Pretty great if have (or will soon apply for) a Reserve card but don’t hold any status — right?
Should Delta Reserve Cardholders with No Medallion Status Expect First Class Upgrades?
Sorry. I wanted you to hear this from a friend.
Yes, you read that right. A blogger benefiting from credit card affiliate commissions actually says a card’s benefit isn’t worth the extra cost if that’s the sole reason you’re applying.
That’s not to say upgrades aren’t possible or won’t ever happen. But please don’t have your heart set on free upgrades to Delta One lie-flats from LAX to JFK. Heck, if you’re a Diamond using RU certs, upgrades can be tough on that route.
Even “regular” first class on most other routes will likely be difficult.
As an example, here’s the first class upgrade list for my DTW to SLC flight earlier this week:
Granted, that’s hub to hub and a fairly extreme example.
Keep in mind this list is only Medallion members, Diamond on down to Silver. These queues will be even longer when Reserve cardholders without status are included — and those folks will be at the bottom of the list.
This is somewhat similar to Delta and SPG’s Crossover perks that allowed Starwood Preferred Guest (RIP) Platinum members to be put on Delta upgrade lists.
So Why Did Delta and Amex Add This Perk?
My guess? Three reasons:
- It’ll entice some people to apply for the Delta Reserve cards
- Some people will perpetually hold on to them, hoping against hope they’ll receive tons of upgrades
- Some people will receive the odd upgrade here and there. And upgrades are like potato chips (or your other favorite vice): one is never enough. Once you get a taste, you need more. And the best way to receive complimentary upgrades is by being a Medallion member. To be a Medallion you need to spend a bunch of time and money flying Delta and/or spending money on their co-branded Amexes. (An alternative, of course, is taking MQD runs on partner airlines.)
Don’t Forget #TeamBoardLast!
I sat in first class last week on a flight from ATL to DTW. The upgrade list was over 40 deep. Guess who was in 1A?
The flight attendant’s iPhone, which needed to be charged.
No gate agent came on board to upgrade the next person on the list. (Before you comment, I’ll point out it’s possible the seat was out of order and deemed unfit for passenger travel.)
What Do You Think?
Will Reserve cardholders without status see a bunch of upgrades? Please share your thoughts in the below Comments section!
Other Delta Amex Topics We’ve Covered This Month
Now is a fantastic opportunity to apply for Delta Amexes because many have great welcome bonuses — and you can lock in a year at their current annual fees.
We’ve covered several related topics during the past several weeks including:
- My Thoughts on the New Delta American Express Benefits, Fees, and More!
- 10 Things to Know About Bonus MQM on the Updated Delta Amex Cards
- What You Need to Know About the Delta Amex MQD Waiver
- Delta Main Cabin 1 Boarding: How Valuable is This Delta Amex Perk?
- Sky Club Access for Delta American Express Cards: Which Cards are Now Eligible?
- Saving Money with the Delta Amex Free First Checked Bag Benefit
- “No Status” Upgrades for Delta Reserve Cardholders?
- Is Centurion Lounge Access with a Delta Reserve Card Really That Great?
- Saving 20% on Delta Purchases Made Onboard During Flights with Delta American Express Cards
- A Mileage Run Without Getting On a Plane? Yes!
- Scoring More First Class Upgrades: How Delta American Express Cards Can Help
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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.