Ouch: Delta Devalues Global Upgrade Certificates

Ouch: Delta Devalues Global Upgrade Certificates

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Delta has just revealed a terrible devaluation to the value of the upgrade certificates that top tier elite members receive.

Upgrade certificates now only valid for one cabin upgrade

Delta SkyMiles Diamond Medallion members receive Choice Benefits, whereby they can select the elite perks that matter most to them. One of the options is to select Global Upgrade Certificates (GUCs), which have historically been valid for an upgrade from economy to business class on any Delta flight. The value of this is about to decrease significantly.

Before we get into this, let’s just define some basic terms, given the way that Delta brands its cabins:

  • Delta has economy class, known as Main Cabin, which is just the standard economy seating on a plane
  • Delta has an extra legroom economy section, known as Comfort+; for the purposes of this policy change, that’s the same as economy
  • Delta has premium economy, known as Premium Select, which is a product available on select wide body aircraft
  • Delta has business class, known as Delta One, which is Delta’s premium long haul business class product, and Delta’s top cabin
  • Delta has first class, which is just the standard domestic first class product available on narrow body aircraft; Delta doesn’t have a long haul first class product, so even though the name suggests otherwise, this isn’t better than business class

With that out of the way…

As of February 1, 2022, Delta GUCs can only be used to confirm a one cabin upgrade in advance. This is significant, because Delta has rolled out premium economy on much of its wide body fleet in recent years, yet has continued to allow GUCs to be used for double upgrades, from economy class to business class, essentially skipping premium economy.

How will this work going forward (this new policy applies to all unused, active upgrade certificates as of February 2022)?

  • If you’re traveling on a two cabin plane (with just economy and first class or economy and business class), you’ll still be able to upgrade to first class or business class with a GUC
  • If you’re traveling on a three cabin plane (with economy, premium economy, and business class) and book economy, you’ll be able to confirm an upgrade to premium economy at the time of booking, and then will be added to the waitlist for business class 24 hours before departure
  • If you’re traveling on a three cabin plane and book premium economy, you’ll be able to confirm an upgrade to business class at the time of booking, subject to upgrade availability
Chart explaining Delta GUC upgrade rules

While this is bad news, there is a silver lining, though. With this change, GUCs can be used to upgrade to first class and premium economy at the time of booking with no capacity controls. As long as a seat is available for sale, it will be cleared immediately. Meanwhile business class upgrades will continue to be capacity controlled, regardless of which cabin you’re upgrading from.

Delta will soon only allow confirmed one cabin upgrades

What about upgrades on partner airlines?

Delta SkyMiles also allows GUCs to be used on select partner airlines, including Air France, KLM, and Virgin Atlantic. This change will also impact upgrades on partner airlines. Upgrades on partner airlines will only be valid for one class of service, so if you book economy, you’ll only be able to upgrade to premium economy.

On partner airlines I believe you also can’t get the double upgrade 24 hours out, but I’m working on clarifying that.

This change also impacts upgrades on partner airlines

Exchange Global Upgrade Certificates for SkyMiles

Given that this change might alter members’ decision to select GUCs as Choice Benefits, members can exchange existing GUCs for SkyMiles through July 31, 2022. This can be done at this link, and apparently Delta is offering a measly 8,000 SkyMiles per upgrade. That’s pretty cheap, if you ask me.

Delta’s mileage exchange rate for GUCs isn’t great

New expiration policy for Global Upgrade Certificates

Going forward, GUCs will expire at the end of the Medallion year associated with the Choice Benefits selection. For example, if you reach Diamond Medallion on August 1, 2022, you will be eligible to select Choice Benefits for your 2023 status, and they’d be valid through January 31, 2024, regardless of when they were selected.

This change is bad, could have been much worse

When American, Delta, and United, all started introducing premium economy cabins on long haul flights, many of us wondered what that meant for the future of upgrades. After all, historically upgrade certificates were valid for a one cabin upgrade.

