Delta Downgrades Boarding For Diamond Medallions

Delta Downgrades Boarding For Diamond Medallions

75

Delta Air Lines has made a subtle change to its boarding process, which top-tier SkyMiles elite members probably won’t be happy about.

Delta Diamond members now board after first class

With Delta’s updated boarding process, Diamond Medallion members will be invited to board after the forward-most cabin (Delta One or first class, depending on the route). As a point of comparison, previously Diamond Medallion members were invited to board with Delta One or first class.

As before, Diamond Medallion members can board ahead of Premium Select (premium economy) passengers, as well as all other elite members.

People will have mixed feelings about this policy change — presumably Diamond Medallion members won’t be happy about this (at least those who frequently fly economy), while other Delta One and first class passengers may appreciate boarding with fewer fellow passengers.

I’m curious to see how strictly this is enforced, at least in the short-term. Will Delta specifically email Diamond Medallion members letting them know that this benefit was downgraded, or will gate agents make Diamond Medallion members do the walk of shame? Or will this simply not be enforced, like so many airline boarding processes?

Diamond Medallion members can no longer board with Delta One

Three legacy airlines, three boarding policies

With this change, I can’t help but notice how the “big three” US carriers all have different policies when it comes to boarding priority for top (published) tier elite members:

  • American lets AAdvantage Executive Platinum members board with first class
  • Delta lets SkyMiles Diamond Medallion members board after first class
  • United lets MileagePlus Premier 1K members board before first class

Personally I don’t think there’s a right or wrong policy, and from an efficiency standpoint, I don’t think either policy makes a material difference. After all, it’s often 30 seconds between different boarding groups being called. That being said, a few thoughts:

  • I think the fewer boarding groups the better, since it’s more streamlined and creates less confusion
  • I’ve always found it odd when airlines allow certain elite members to board even before first class; it’s not like carry-on space is a concern at that point, so clearly that’s about stroking the ego of elite members
  • Over the years we’ve seen airlines frequently tweak their boarding processes, though I can’t say I’ve really found one type to be better than the other in terms of efficiency
  • I would have to guess this reflects that there are a high number of Diamond members traveling in economy, or else I can’t imagine this policy change would be made
American AAdvantage Executive Platinum members can board with first class

Bottom line

Delta Diamond Medallion members can no longer board with first class, making Delta the only of the “big three” US airlines that makes top-tier elites board after first class. I don’t have a strong opinion here one way or another, though I imagine many Diamond members are feeling kind of downgraded.

What do you make of Delta’s boarding changes, and when do you think top tier elite members should be able to board?

Conversations (75)
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  1. Jamie Guest

    That’s how it should be if I pay for delta one I expect to board first not after all or these ppl and I really don’t care what status you are. Ridiculous the complaints

  2. John S Guest

    First Class should board first, Period.

  3. J Smith Guest

    Delta extended Status for nearly 3 years now, so there are so many diamonds right now as it was also easier to qualify when people did start flying again. Those rollover MQMS + Extensions with the current high ticket prices, make it pretty easy to hit Diamond if you are all in with Delta. This most likely gets changed back next year when there aren't as many diamonds. I am Diamond (actually qualified each year...

    Delta extended Status for nearly 3 years now, so there are so many diamonds right now as it was also easier to qualify when people did start flying again. Those rollover MQMS + Extensions with the current high ticket prices, make it pretty easy to hit Diamond if you are all in with Delta. This most likely gets changed back next year when there aren't as many diamonds. I am Diamond (actually qualified each year during covid) and 1K on United.....Obviously I like the United boarding process better because it rewards people that support the airline. Delta's product is superior to United, but lately United wins here because Skypesos has hit the ridiculous point! Anyone else looking at those 100k mile one way coach fares over Christmas on Delta to the islands?

    1. Harry Fotopoulos Guest

      J Smith ,
      Actually, is not only MQMs you need to spend a lot of money with Delta to be a Diamond.
      you need
      125 MQMs
      15K MQDs
      25K CC Spend that is a total of 40K dollars to maintain Diamond for just on year. MQMs mean nothing if you are a traveler

  4. Michele Forsell Guest

    I think it sucks! And yes, it’s a downgrade! Just let them board with First Class or Delta One.

  5. James Guest

    Boarding from the rear of plane to the front was the best thing the airlines have done in a long time during the height of Covid. Ask the flight attendants and customers and they will all agree. Bring that back and watch the results.

  6. Tuna Guest

    As a long time Diamond who does not fly first class with current company policy, I am becoming increasingly frustrated by the trend of Delta. Global upgrade changes, Sky Club, and now this (probably more to list).

