If I opt-out of Comfort Plus will it impact my Delta 1st class upgrade under new Delta upgrade rules?

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Most of us got the above e-mail with much fanfare about the new Delta upgrade rules changing to hourly-ish (but still the same 5,3,1 day as before) rather than just at the 24 hour window. Delta also seems to want you to “opt-in” to receive Comfort Plus upgrades as well as 1st Class upgrades. But will choosing NOT to receive a C+ upgrade impact your shot at a real upgrade to 1st class upgrade? Notice the scary wording on the Delta page about “taking control of your trip” on Delta.com

Is Delta here not clearly telling us plainly that by opting out of a C+ (and / or a 1st class upgrade) going to mean that we “don’t mind receiving lower priority” when it comes to upgrades? Some readers have e-mailed me and felt that is exactly what it says and we are hurting there chance for a real upgrade to 1st class if we opt out of C+. I can put your fears to rest because also on Delta.com it says:

So here it is in black and white that no matter where we are, in C+ or Main Cabin we will still be eligible for our 1st class upgrade.

Now you may say: “But wait, these T&C do not say anything about the impact on our priority. After all, the page before clearly talked about us not minding getting lower priority if we opt-out.” Well I too embrace your paranoia when it comes to Delta because the rules are many and often confusing and even the wording can be maddening. So I reached out to Delta to again put ALL your fears to rest.

I asked the Delta Corp folks pointedly if “Opting Out” of C+ upgrade would have any impact at all in our ability or priority to get 1st class upgrades and was simply told: “NO!” 🙂

All of this clearly is good news as I think many of you will be like me – that is, set your default setting inside Delta.com for YES I opt-in for 1st class upgrades but NO I opt-out for C+ upgrades until you have a chance to carefully study the seat map to see if for any given flight you would be more happy in another seat that is not C+. Additionally, depending on the flight, you may be afraid that choosing C+ could in some tiny way impact your chance to get a real 1st class upgrade.

Bottom line, no matter what our reason, we need not fear that if we opt-out of C+ it will not in any way shape or form have any negative impact on our chance to ride in the pointy end of the jet (unless you foolishly or accidentally opt-out of 1st class  upgrades that is)! – Rene


  1. This is all so strange.. They are having to change the rules so that people can choose to NOT take a “superior” product that they are trying to sell. Wow, how do you market that?

  2. As a Delta PM based at MSP I have to look back in my memories to remember the last time I was upgraded to 1st class. 🙁 Thus, it doesn’t really matter since unless you are a DM and paying the most outrageous fares that Delta has for the flight your chances to get upgraded are close to zero.

  3. This is what happens by combining the Perpetual Beta approach to IT with a rotating Millennial staff pumping energy drinks.

  4. @Blasted Again – You forgot to add shove all that in a blender with Mr. Ham Sandwich for a strange smoothy!

  5. What gives with the millennial bashing? Seems off point and uncalled for…

  6. So upgrades are no longer going to clear as early as 6 days out at 5PM? It’s now exactly five days before your departure time?

  7. @William – Sorta yes. It is now 120 hours from your time of departure. A more firm 5 days rather than a 5/6 day range. It is too soon to know if the every 3 hour check for upgrade space clock will help us or hurt up for upgrades. I hope it helps.

  8. @Rene, I opted out of comfort plus upgrades, and so far I haven’t seen any problem with 1st class upgrades. My last flight LGA/ORD I was upgraded both legs, and I’m only silver (but not peak times)

  9. @rene when someone hides award charts, send incorrect information out I am hard pressed to trust that opting out wont impact my chances at a “real upgrades”.I hope this is true. I always say no to the fake upgrade to a middle seat ‘C-” with one extra snack run vs an exit aisle with real room. However, since I moved down to Platinum and switched airline loyalty when the hid the awards chart I am also seeing little to no upgrades despite 1M miles and being a previous Diamond.

  10. @DDiamond – (blush) Thanks. I am not supposed to talk about 50%>35% drop per the powers that be happening on 1JUNE17 (but if you apply before that you get it for a year) 😉

  11. When you opt out of C+ now that Delta doesn’t let you see the seat map except for the class you are seated in,how are you going to view what seats are left in C+ to make a decision on manually moving to an acceptable C+ seat?

  12. @Bill – I hope the seat map blocking is a short term bug. I can always do a dummy booking to see what seats are open.

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