When premium economy was introduced, American AAdvantage, Delta SkyMiles, and United MileagePlus, all continued to allow double upgrades to business class with these certificates. I figured that would be temporary, and change sooner or later.

So I’m not surprised to see a change like this finally being made, and for that matter, I’m kind of surprised this change isn’t worse? As you can see, GUCs can now be used to immediately confirm an upgrade from economy to premium economy (with last seat availability), and then 24 hours out those flyers will be added to the upgrade waitlist for business class.

Furthermore, GUCs now offer last seat availability when upgrading from economy to premium economy or first class.

In many cases Diamond Medallion members should still end up in business class. But clearly this devaluation is intended to change some consumer behavior:

  • Delta probably hopes more Diamond Medallion members will outright pay for premium economy, in order to upgrade straight to business class at the time of booking (subject to upgrade availability, which can be tough to come by)
  • Many people aren’t comfortable waiting until 24 hours before departure to clear an upgrade, especially on an ultra long haul flight, so I imagine this could change some consumer behavior
I feel like this change could have been worse, frankly

Bottom line

As of February 2022, the Global Upgrade Certificates that Delta Diamond Medallion members are issued will no longer be eligible for a double upgrade at the time of booking. On planes with economy, premium economy, and business class, these upgrades will have more restrictions.

If upgrading from economy on a plane with three cabins, you’ll only be able to confirm an upgrade to premium economy at the time of booking, and then you’ll be added to the business class upgrade waitlist 24 hours out. Meanwhile if you book premium economy, you can continue to upgrade to business class at the time of booking, subject to upgrade availability.

On the plus side, upgrades to premium economy and first class now come with last seat availability, rather than there needing to be a dedicated upgrade bucket available. This change is negative and sucks, though dare I say it could have been worse, especially since this involves Delta SkyMiles?

What do you make of this change to Diamond Medallion Global Upgrade Certificates?

Conversations (48)
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  1. Franko Guest

    Good for those cry baby entittled medallions...

  2. Arunhn Guest

    Ah! the fresh smell of benefits devaluation and 'pay to play' attitude from the highest powers of Delta almighty. How I have missed thee! I was getting worried there for almost 18 months that the masters of Delta had gone soft, rendering the kingdom vulnerable to an attack by the evil elements, that is, the happiness and mental well being of their loyal customers who refer to ourselves after precious metals and stones. But fear...

    Ah! the fresh smell of benefits devaluation and 'pay to play' attitude from the highest powers of Delta almighty. How I have missed thee! I was getting worried there for almost 18 months that the masters of Delta had gone soft, rendering the kingdom vulnerable to an attack by the evil elements, that is, the happiness and mental well being of their loyal customers who refer to ourselves after precious metals and stones. But fear not folks, as the brilliant minds over at HQ is awake and hungry, ready to feast on your fear of being waitlisted. The fear of not knowing if you will dine on fancy boxed sandwiches or if you will eat 10 month old pretzels. The fear of not knowing if you will lay flat on hay or lay your head on your flats. The fear of uncontrolled perspiration due to anticipation of an upgrade from the time you book till 24 hrs before your flight, and then the fear of losing a finger by constantly refreshing your upgrade status for another 24 hours.

    But I say this to you folks: Do not be quick in your judgement of the mighty suits at Delta HQ. They have great plans for us 'crystalline form of pure carbon' members. We were never meant to travel in cattle class. They want us to understand our own worth, and buy ourselves premium stables. Then, just maybe, the masters may choose a few of us to be moved straight into fancy stalls, laid with the softest hay from the midwest and away from all the barn rats, with enough notice to not have to pack your own toothbrush!

  3. Joe Guest

    It's a another smart economic move by DL. They are trying to boost corporate revenue, that they lost during the pandemic. Most companies, mine included, will pay for premium on long-haul flights. Thus, what I will do from now on is purchase premium on flights that. have availability in Delta One. This post doesn't address if there is any affect on millage upgrades (I assume not). Also, what about the certs that I received in...