  7. FlyOften Guest

    "will gate agents make Diamond Medallion members do the walk of shame?"

    Are these prima Donna's too busy or important to listen to the gate agent's announcements and/or look at the monitors to figure out if they should board now?

    If so, they should be made to do the Walk of Shame. I say the gate agent should announce over PA "Mr. Jackson, you are traveling economy. You must wait to board. You should have bought First Class. Back of the line, SIR!" :-P

  8. Jflyer Guest

    In terms of UAL, I think first should board before or at a minimum with 1K. I have had the experience of buying first and having to stow my bag in main cabin because all the upgraded 1Ks used all the overhead bin space in first. Regional aircraft, but it’s annoying.

  9. Tallahassee flyer Guest

    You left out AA let's Concierge Key board before everyone. I personally have enjoyed that benefit dramatically more now than I've been having to fly RJs due to my new home city.

    Even though I've upgraded to first on every flight this year (over 30 so far) the overheard is so limited on the RJs that the "pre first" boarding has now become my most valued benefit

  10. Fed UP Guest

    "I’ve always found it odd when airlines allow certain elite members to board even before first class;" .... of course you find it odd, since its United that does this, and we know all about your relationship with UAL. As far as stroking the egos of frequent flyers, I am surprised you are not all for it..

  11. Jill Guest

    Way to go Delta
    Paying First Class customers should go first

    1. Fed UP Guest

      "paying" first class - probably mostly upgrades

    2. Douglas Guest

      I pay for First Class and Delta One.
      I despise uncivilized upgrades.
      Upgrades ought to sit on the very back of the First Class cabin. Let them pass gas back there!

    3. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      I dunno maybe you'd feel less resentful of others getting upgraded if you ever got upgraded yourself?

  12. iamhere Guest

    I would bet on any given plane there is only a handful of Diamond members, so.....
    It seems that the other legacy carriers let them board early not after first class.
    Not a good move and it would just make their most loyal members unhappy or consider alternatives.

  13. Icclouseau Guest

    I'm a current DL PM, but have been a diamond for several years before. I don't really see the issue here. You still get the overhead space as you board right after first class (thus shouldn't be any more people in economy). If as a non-FC/D1 DM you are insulted at not getting to board with D1 and first class you really need to re-evaluate a few things. What exactly is the downside (other than,...

    I'm a current DL PM, but have been a diamond for several years before. I don't really see the issue here. You still get the overhead space as you board right after first class (thus shouldn't be any more people in economy). If as a non-FC/D1 DM you are insulted at not getting to board with D1 and first class you really need to re-evaluate a few things. What exactly is the downside (other than, as Lucky pointed out, there now being yet another boarding group which I do disagree with)?

    However I have a different but related point on this:
    Given your recent exciting news (congrats btw!) how about a segment on how families traveling with car seats board a flight. Families with car seats don't get to pre-board. It makes no sense that I have to try to avoid playing whack-a-mole with my kids' car seats and everyone in first class/front of cabin every time I get on a plane. Trust me, I am not trying to sit in an enclosed metal tube with my 2 and 4 year old any longer than needed however wouldn't it be more comfortable for everyone if I didn't have to dodge every passenger's head that is at the front of the plane with my bag and car seats whenever I get aboard? I am very seasoned traveler however trying to get on-board a plane with small children is a nightmare. As an PM and past DM Delta medallion member I'll board after first class every time if I can make my boarding with kids routine more pleasant for everyone.

  14. Mary Guest

    As a United 1K their boarding process is one of the things they get right.

  15. Jim Guest

    I'm only a mere gold medallion (barely worth Delta's attention) but my personal preference is to be the LAST one on the plane, even in F. Why would I willingly be stuffed in like a sardine any longer than I have to, let alone why would I *want* to?!

    1. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      I generally agree except it then can be a challenge finding overhead bin space

  16. Kp Guest

    How silly to get upset about this. Seems that some pointy end passengers cry like babies when they don't get their way. You can start all over again with some other frequent flyers/premium passenger program that let's you board first. Boo hoo,!

  17. Kevin Guest

    The only people this affects are the Diamonds that booked in coach or comfort plus. They will still be the first people down the aisle, they just have to wait for the front of the plane to get settled. Hard to see this as a downgrade, since they still get first shot at the overheads in their section.

