While there are many things that frustrate me about Delta SkyMiles, there are also areas where they make genuine improvements, where their competitors could learn a thing or two. One of those areas is how they’ve added fairly straightforward reciprocal upgrade benefits on some partner airlines with which they have joint ventures.
Airlines claim that they want to create as much “metal neutrality” as possible when forming joint ventures, since they want customers to fly whichever flight is most convenient, even if it’s not “their” airline. However, very few airlines actually put much effort into streamlining the experience. Delta is an exception. For example, in 2016 Delta added the ability for Diamond Medallion members to use Global Upgrades on Virgin Atlantic, and then earlier this year they added the ability for SkyMiles members to redeem miles for upgrades on Virgin Atlantic.
Virgin Atlantic’s A330 Upper Class
Well, it looks like Delta has now made it possible to use both Regional Upgrades and Global Upgrades on another airline. Earlier this year Delta and Aeromexico launched a joint venture, and as part of that, Delta introduced complimentary space available elite upgrades when traveling with Aeromexico on select routes. The ability to upgrade on Aeromexico has now been taken to the next level.
Aeromexico’s 787 business class
It’s now possible for SkyMiles Platinum & Diamond Medallion members to redeem Global Upgrades & Regional Upgrades to confirm business class seats on Aeromexico flights. Per the SkyMiles News & Updates page:
Effective September 28, 2017, Diamond and Platinum Medallion Members can use their Global and Regional Upgrade Certificates for access to Aeromexico Clase Premier on any Delta-marketed, Aeromexico-operated1 flight. With Clase Premier, Medallion Members will receive:
- Complimentary pre-flight access to Aeromexico Salon Premier clubs
- An elevated in-flight experience, including flat-bed seats, culinary delights from world famous Mexican chef Enrique Olvera, and more
Global Upgrade Certificates can be used on Delta-marketed, Aeromexico-operated flights when the Diamond Medallion Member also has an international Delta flight included in the same itinerary.
Regional Upgrade Certificates can be used on Aeromexico flights traveling between the United States and Mexico, or for any Delta-marketed, Aeromexico-operated short-haul2 flight. Upgrade Certificates are eligible for all fare classes, except for Basic Economy (E-class).
Medallion Members must contact Delta reservations directly to apply Upgrade Certificates, and upgrades will be subject to availability on Aeromexico. Miles will be earned based on the price of the original ticket before an upgrade is applied.
As you can see, using these upgrade certificates is limited to Delta marketed flights on Aeromexico, meaning that you won’t be able to use these upgrade certificates on all Aeromexico flights. While it would be nice if these were valid on all Aeromexico flights, this is a very nice step in the right direction, especially given the joint venture between the two airlines.
It’s especially cool that you can use a single Global Upgrade to upgrade both a short-haul Aeromexico flight and a longhaul Delta flight.
Well done, Delta!
(Tip of the hat to Rene’s Points)
I just called Delta to use a regional certificate on an Aeromexico flight I purchased through Delta.com and at first the rep said I wasn't eligible for any upgrades (even complimentary Medallion upgrades) with Aeromexico. I told her that this couldn't be true since I was just upgrades a few months ago and she connected me to the supervisor. Then the supervisor said that regional certificates can only be used on flights with Delta equipment...
I just called Delta to use a regional certificate on an Aeromexico flight I purchased through Delta.com and at first the rep said I wasn't eligible for any upgrades (even complimentary Medallion upgrades) with Aeromexico. I told her that this couldn't be true since I was just upgrades a few months ago and she connected me to the supervisor. Then the supervisor said that regional certificates can only be used on flights with Delta equipment and that back in the day, Aeromexico only accepted global certificates. However, the terms & conditions on the Delta website clearly state that RUCs can be used on Aeromexico flights. So I'm pretty confused. Has anyone had success getting Delta to honor this for AM flights?
I have an upcoming flight to Mex on DL and have been calling for months trying to apply a regional upgrade certificate and they keep telling me AM hasn’t released any yet. So I’m starting to think this was total PR and bullshit for operations. Like I said been calling bi-weekly for MONTHS. My flight is a month away so thinking I may just use the certificate on a shorter flight which sucks.
I've booked two separate flights on Delta site on Aeromexico this month between MEX and SMF, and Delta was unable to apply a regional upgrade to either one. Not that they didn't clear...they were categorically not available in any way. Nor are complimentary upgrades possible despite this year's announcements. "Aeromexico doesn't release upgrades on many of its flights," according to one of the phone agents.
Hope GUC/RUC can really be used. So far the complimentary upgrades promise from DL in AM have been an illusion, the JV implementation is still a mess... Also, DL marketed AM flights are usually hundreds of Dollars more expensive than buying them directly thru AM, so...
Curb your enthusiasm!
I cannot get Delta to help me plan a paid through ticket via Atlanta and Mexico City connecting with Aeromexico to a smaller city in Mexico. The flights from ATL to MEX often indicate they are flown by Aeromexico. But, Delta folks act like I am speaking Urdu. They repeatedly tell me that Delta does not fly to my city from Mexico City when I spell it out for them, city...
Curb your enthusiasm!
I cannot get Delta to help me plan a paid through ticket via Atlanta and Mexico City connecting with Aeromexico to a smaller city in Mexico. The flights from ATL to MEX often indicate they are flown by Aeromexico. But, Delta folks act like I am speaking Urdu. They repeatedly tell me that Delta does not fly to my city from Mexico City when I spell it out for them, city code and all. "Just buy two tickets, they tell me as they respond with a different city code.
I cannot even get to the point of asking about upgrades regional or otherwise.
Do I need be Platinum Medallion to speak with someone trained in the basics?
Interesting. Does anyone have any idea how many Delta-marketed, Aeromexico operated flights there are? It's a shame that it isn't all Aeromexico flights, like KLM. KLM and Aeromexico's international business-class products are pretty similar; 2x2x2. Neither one is industry-leading, but at least it's an option.