 to 4 days prior? Or is it just the day of travel?


    • @Sam – If on the same reservation you are BOTH upgraded like a Diamond so both starting at 6 day window etc.

  6. Hallelujah! Wish the companion upgrade had come a month ago but I’m not complaining.

  7. This is really great. I hated not to use my BOGO certs but sometimes not having a shot at an upgrade and used them for flights on Reg jets w/o first class seats or shot flights. not really the best use. I was also considering closing one of our accounts but now I will leave it open no doubt.

  8. FINALLY Great news indeed as most of my travels are via PWM, as per Rene’s advice a great way to get enough MQM’s for someone like me whom only flies a few times a year and yet is Silver Medallion and based on the math 30K MQM’s when spending $60K on the AMEX RES. Card every other year i’m Gold Medallion.

  9. It’s not working, still says “NOT COMPLIMENTARY UPGRADE ELIGIBLE” on my companion trip.

  10. what will be the priority order in the below scenario?

    DM on K fare + companion with no status
    DM solo traveler on X fare

    1) DM (K), companion, DM (X)
    2) DM (K), DM (X), companion
    3) DM (X), DM (K), companion

    1) companion’s priority matches Medallion level AND Fare class
    2) companion’s priority matches Medallion level but NOT fare class
    3) DM K + companion goes to the lowest priority within the Medallion level

    • @Bob – There is one thing to keep in mind first. Say only 1 open seat, then your solo flyer trumps the DM+DM+1. Next, if two open seats the +1 is the same as the DM so you have 2 DMs at a K fare that is higher priority than 1 DM on an X fare. Don’t make this harder than it is. Lastly you must be on same PNR so you will never have a DM on one fare and a +1 on another fare (class).

  11. Great news, thanks so much for sharing! Just fixed our companion ticket seats for a trip in May 🙂

  12. I love this change. We actually discussed getting rid of this card because we don’t feel it has value for us anymore, since the annual fee went up. We might want to reconsider our position on it thanks to this change.

  13. Pingback: Delta FINALLY allows upgrades on Amex Companion Certificate tickets | MilesTalk

  14. Agree with Bob.. What will be the priority. DM with companion that has low status or a DM flying alone. There are only so many seats. Trying to upgrade your companion with you could lower you on the priority level. Not really fare for a DM with companion only being a sky miles member to get priority over DM flying alone… What do you think???

  15. René, thanks for the heads up. Great news! I immediately requested a side grade to C+ seats for an existing reservation for a traveling companion and me using award tickets for Oct 2017. The request went through immediately. Now I’ll wait for the six, three, and one-day windows to see if we get upgraded to FC. And if all else fails it’ll be #teamboardlast times two.

  16. Don’t think it’s fair for a DM + 1 who has no status for the +1 to trump a DM flying alone…in that case I believe the DM +1 should go to the bottom of the Diamond list.

  17. Pingback: Delta Expands Upgrade Eligibility for Companions

  18. Does this make it more likely that Delta will allow for paid upgrades to at least C+ on the BOGO? I would think they would rather get the revenue from the upgrades rather than give for free to elites? I don’t think I can ever get elite for these improvements to help me but I am hoping they might be a sign for improvements on the restrictions on the BOGO.

  19. René, thanks for clarifying. I agree with Guy and Gary.

    As I fly mostly solo, this change will potentially put me at an disadvantage… I wish if there is a way that I can see the fare class of people ahead of me so I can potentially buy up or SDC to different flight to increase my upgrade chances.

    • @Bob – Doubtful. Been in place for a while now. Many times few or 1 open seat and single jump up if only 1 seat like at 6 day window (for that days UGs) then you get it not couple. See?

  20. Terrible for DM flying solo.. Very Unfair.. (unless your are ahead of DM’s flying double) of course everyone that flies with a partner will love it.. Don’t like it and most business flyers will hate it….

    • @Guy – The +1 change happened months ago. Again, there has NOT been the massive negative impact most feared nor will this expansion have the negative impact you (and others) fear. The +1 impact will most be felt on travel days non-biz travelers are flying.