    It's a another smart economic move by DL. They are trying to boost corporate revenue, that they lost during the pandemic. Most companies, mine included, will pay for premium on long-haul flights. Thus, what I will do from now on is purchase premium on flights that. have availability in Delta One. This post doesn't address if there is any affect on millage upgrades (I assume not). Also, what about the certs that I received in 2020; which were carried over to 2021? Will those expire in at the end of this year?

  4. Alex Guest

    It wouldn't surprise me if DL came out with another certificate in the long run that would upgrade passengers straight to business. For Diamonds especially, there would be value in giving people such a certificate if they maintained status for at two years in a row. The problem with these FF programs is that they're always subject to change by the airline, so going out of one's way to fly a specific carrier is full...

    It wouldn't surprise me if DL came out with another certificate in the long run that would upgrade passengers straight to business. For Diamonds especially, there would be value in giving people such a certificate if they maintained status for at two years in a row. The problem with these FF programs is that they're always subject to change by the airline, so going out of one's way to fly a specific carrier is full of risk. Most corporate volume these days runs off private fares, and since companies have gotten strict about not letting their travelers deviate from policy, it's not clear how much loyalty frequent flyer programs are driving these days. There is a lot more incremental revenue to be made selling miles than rewarding people with them, and the changes at AA have proven that.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Delta really screwed platinums and diamonds. Here's why.

      What's the point of those regional certificates now? They're pretty worthless if you have to waitlist with a regional but someone with a global can get a confirmed first-class seat right away.

      I know lots of diamonds who get paid international business-class tickets through work. They stay with Delta because those four global certificates allow them to take their husband or wife on a vacation and...

      Delta really screwed platinums and diamonds. Here's why.

      What's the point of those regional certificates now? They're pretty worthless if you have to waitlist with a regional but someone with a global can get a confirmed first-class seat right away.

      I know lots of diamonds who get paid international business-class tickets through work. They stay with Delta because those four global certificates allow them to take their husband or wife on a vacation and not ride in steerage. Premium Select premium-economy may cut it on a short Boston to London flight, especially on the daytime return flight, but there's no way I would want do it on an Atlanta-Tokyo, Atlanta-Honolulu or even Los Angeles-London/Paris.

      Everyone needs to complain. [email protected]

  5. David Guest

    After reading Delta's site and this site, I am still not clear how this will effect someone like me that is a Platinum status flyer that buys a Main cabin seat and then gets automatically upgraded to Comfort Plus. Then I call the Delta agent and apply my regional upgrade certificate to get into First. Do I now have to buy a Comfort Plus seat to use may upgrade certificate???

    1. Drew Guest

      No, Comfort+ is equal to Main Cabin for all intensive purposes in this discussion. You still get your automatic upgrade to Comfort+ and your Regional Upgrade, if cleared, would still put you in First Class. Platinum really isn't affected from the Upgrade Standpoint. Only GUC's that are only available to Diamond.

      The affect to Platinum really only applies to how long you have to use your Regional Upgrades, if that is what you choose when picking your Choice Benefits.

  6. Lara Guest

    What about their regional upgrade certificates? If you book main cabin and there is comfort+ , does regional certificates only put you in comfort +? Because platinum and Diamond automatically get upgraded right after booking into comfort+. Does the new rule mean you would have to book comfort+ to use regional upgrades into first?

  7. DCS Diamond

    If there was any doubt that UA MileagePlus is now the towering frequent-flyer program among the US "Big Three", this clear devaluation of DL's elite GUC, should settle it, because, while DL just made the cabin upgrades more restrictive, UA went in the opposite direction when they introduced their highly creative and flexible PlusPoint upgrade instrument.

    How flexible is the PlusPoint? This flexible:

    Upgrade from: | Upgrade to: | Required PlusPoints
    ___________________________________________

    Short-haul...

