This is going really upset a lot of international flyers but I am not one of them. Just to bring you up to speed on what we are talking about, Delta has a seat that has a little extra legroom and up to 2″ of additional recline called Comfort Plus (C+). C+ seats are the exact same seat size as the rest of coach and I am no fan of these seats. But they come with a big perk, that is, Diamonds and Platinums at booking can get these free and other elites days before flight if available.
Thus the news that was announced today at the $DAL Q2 investors call means a downgrade of free upgrades for elites – and yet I am thrilled with this news! Why?
The expansion of Premium Select (PS) seats to ALL of Delta’s widebody jets mean many more chances for OP-UP opportunities or operation upgrades to PS when the main cabin coach oversells (and this happens a lot). When coach does oversell, before Delta offers bump vouchers, they start with Diamonds and work their way down the list, and offer free upgrades to either PS or DeltaOne (D1). Either of these two is a massive improvement over either a regular coach seat or a C+ seat. While not guaranteed, this is yet one more reason for frequent international flyers to shoot for top status with Delta for these chances for upgrades.
The next reason I am happy that C+ is going away is the chance to use my dwindling in value SkyMiles for a much better seat. Right now, using the hidden Delta award charts, you are looking at 128,000 SkyMiles for a round trip ticket to Europe. When Delta runs their monthly “flash sales” I expect we will be able to get these seats for about 100k round trip. For a daytime flight from Europe PS seats are perfectly AOK to me and a real value.
Just to be clear, Delta has not publicly stated all of C+ is going away but there is none on the A350 nor on the newly redone 777s so there is no reason to expect that modifications to the other wide-body jets will be any different.
What do you think? Are you happy or sad to see C+ going away internationally over the next few years? – René