      • As the diamond, I have already missed three times. It just doesn’t make sense to reward people who fly two or three times a year with upgrades to first class when people flying 40 trips a year miss out.

  21. @Rene-

    Thanks. What should be the strategy whether a Diamond is traveling alone or with a Companion. Should we first upgrade to C+ and take a chance at First Class Upgrade 6 days prior to see if it Clears?

    Or do not choose to upgrade to C+?

    Just wondering what makes the most sense and if by upgrading to C+, do you lose a chance at a First Class Upgrade?

    Thank you!

    • @Sam – Up to you. If I REALLY want the 1st class upgrade I sometimes avoid C+ to 100% make sure there are no IT issues. They block you from 1st when you got C+ is rare but it DOES happen.

  22. @rene very, very cool! I have always bit the bullet and bought FC tix for myself and +1 using my reserve companion pass due to the (now former) upgrade restriction. Kudos to Delta from this DM! Ditto on award tix. Oh man, the possibilities…

  23. I like the excellent consideration of one’s companion in the same reservation regardless of how we pay for it. I think Delta is now even better rewarding its best customers (that is, Medallions — whether mainly by flying or mainly by credit card spend [some may disagree with the latter group as “best customer”, but that’s the way it is set up]). I want my wife to join me as I get C+ or first class. And I certainly don’t want to tell her, “I split the reservation so I could get a better shot at an upgrade, leaving you in coach” or “Let’s save our 2-for-1 certificate for a shorter flight”. I am greatly relieved by this change.

    Rene, what is your evidence for accepting C+ as blocking a FC upgrade? I am Platinum and get C+ immediately upon request (just did it on a 2-for-1 certificate!). I have not been getting a lot of FC upgrades, but how would I know if C+ was the reason? Indeed, each of my FC upgrades has come from C+, but of course that doesn’t answer the issue.

  24. Rene, would you agree that this change now makes Diamond status even more valuable? (I might go for it.) If Diamonds are more often bringing along companions (for example, on award tickets), it makes lower Medallions further down the queue for FC upgrades — do you agree and what do you think?

    • @Chaz – I find DM, with all it’s perks, to be very valuable yes. My wife will be starting at ZERO MQMs 1JAN18 and we are going to see if we can make her DM in 2 months 😉

  25. Thanks, Rene. I recall that article. I have always been on the upgrade list to FC from C+. Per your link, it’s a good idea to check the upgrade list to be sure one is listed. I doubt that my position on the upgrade list is lower for having previously accepted C+. Do you have any evidence on that?

    No doubt we will see more couples (when they have the same last name) ahead of us on the upgrade list in future (like 1.Smi/J and 2.Smi/K), but then someone below me will be looking at my wife’s and my name — so it goes.

    • @Chaz – I have no data and do not suggest elite+1 will lower you on the UG list, just that under certain IT circumstances it can block you from an upgrade as Delta has admitted can happen.

        • @Chaz – I mean if an elite (and a +1) UG to C+ it should not negatively impact where you are on the UG list for 1st class.

  26. @Rene-

    I ticked UPGRADE to First/Business but also got automatically upgraded to Comfort Plus with Elite +1 on several reservations. It seems at times they are automatically upgrading to Comfort Plus BUT still the option to upgrade First/Business is still ticked.

    Is this normal? Thanks

    • @Sam – It is a bug. You have to call to “downgrade” to main cabin. They are working on a fix to let you self downgrade.

  27. Thanks. Do you think if I don’t “downgrade” it would affect the 6 day upgrade window to First/Business? That option is still ticked.

    Thanks again

  28. @rene – thanks for the helpful blog!

    If I’m a DM and traveling with 3 other family members, all on award tickets, will we be eligible for upgrades?

    If not, if I purchase my ticket and use 3 award tickets, does that increase/decrease change at upgrades for the whole group?

    • @Sammie – You get 1 plus 1 with you for UGs. More than that each one much have their own elite status. You can split PNRs and some will fly (maybe) up front rest in back.

  29. I’m with Guy on this: very unfair to those flying alone when someone with no status trumps! I have missed out a few times as a DM (on weekends)!

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