    If there was any doubt that UA MileagePlus is now the towering frequent-flyer program among the US "Big Three", this clear devaluation of DL's elite GUC, should settle it, because, while DL just made the cabin upgrades more restrictive, UA went in the opposite direction when they introduced their highly creative and flexible PlusPoint upgrade instrument.

    How flexible is the PlusPoint? This flexible:

    Upgrade from: | Upgrade to: | Required PlusPoints
    ___________________________________________

    Short-haul flights:
    United Economy® | United First® or United Business® | 20
    United Economy | United Premium Plus | 20
    United Premium Plus | United Business | 10

    Long-haul flights:
    Discounted Economy* | United Polaris business | 80
    United Economy United | Polaris business | 40
    United Premium Plus | United Polaris business | 30
    United Economy | United Premium Plus | 20

    ________________

    *Notice that it is possible to upgrade even from Discounted Economy to Polaris Business! There is also practically no restriction on fare classes that can be upgraded.

    The beauty of it all? PlusPoints are earned when one hits the Premier Platinum status (40) and then the Premier 1K status (280), so that 1K elites earn 320 PlusPoints each year, and keep earning them the more they fly, without a cap!

    With AA top elites having to fly 30 segments to earn the now antiquated SWUs, UA with their PlusPoints are now unmatched and it is now even close!

    Q.E.D.

    1. DCS Diamond

      Oops!
      "...and it is not even close!"

    2. Eskimo Guest

      Discounted Economy* | United Polaris business | 80
      United Economy United | Polaris business | 40

      Same with AA and DL with cheap economy tickets.
      What SWU and GUC is better than PlusPoints is they don't punish cheap fares with doubling the requirements.
      Like UA, SWU is also earned on as PlatinumPro, can be used for others and doesn't punish cheap fares.
      GUC can be used on award tickets and few...

      Discounted Economy* | United Polaris business | 80
      United Economy United | Polaris business | 40

      Same with AA and DL with cheap economy tickets.
      What SWU and GUC is better than PlusPoints is they don't punish cheap fares with doubling the requirements.
      Like UA, SWU is also earned on as PlatinumPro, can be used for others and doesn't punish cheap fares.
      GUC can be used on award tickets and few other airlines.

      LOL, hardly close to even call UA unmatched, different yes but not unmatched. Maybe for people who blindly over pay United. Please take my money UA.

    3. DCS Diamond

      That's like touting the Titanic's greatness after it's already hit the iceberg... :-) Didn't you hear the news that DL just downgraded the GUC?

      Here's where the real excitement and rewards are:

      Currently, as I previously reported in this space, I have in my account 590 PlusPoints that I earned after I competed a couple of mileage runs that also earned me 3K PQP that allowed me to retain my 1K status for the...

      That's like touting the Titanic's greatness after it's already hit the iceberg... :-) Didn't you hear the news that DL just downgraded the GUC?

      Here's where the real excitement and rewards are:

      Currently, as I previously reported in this space, I have in my account 590 PlusPoints that I earned after I competed a couple of mileage runs that also earned me 3K PQP that allowed me to retain my 1K status for the 2022-2023 status year in September 2021! However, that was not the end of it. There is still much more to come. I will earn tons of PlusPoints by the end of the year and here is why.

      Because I already retained my 1K status the "easy" way after just a couple of mileage runs, my UA "Premier Status Tracker" now displays this:

      You can earn PlusPoints upon meeting all qualification requirements of Premier 1K [i.e. the "hard" way].

      Keep flying to earn more PlusPoints

      Keep earning PlusPoints as you fly with United and our Partner Airlines.