  18. SGT PERI Guest

    Honestly I dont know WTF people fly Delta, they just suck in all angles and classes ‍♂️‍♂️‍♂️‍♂️

  19. Todd Guest

    Much ado about nothing..if you’re a DM in F or D1, you’ll board with F/DM; if you’re a DM in Y, you will still be the first to board in the Y cabin since all those ahead of you (excluding military and assistance pax) would not even be in the same cabin! So where is this so-called devaluation???

  20. Mark Guest

    Just another watering down of the Diamond Benefits. First the Global Upgrade Certificates and now the board benefits. I appreciate being able to board early when I am traveling economy to amke sure I get luggage space when sitting in exit aisle... I wonder what other Diamond watering down benefits they will implement in the future. I changes from AA (2 1/2M miles) to Detla...now I am close to 3M and perhaps will have to...

    Just another watering down of the Diamond Benefits. First the Global Upgrade Certificates and now the board benefits. I appreciate being able to board early when I am traveling economy to amke sure I get luggage space when sitting in exit aisle... I wonder what other Diamond watering down benefits they will implement in the future. I changes from AA (2 1/2M miles) to Detla...now I am close to 3M and perhaps will have to go back to American or someone else if they continue degrading services and benefits

    1. SwimBikeFly Guest

      Ya but you won’t.

    2. Brian Gasser Guest

      These are definitely first world issues

    3. Eskimo Guest

      Try get another from United and you'll be the first person I ever know to have a million from all 3 legacy, all 3 alliance.

  21. Clayton Guest

    Yeah what could go wrong here. Make your highest level elites wait to board. Those who, obstenibly, spent the most money and shown the most loyalty to you over time.
    I'm a BAEC Silver/ OW Sapphire and even on the rare occasions I fly International long haul F then I've never, and would never, have an issue with highest level pax boarding at the same time as me even if they then walked to...

    Yeah what could go wrong here. Make your highest level elites wait to board. Those who, obstenibly, spent the most money and shown the most loyalty to you over time.
    I'm a BAEC Silver/ OW Sapphire and even on the rare occasions I fly International long haul F then I've never, and would never, have an issue with highest level pax boarding at the same time as me even if they then walked to the very back of the plane.
    It's a stated perk for the majority of airlines and if I'd reached Gold/ OW Emerald or GGL ( above any OW Tier and approaching Royalty lol) then I'd be pis**d if I was bumped down the line based on Cabin flown.

    Yes yes there's the "everyone's getting on the same plane and no one's going till everyone's aboard" argument and i get it but it's a long established perk, part of the payback for all your spend and loyalty and tbh the principal of it all.

    For the record I do and have always self funded my travel and feel this way. Idc if X got their status paid for for them by some blue chip. None of my business

  22. Matt Guest

    What would be more helpful is if gate agents actually enforced the boarding groups. It's very frustrating to see 30+ people pre-board bc they misheard the announcements or just don't understand the boarding process in general. It also doesn't help when people think "sky priority" means they board first; it may mean they board 6th.

  23. Marston Gould Guest

    As someone who has more than 2.5 million flown miles on Delta, I basically shrug my shoulders and say who cares. Lots of people whining about something that lasts what? 2-3 minutes tops. Find something important to be so negative about

    1. Don Kedick Guest

      The time doesn't matter if you can put your bag over your seat. The time does matter if you have to put your bag several rows back. Then you disembark much later because you have to wait for several rows to clear before you can "swim upstream" to retrieve your bag. This is also a major PITA and source of stress.

    2. Mike Guest

      Right but that’s not the case here. The only people who will board before you would be the people at the front. Get over it.

  24. jtbblhead Guest

    As a Diamond elite, I feel shunned by Delta. I travel every week, some times 2 - 3 times per week. I have earned my status by sitting in the back, in middle seats and up against bulkheads (I'm 6'1" and that's not fun) Delta would take a severe impact if all these Diamonds stopped traveling!

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Would you really stop travelling just because 10 people boarded before you?

      Your threat is worse than with people who will never fly 737MAX again.

      And as a Diamond Medallion, I find your experience odd. The number of times I have endure "sitting in the back, in middle seats and up against bulkheads" is very rare, even flying on a short notice. Unless you're already flying First, it's very hard to find seats against bulkheads...

      Would you really stop travelling just because 10 people boarded before you?

      Your threat is worse than with people who will never fly 737MAX again.

      And as a Diamond Medallion, I find your experience odd. The number of times I have endure "sitting in the back, in middle seats and up against bulkheads" is very rare, even flying on a short notice. Unless you're already flying First, it's very hard to find seats against bulkheads on Delta anymore, only 3-6 seats on maybe all narrowbody?

