Yep. It happened again. Four times on one flight.
Delta Basic Economy passengers received complimentary upgrades — while Medallions were passed over.
Note: This post has been updated. The sequence of flights was inadvertently flipped in a prior version. It is correct now.
Upgrades on Delta Basic Economy
Delta explicitly states “Basic Economy travelers are not eligible for paid or complimentary access or upgrades to premium seats, including to Delta Comfort+ or Preferred Seats.”
I’m starting to wonder if the “E” fare class really stands for “Elite Light.” 😉
The Latest: Basic Economy Upgrades to Delta Comfort+
Our most recent examples involved several Basic Economy passengers receiving Comfort+ upgrades.
Reader Eric G. flew DTW-SLC-MSY last week. Prior to his DTW to SLC leg, one Basic Economy passenger received a Comfort+ upgrade. But several Medallions didn’t clear.
The standby list is pictured on the left. The upgrade lists are on the right.
Eric said, “Number one on the [upgrade] list got upgraded to 10D, like, an hour and a half before departure, then [the] GA ignored number 2-15 on the list. Didn’t affect me but I would’ve been upset if it had. Not only did [the GA] skip the upgrade list, they skipped the Main Cabin folks without seat assignments and went right to Basic.”
Four Basic Economy passengers received Comfort+ upgrades before Eric’s SLC to MSY hop.
Some Possible Explanations?
I have a few theories about why the Basic Economy passengers were upgraded:
1. Shenanigans — intentional or otherwise. (Or maybe the Medallions were traveling with their families?)
2. A technical “anomaly.”
3. Playing Devil’s advocate for the first flight, it’s possible no Medallions wanted a Comfort+ middle seat. (Eric says this trip was aboard an A321; so “MIT/E” in 10E wound up in the middle.) Medallions can choose whether or not they’ll get upgraded to Comfort+ if their preferred seat(s) aren’t available.
But the second flight’s upgrades certainly are suspicious.
This trip flew a 737-800, so 10C is an aisle seat. 14F is a window. So the C+ upgrade opt-out probably wasn’t a factor. Two Medallions should’ve gotten those seats.
It’s possible some people higher on the C+ upgrade list traveled together and were offered upgrades, but didn’t want to split up. Yet, 14E & 14F were available — and filled by Basic Economy customers; so that argument doesn’t necessarily work.
What Do You Think?
Do you have any theories as to what happened? Are Basic Economy upgrades something you see on your flights? Please share your thoughts in the below Comments section!
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