Here’s a pleasant trend I experienced in recent months: several of my Delta Medallion first class upgrades cleared before their tier windows officially opened!
Many Medallions know the tier upgrade windows (120 hours, 72 hours, 24 hours) function more as guidelines than hard-and-fast rules. (Those unfamiliar with when Delta Medallion status tier upgrade windows open can learn more here.) It isn’t uncommon for Delta to wait — sometimes, no matter how many first class seats are open — to delay upgrading Medallions. Obviously, they want to sell as many first class seats they think reasonably possible (either through cash or Delta’s favorite “other currency”).
There are several instances of when the “guidelines” worked in my favor earlier than I expected!
As a Platinum Medallion, my upgrade window opens 120 hours (five days) prior to a flight’s scheduled departure time.
But it happened again — a couple of weeks ago for a Kona mileage run itinerary!
Our Seattle to Kona flight departed on a Wednesday at 3:55 PM. Naturally, my wife and I were excited at the possibility of riding up front for the six-plus hour flight. I logged on to the Fly Delta app around 3:45 PM on Friday — five days before the trip — to see how many first class seats remained open in the “Upgrade / Standby List” tab.
That number stood at 10 for several weeks — and dropped to 8. I tapped back to our itinerary and noticed that we were apparently those two passengers and already upgraded to first class!
The next morning, I checked the Fly Delta app for our Seattle to Los Angeles return. Our flight was five days away at 7:40 AM. I logged on at 7:35 AM — and saw Delta upgraded our seat assignments to 4A and 4B!
Much Ado About Nothing?
Are upgrades clearing five or ten minutes before the official Medallion tier window opening that big of a deal? Given Delta’s reputation for upgrade shenanigans (sometimes with families) and the virtual crickets we often hear come upgrade eligibility time, it’s certainly #KeepClimbing worthy.
Have You Received “Early” Upgrades?
Have any of your upgrades cleared before your designated Medallion tier window opened? Tell us in the comment section below! – Chris