      Your next milestone includes + 280 PlusPoints

      12,187 PQP of 15,000

      That is right: I am just 2,813 PQP shy of earning another 280 PlusPoints, which I will easily do by the end of the year with LGA-PIA-LGA and EWR-CUN-EWR trips already booked, and one more international trip to book for my year-end holiday. Why will I earn the additional 280 PlusPoints when I hit 15K PQP? Well, because even though I already retained my 1K status the “easy” way, I will still requalify for Premier 1K the “hard" way when I hit 15K PQP, and that milestone comes with 280 PlusPoints! That is, UA is allowing its elites to double-dip and earn lots and lots of PlusPoints!!!

      Combined with the 590 PlusPoints I currently have in my account, I will have a jaw-dropping 590+280 = 870 PlusPoints. !!!

      I suggest you learn about PlusPloints upgrades to understand why this is a big deal. For instance, I have already used 320 PlusPoints to request cabin upgrades for 3 family members (domestic; United Economy to United First) and 2 friends (to BOM; United Economy to United Polaris Business). Also, one can use PlusPoints to Skip the Waitlist to certain international destinations by confirming cabin upgrades at booking!

      There is no comparison between PlusPoints and SWU/GUC, the latter being anachronisms in the true sense of the word.

      G'day.

    4. DCS Diamond

      BTW, what can one do with 870 PlusPoints? One can, in principle, request nearly 22 long-haul United Economy to United Polaris Business or nearly 44 short-haul United Economy to United First cabin upgrades! A BFD!

  8. Travelz Diamond MM Guest

    Used to fly about 250K pre pandemic. This year I already re-earned Diamond just to get the GUCs. If I’m gonna have to buy Premium Select or Business/D1, I’ll definitely choose a European airline or Emirates to spend my dollars and try new products. Goodbye Delta, let’s try some new exciting products.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Or just fly Aeromexico in business and get Delta MQDs equal to 40% of distance flown. For random dates in 2022, I can fly Chicago to Paris in business for $2000 on Aeromexico. It's $4,000 on Delta. For premium-economy, it's about $1000-$1100 on Delta, Air France and United. For London from JFK, I can consistently get paid business-class on Tap Air Portugal (Star Alliance) for $1600-$1800 compared with $1100 for premium-economy on Delta.

  9. Jan Guest

    Ouch indeed. Would Economy -> Business still be viable with GUC if you fly KLM or Korean Air metal? These two airlines do not have a PE

  10. Greg at Frequent Miler New Member

    Lucky, where did you get the idea that upgrades on partners are limited to only one class of service? I see that is true with Air France, but it looks to me that the other partners allow jumping to business class. For example, here's the wording for KLM:

    • Valid on Delta-marketed, KLM-operated flights for use globally on published Main Cabin fares booked in Y, B, M, H, Q, K, L, U, T, X or...

    Lucky, where did you get the idea that upgrades on partners are limited to only one class of service? I see that is true with Air France, but it looks to me that the other partners allow jumping to business class. For example, here's the wording for KLM:

    • Valid on Delta-marketed, KLM-operated flights for use globally on published Main Cabin fares booked in Y, B, M, H, Q, K, L, U, T, X or V class to Business Class.
    • Valid on all KLM-marketed, KLM-operated flights from published Main Cabin fares in Y, B, or M class to Business Class.
    • Global Upgrades on KLM flights must be confirmed 24 hours prior to departure.
    • For flights departing Amsterdam, Global Upgrade Certificates may be applied prior to check-in either with a KLM ticketing agent or at a KLM Crown Lounge.
    • Global Upgrade Certificates may not be used to waitlist for a KLM-operated flight.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Breaking new for @Greg at Frequent Miler

      KLM doesn't have Premium Economy. So economy to business is still one class of service.

      I get what you are trying to say but KLM isn't a good example, nor does AM or KE.
      You should have used VS, which you can skip Premium economy straight to Upper Class.

