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What is the ONE THING you want Delta to change most in 2019? My request is a simple one!

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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.

Love these – but hard to use!

Delta has been uber bragging up their innovations over the past year. I, for my part and from a frequent flyer’s perspective, shared my 8 positive changes over the past year as well as the 13 negative enhancements. But with all these changes what is the one thing I really want Delta to innovate for me? It’s simple really:

Allow us to search for open Regional and Global Upgrade space on!

This one change alone would be massive for me and improve my appreciation for Delta. After all, RU and GU certs are, to me, the most valuable perk of my Choice Benefits each year. But it is so frustrating having to call Delta each time I want to check for open space (and we know Delta does not like you asking for “too much” each year after all as an elite)!

It befuddles me why Delta’s IT department can not fix this. If the Delta reps can see the space on their screens why can’t we? Is it an issue that the IT is just not in place to allow this or are there more sinister motives at work, like Delta does not want someone to scan for all the available RU and GU seats and show how few there really are at any given time?

For me this fix would allow me to not just save time calling Delta medallion reps but to better plan my trips as to booking flights that have open space as well as timing my redemptions of my choice benefits (RU and GU certs dump into your account much faster than in the past fyi – often in just a few hours).

Yes, there are many issues with Delta I would like to see fixed this year but this would be the biggest one I can think of. But I would love your input as a Delta flyer. What is the ONE and only ONE biggest thing you want Delta to change or fix this year? – 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.


  1. Offer Platinum Medallions two Global Upgrade certificates as a Choice Benefit.

  2. Preston L Vorlicek Reply

    Agree 100%! It’s so frustrating to have to call in to request information. It costs Delta extra too!

  3. Don in ATL Reply

    I agree with you 100%. I WOULD ADD, that if upgrades are available (“purchasable” using miles), then we should be allowed to apply one of our certificates (either RUC or GUC) in lieu of miles.

  4. Absolutely need visibility to upgrades… even if it’s allowed through expertflyer.

  5. Improve the return on spend for the Delta Reserve card. There’s no incentive to spend a cent over $60k on the card. Even cards like the Barclay Hawaiian card are now offering 2x miles on certain categories. 1x on all non-Delta spend isn’t competitive as they continue to devalue their points currency.

  6. Frankie Morgan Reply

    The DL website is awful. When I search for available revenue seats I can sort flights by price, departure time, etc. But when searching using SM I can only search by price and have to write down all of the departure times on paper. Shameful how poor the website is.

  7. Happy new year Rene. I would make rewards charts visible. We earn them why cant we see them? Very frustrating and it seems so obvious and simple.

  8. @DLPATL. Agree, but in honesty if you manage the $60k spend you get two 15,000 point bonuses making the earnings 1.5 pts per dollar. But to your point, assuming like many others, you are spending EXACTLY $60k to get 30,000 MQM’s, this hurt as other cards would generate far more points that are usually much more flexible too.
    And having to call Delta to attempt to use the RUC’s is very 1985.

  9. Steve Roman Reply

    I agree that searching for the Upgrade space would be #1 wish. But I’d also like to be able to Waitlist myself using an Upgrade if it’s not available at the time of booking.
    And while I’m at it, allow Delta flights to appear on ExpertFlyer searches. Renee – could you explain why it’s not allowed?

  10. Rick Christman Reply

    To me what appears on Delta’s website comes directly from management. The IT dept. only does what it is told, so I would say “more sinister motives at work”.

  11. That will never happen.

    The unused G/RUC is DLs friend.

    Tout the value in PR circles and then make them impossible to use. I’ve had certs expire and tried to use them multiple times.

    But, I’ve learned from you to hold them as long as possible until you need to have them applied. Saved me this year, especially with the amount of FC purchases I made in 2018.

  12. David Morgan Reply

    On American Airlines website one can see what flights have upgrade availability for their equivalent of regional upgrades, at least I could see this when I was Executive Platinum. Went back to Delta after one year because of consistent poor first class service

  13. Enjoy FIne Food Reply

    I think having to call to (24 hour free) cancel a points redemption booking is the biggest flaw. I can cancel a $$ booking on the website easy enough, but Delta pays an agent to process my points cancellation. How much harder can that be?