  25. Donna Diamond

    Maybe the intent is to discourage non-first Diamond elites and others from storing their bags in the First Class overhead bins on their way to row 15. More than once during the height of the pandemic at DFW, I boarded an AA domestic flight in Group 1 with a paid First Class ticket and had to struggle to find space to store one bag in the overhead bin. A paid first class passenger shouldn’t be...

    Maybe the intent is to discourage non-first Diamond elites and others from storing their bags in the First Class overhead bins on their way to row 15. More than once during the height of the pandemic at DFW, I boarded an AA domestic flight in Group 1 with a paid First Class ticket and had to struggle to find space to store one bag in the overhead bin. A paid first class passenger shouldn’t be forced to gate check because non-paying high status economy passengers board earlier and decide to “stick it” to those up front.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Non-first top elites know better than that, it's probably the non top tier elites who boarded early.
      Delta FA do reserve overhead bins for F passengers. However boarding as a group 2 on AA, I've never seen F bins full ever. On AA group 1 means tier 2. On Delta Priority means tier 6. So I'm actually not surprised if you board as Sky Priority and find the bins full on Delta.

    2. Donna Diamond

      @Eskimo - Group 1 on AA is not Tier 2 unless there are hoards of CKs. I had a gate check in F last year. Just because you haven’t seen it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. As long as top elites and others preboarding stick to bins above their assigned seats, I’m fine with boarding in the same group. These “tweaks” to boarding order are probably in response to complaints from passengers and/or cabin crew.

    3. Eskimo Guest

      @Donna

      Sure, anything is possible. I'm not calling you out for that. I'm just saying it's very rare that F bins are full when group 1 board as I've never seen it happen as a group 2.
      It's only CK before then EXP, F, Military. I'm going to assume frequent flyers know better where to put their bags, so there is just one group left and I'd give them a break.

  26. Reno Joe Guest

    I think Delta missed an opportunity. AA's boarding priority seems to make sense and would look like this across airlines:

    Pre-boarding those with disabilities
    Pre-boarding military members
    Pre-boarding AA CK / Delta 360 / United GS
    First class / One World Emerald / Delta Diamond / United 1K
    etc.

  27. Gray Guest

    Oh, good grief. Give me a break. If you're in F, you're in F and this has no impact. If you're not in F, you're not in F and sliding you to board right after F shouldn't even impact access to overhead bin space. This should just make things a little easier on the F attendant.

    1. JS Guest

      Exactly. This is a non-issue.

  28. QS Guest

    Good change, eliminates the confusion. Needs more work to enforce the zones but always positive changes in notifying zones. Good work Delta.

    Why so much wining and complaints? Most of you should be seasoned professional and you can’t wait for a few more minutes? Shows your true color when you don’t always get your way.

    1. Reno Joe Guest

      Gates need to have a sign - a flashing sign - that indicates boarding group. The current state of affairs: "We're going to start pre-boarding now. Anyone who needs extra time as well as all passengers in boarding group 7, please come to the podium."

    2. Kevin Guest

      DL gates at some airports have screens indicating the boarding group. People still will try to do whatever they want and gate agents might or might not enforce the boarding groups.

    3. Daniel Guest

      Not just a Delta problem. UA for pre-boarding has the video screen that shows the differnet pre-boarding sub-groups, but just lists all of them. And having pre-boarding people just board from the front without a specific queue can definitely get confusing and/or invite anyone to think or try to board early.

  29. Greg Guest

    More vapor ware from Delta

    UNITED is rising

  30. LEo Diamond

    Just finished a trip, SIN-HKT,HKT-BKK,BKK-SIN on SQ,TG,TR and Y,J,W respectively, the first leg, when the *A G are invited to board via the announcement, the gate agent just asked whether are you a Krisflyer or not and doesn't check the boarding pass(while I am certainly sure I am KF but I am certainly not elite in any means and I boarded in this group), I am certainly sure that *A G's will be upset about...

    Just finished a trip, SIN-HKT,HKT-BKK,BKK-SIN on SQ,TG,TR and Y,J,W respectively, the first leg, when the *A G are invited to board via the announcement, the gate agent just asked whether are you a Krisflyer or not and doesn't check the boarding pass(while I am certainly sure I am KF but I am certainly not elite in any means and I boarded in this group), I am certainly sure that *A G's will be upset about this. For the TG leg, they invited J to board first, but within the first second invited *A G to board as well, leading to a mess, for the less leg, nobody cares, it's just a mess.

  31. [email protected] Guest

    I disagree that it is just about "stroking the ego". As a United 1K I really value not having to line up in Group 1 which can get very large, particularly on widebodies.