  11. Peter Barth Guest

    What kind of idiotic idea is this I am diamond now for the last 5 years or more and have counted on these global upgrades to be able to rest on the long haul flight I'm 81 years old and I need the comfort without spending thousands of dollars more
    There should be some kind of Is exemption allowed aloud anyways I don't have my globals for this year not used and expect to have 4 for next year and I would like to use them in the usual style
    I hope that Delta reconsider

  12. Tyler S Guest

    NOT QUITE RIGHT: Delta's expanded classes are a little bit confusing, but Premium Select is a Business Class service, essentially, a lot like domestic First Class. It's definitely not "premium economy."

    Have flown it a few times and it's really, really good -- almost never get to fly Delta One for obvious reasons.

    Premium Select has (all info pre-pandemic) big comfy seats that do not lie flat, big monitors, generally gets service from the First...

    NOT QUITE RIGHT: Delta's expanded classes are a little bit confusing, but Premium Select is a Business Class service, essentially, a lot like domestic First Class. It's definitely not "premium economy."

    Have flown it a few times and it's really, really good -- almost never get to fly Delta One for obvious reasons.

    Premium Select has (all info pre-pandemic) big comfy seats that do not lie flat, big monitors, generally gets service from the First Class cabin crew, eats the First Class food on ceramic plates with metal utensils, a pre-departure beverage, amenity kit, etc. It feels like the front end of most two-class planes.

    Delta Comfort+ is nice, compared to KLM where the seats just have extra legroom, Comfort+ seats are wider, more padded, and alcohol is included, but it's still a main cabin experience, eats the main cabin food, disposable flatware, 3 or 4 to a row, etc.

    Pretty confusing now that there are something like 5 service classes across at least 6 ticket types... whew! Basically it seems like they're reserving the opportunity for Delta One suites to sell for those willing to pony up the big bucks.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Interesting observation. Delta is trying to position its Delta One business-class product as first-class even though anyone who has ever flown real international first-class knows it isn't actually a first-class product, either service or seats.

    2. AG New Member

      Premium Select is a Premium Economy product, regardless of how the marketing spin might make it seem. Just like the Premium Economy products of AA/UA (not to be confused with extra-legroom economy like Comfort+).

      And since Covid, the soft product has been equivalent to Main Cabin (same food, disposable flatware, no PDBs). Nowhere near Business Class service.

  13. Joe1293 Guest

    Very smart decision

  14. RF Platinum

    Terrible change and makes elite status worth less than before.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Too soon to say it's worth less than before.

      I can spin it so many ways as positive. Terrible for some, delightful for others.

    2. Peter Barth Guest

      I guess I will stop to qualify for diamond because the value is no longer there
      Devaluing these global upgrades is a great shock to me
      I was counting on Delta one for the long haul flights without spending thousands of dollars now I guess it's out my reach

  15. alex Guest

    The only Partners got changed are Air France and Virgin A, the new rules is about waitlisted Certificates are flexible — they can be used to upgrade directly from Main Cabin to either Delta Comfort+, First Class, Delta Premium Select or Delta One. Or they can be used to upgrade from Delta Comfort+ to either First Class, Delta Premium Select or Delta One. Or they can be used to upgrade from Delta Premium Select to...

    The only Partners got changed are Air France and Virgin A, the new rules is about waitlisted Certificates are flexible — they can be used to upgrade directly from Main Cabin to either Delta Comfort+, First Class, Delta Premium Select or Delta One. Or they can be used to upgrade from Delta Comfort+ to either First Class, Delta Premium Select or Delta One. Or they can be used to upgrade from Delta Premium Select to Delta One. Thats means if u waitlisted for multiples cabin ex: Premium and Delta one, and you clear for Premium first you ll not be waitlisted for Delta one as certificate ll be considered used.

  16. Corrado Guest

    American to follow soon by devaluing SWUs.

    Time to be a free agent and buy cheap J tickets that work for your schedule.

    No point in “loyalty” in 2021

    1. Jr Guest

      Use data to make decisions, not emotion.