  14. Ramona Lum Reply

    If there are no C+ seats at booking, there is no way to change if one opens up after booking coach seats. I’d love it if there could be a way Medallions got a second chance.

  15. Delta should match United in terms of the number of GUCs issued for top tier’ed status. As difficult as it is to use them, they are still good to have. DL gives 4 to Diamond and that’s it for the year. UA gives 6 to 1K and you can continue to earn more for additional miles flown.

  16. Tom Wriggins Reply

    I agree with several of these, using RU/GU when buy with miles space is open, being able to see the space, etc. But I think that Delta really doesn’t want us using them, so they will keep it hidden a’la award charts.

  17. I would like for them to allow a frequent miler to set-up a search for a particular route and be sent notifications when the AWARDS price has reached below that setting.

  18. As several commenters have said, the best thing DL could do would be to designate more seats for CUCs and RUCs and make them available at booking. It would also be great to let DMs earn more than four GUCs per year. AA let’s EXPs earn up to 10. Maybe that’s two things, but they both relate to GUCs.

  19. I agree with you in principle, but now understand why they don’t in reality. I just spent over an hour on the phone with the Diamond desk each of the past 4 nights trying to find space, first to South Africa, and then anywhere at all. I could hear the agent on the phone trying to piece the puzzle together. Kind of like a kid with arithmetic. 25, carry the 2, etc etc. A simple, delta metal, delta marketed, domestic availability might be worth it, but the average lay person would not be able to translate between the different partner carrier’s rules, booking codes, and matching them up to what Delta expects or has availability for. When customers get frustrated, they would call Delta anyway and have them do it. If all you are wishing for is the ability to see availability, then yes, I agree 100% and then you would have them ticket it. Kind of like the 2 for 1 tickets you get with your AMEX Platinum or Reserve card. I hate the whole charade too, but the agents are at least very nice about it and try really hard to make it work for us. I appreciate that.

  20. I cannot agree more with this.

    And while we love to mock Delta’s IT for its shortcomings I should note that when they do things right, wow they do them right.

    Call today, matches me (does this every time), no one starts a call by asking who they are talking to.

    “I need to cancel a reservation)” — this one couldn’t cancel online, not sure why?!?

    “Which one?”

    “The November 4th one” — no need to play military-letter bingo and try to read a confirmation number

    “OK, just confirm your address and date of birth” — yes, this is useless, but I know these things… again, no bingo

    And we’re done.

    These calls are so painless compared to ALMOST ANY OTHER VENDOR OF ANYTHING.

    Thanks Delta.

    (Oh, I canceled because I got the actual routing/award/destination I needed from Korean. Player 2 was already booked on a Delta award, but the second seat we then needed wasn’t available on either leg… Book an alternative Leg #1 and that was being canceled.)

    But yes, please, give us this functionality. It would be truly amazing. It would cost Delta a tiny, tiny, tiny amount of breakage. It would generate far more goodwill among elites.

  21. Improve the quality of International Business Class food. It has deteriiorated to AAL/ UAL standards lately.

  22. Delta Segment Flyer Reply

    More Main Line Flights!

    Also you don’t have to call to cancel point tickets or apply RUC.

  23. Provide Platinum & Diamond Medallion Members w/complimentary Go-Go wi-fi access.

  24. RedTailFlyer Reply

    Don’t board zone 1 through sky priority lane. Makes it completely useless if you show up late.

  25. Barry Graham Reply

    I agree this is a must. United already allows it. I believe Delta will soon, they have already started to allow upgrades using miles. I disagree with Frankie that Delta’s website is awful, in my opinion it’s one of the best.

    When Delta implements what you suggest, they need to make more space available on Virgin Atlantic flights and actually that would be one of my wishes for 2019, for this to become a more seamless partnership.

    However my main wish for 2019 is for Delta to offer kosher food in all of its Sky Clubs just like Virgin offers in its Club Houses. It’s not hard to keep one or two frozen meals in the freezer.

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