  17. Sheela Guest

    Ben,
    Would we be able to use 2 GUC's to get immediate upgrades to Business from economy on long haul flights?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Sheela -- Unfortunately not, you can still only use one GUC per flight.

  18. DLPTATL Guest

    I would gladly use miles to purchase a Premium Economy ticket then upgrade immediately into DeltaOne with a GUC. I've never selected GUC's because I've never been willing to wait until just before departure to determine if I'm getting the upgrade.

  19. Nick Guest

    Bad catering, no pre-departure beverages, outdated bedding, one of the cheapest wine programs in the sky, no business class-only lounge. Remind me of why anyone pays the premium to fly Delta One biz?

    1. Eskimo Guest

      While I disagree on some of your statements not all, but from what I can tell among the readers' comments here why they like DeltaOne on every related review or topic.

      You get a door.

    2. Nick Guest

      The retrofitted 767s and A330s do not have doors.

      If you have the money to spend $3500-$7000, there are much better products than Delta One. Delta kept people paying a premium because it had the best airline and it had a reasonably good elite status program. Neither of those two things are true anymore. Moreover, Delta has eliminated a good number of Asian routes and has no presence in the Middle East besides Israel.

      ...

      The retrofitted 767s and A330s do not have doors.

      If you have the money to spend $3500-$7000, there are much better products than Delta One. Delta kept people paying a premium because it had the best airline and it had a reasonably good elite status program. Neither of those two things are true anymore. Moreover, Delta has eliminated a good number of Asian routes and has no presence in the Middle East besides Israel.

      It’s going to hurt to see off-duty crew filling Delta One seats over diamonds on globals.

    3. Eskimo Guest

      Like I said, I disagree on some of your statements not all.
      Depending who you compare Delta with. The legacy 3, ME3, or every airline in the world.

      "Delta has eliminated a good number of Asian routes and has no presence in the Middle East"
      Same can be said on AA DL UA.

      "It’s going to hurt to see off-duty crew filling Delta One seats over diamonds on globals."
      This never was...

      Like I said, I disagree on some of your statements not all.
      Depending who you compare Delta with. The legacy 3, ME3, or every airline in the world.

      "Delta has eliminated a good number of Asian routes and has no presence in the Middle East"
      Same can be said on AA DL UA.

      "It’s going to hurt to see off-duty crew filling Delta One seats over diamonds on globals."
      This never was and never will be the case.
      If the off-duty crew is flying confirmed, then they will always fill those seats over anyone.
      If the off-duty crew is flying standby, then they will always fill those seats after everyone.

      If you're stuck flying domestic in USA and you also fly internationally, you eventually have to pick one of these 3. AA DL UA will work from some and won't for others. But I can't fully say overall one is best or one is worst (worst maybe easier to tell, LOL).

    4. Steve Guest

      I just flew Delta One business class to Europe and back. There was predeparture beverage service both directions. I have to say that the signature meals (that you have to select before departure) in both directions were the best main entrées (lamb and duck) I have had in the sky - though the sides were just OK.

      The door on the A350 wouldn't stay straight - the hinge kept
      "breaking" (the emergency escape...

      I just flew Delta One business class to Europe and back. There was predeparture beverage service both directions. I have to say that the signature meals (that you have to select before departure) in both directions were the best main entrées (lamb and duck) I have had in the sky - though the sides were just OK.

      The door on the A350 wouldn't stay straight - the hinge kept
      "breaking" (the emergency escape feature) and the door would open into the aisle. The build quality of Qatar's was much much higher. Overall, I preferred the seat on Delta's A330 to their A350 - with the only exception being the A350 faced straight forward and it was easier to talk to travel companion.

    5. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      They brought back a limited pre-departure beverage. Not a full bar of your choosing. If I remember correctly, Qatar has more lavatories on the A350 and bigger lavatories in business, which make changing clothes easier.

  20. Bgriff Guest

    The 8,000 miles is reasonable-ish ... one of Diamond Medallions' other choice benefits would have been 25K miles in lieu of 4 GUCs, so it's actually more miles going this way (32K if you cash in all 4).

    But overall this is definitely a bad move.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Bgriff -- Delta SkyMiles are pretty reliably worth one cent each, so I can't wrap my head around suggesting that a GUC is worth $80, even if that's how other rewards shake out. I'd say it's worth a lot more than that even for an upgrade to first class with last seat availability.

  21. Anthony Guest

    I dunno - the ability to buy premium economy on a long haul and secure an immediate, assured upgrade to D1 seems like it can be very valuable to many.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Anthony -- Upgrades to business class are subject to upgrade availability being there. It's only upgrades to premium economy and first class that have last seat availability.

    2. Jeff Guest

      If this were the case, it wouldn’t be such a bad deal. Finding availability for Delta One can be a hassle.

  22. Koby jones Guest

    Is comfort plus considered premium economy?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Koby jones -- It's not, it's considered economy for these purposes. Premium economy would be Premium Select.

  23. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    What about regional certificates? This completely undercuts their value. Why not let regional certificates upgrade into premium or on short Latin American routes? Likewise, a global can now fill an empty seat in first, but not a regional. Why?

    I assume this is because two years of status extension and certificate extension have flooded the zone since paying business-class passengers are few and far between.

    I don’t have any faith that some contracted...

    What about regional certificates? This completely undercuts their value. Why not let regional certificates upgrade into premium or on short Latin American routes? Likewise, a global can now fill an empty seat in first, but not a regional. Why?

    I assume this is because two years of status extension and certificate extension have flooded the zone since paying business-class passengers are few and far between.

    I don’t have any faith that some contracted or partner airline staff at an out-station will manually upgrade to fill empty Delta One seats before closing the departure door. Delta staff at domestic airports don’t even consistently do this.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ FNT Delta Diamond -- I would guess that Delta would view RUCs having last seat availability as being too costly. It seems like Delta is recognizing that using a GUC for premium economy or domestic first class is a sub-optimal use, which explains why there's access to more availability.

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Arunhn Guest

Ah! the fresh smell of benefits devaluation and 'pay to play' attitude from the highest powers of Delta almighty. How I have missed thee! I was getting worried there for almost 18 months that the masters of Delta had gone soft, rendering the kingdom vulnerable to an attack by the evil elements, that is, the happiness and mental well being of their loyal customers who refer to ourselves after precious metals and stones. But fear not folks, as the brilliant minds over at HQ is awake and hungry, ready to feast on your fear of being waitlisted. The fear of not knowing if you will dine on fancy boxed sandwiches or if you will eat 10 month old pretzels. The fear of not knowing if you will lay flat on hay or lay your head on your flats. The fear of uncontrolled perspiration due to anticipation of an upgrade from the time you book till 24 hrs before your flight, and then the fear of losing a finger by constantly refreshing your upgrade status for another 24 hours. But I say this to you folks: Do not be quick in your judgement of the mighty suits at Delta HQ. They have great plans for us 'crystalline form of pure carbon' members. We were never meant to travel in cattle class. They want us to understand our own worth, and buy ourselves premium stables. Then, just maybe, the masters may choose a few of us to be moved straight into fancy stalls, laid with the softest hay from the midwest and away from all the barn rats, with enough notice to not have to pack your own toothbrush!

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Nick Guest

The retrofitted 767s and A330s do not have doors. If you have the money to spend $3500-$7000, there are much better products than Delta One. Delta kept people paying a premium because it had the best airline and it had a reasonably good elite status program. Neither of those two things are true anymore. Moreover, Delta has eliminated a good number of Asian routes and has no presence in the Middle East besides Israel. It’s going to hurt to see off-duty crew filling Delta One seats over diamonds on globals.

1
Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ Anthony -- Upgrades to business class are subject to upgrade availability being there. It's only upgrades to premium economy and first class that have last seat availability.

1
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