    1. Daniel Guest

      I agree. As someone who was a 1K, dropped down to Platinum this year, and will be back for 2023 - the boarding perk I'm looking forward to is far more not needing to line up. At EWR, my main airport, Group 1 can get really long.

    2. O'Hare Is My Second Home Guest

      As another 1K who cuts it close every year, I definitely do not want to lose my favorite perk by dropping to Platinum. Group 1 lines are also ridiculous at my main airport, ORD, so it isn't just EWR. Group 1 is bad at all United hubs, in fact. There was one at LAX on a flight I was on that stretched to the next gate.

  32. George Romey Guest

    AA about six months ago changed their policy to allow EXPs to board with Group 1 even when in coach. Ultimately, it's not a huge difference and likely seated in coach you would still find overhead space at your seat.

    But it's signaling more of this move that if you want first/the benefits of first pay for first.

  33. Joey Diamond

    On the bright side, at least people will know which ones are Diamond members.

  34. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    I've never understood why Delta doesn't charge non-status customers for carry-on bags and give them free checked bags. It would help boarding as many people try to bring too much onto the flight because the checked option costs money.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Instead of a line waiting to board, now you added another long line to the check in area.

      Agree with your other statement. Too many Diamonds these days with all the multi year extension and rollovers.
      Get's even worse with Plats.
      Upgrade list are back to crazy, 70+ or 1/3 of flight is on upgrade list.
      With all the GUC extended, many Transcon becomes much harder to get upgraded.

  35. Never In Doubt Guest

    Still waiting for Tim Dunn to tell us what a genius policy this is for Delta (as always).

  36. Alonzo Diamond

    You already have an assigned seat and half these morons nowadays still check their luggage. So the big deal is what exactly? Joke.

  37. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    Delta sure hates its diamonds right now. You know, the people who kept them profitable during the pandemic. They're going to need all those diamonds with this recession that is just starting. I hope enough diamonds complain that Delta reverses the policy, just like Sky Club access on arrival was taken away and then restored after an outcry.

    It's clear that 360 is the new diamond. There are too many diamonds thanks to two years...

    Delta sure hates its diamonds right now. You know, the people who kept them profitable during the pandemic. They're going to need all those diamonds with this recession that is just starting. I hope enough diamonds complain that Delta reverses the policy, just like Sky Club access on arrival was taken away and then restored after an outcry.

    It's clear that 360 is the new diamond. There are too many diamonds thanks to two years of status extensions and relatively low qualifying thresholds. 125,000 MQMs with credit cards and $15,000 MQD with record airfares is not hard to achieve.

    1. Bryan Guest

      Except it's not $125K spend, it's $250K spend...

  38. Don Kedick Guest

    The best boarding process is to retrofit planes with large carry on bins so it never runs out, then just board every passenger in a single file line, first come, first served.

    1. Don Kedick Guest

      Boarding is a classic example of something that did not need any serious thought but has been over-engineered over and over.

  39. JetAway Guest

    United has multiple groups boarding before First Class (paid or otherwise)-Special assistance, GS, families with young children, 1K, Active Military and then, finally, First Class. Each of these priority groups are also allowed to bring along related passengers. And this does affect overhead space on smaller aircraft for "plain" First Class passengers.

    1. Pete Diamond

      Unless those preboarding are sitting in first class then it does not affect the paying first class. If you are elite status and in first class then yes you should get overhead access earlier than.

    2. DCAWABN Guest

      But it does. I've been on a couple of flights recently where someone with status boarding early but sitting in Y has placed their rollaboard/duffle in the bin above my seat in F then continued to row 18 or whatever. So I took their bags out of the overhead and put them on a seat just behind F. Then the FA has to ask who's bag it is and when the dipshit has to own...

      But it does. I've been on a couple of flights recently where someone with status boarding early but sitting in Y has placed their rollaboard/duffle in the bin above my seat in F then continued to row 18 or whatever. So I took their bags out of the overhead and put them on a seat just behind F. Then the FA has to ask who's bag it is and when the dipshit has to own up, he has to come allll the way up to the front and take his bag back to row 18. It's delightful to watch. If I *didn't* do that, he would be taking a carry-on spot for an F pax.

    3. shza Member

      Actually, that group isn’t just First Class, it’s “Boarding Group 1,” which includes First/Biz/Polaris (depending) as well as every Premier Platinum (which on a wide body, is 50-100 people).

  40. Brian Guest

    As a high yield Delta flyer let me just say this: fix your airline operations before you spend another second on boarding procedures.

    The next announcement from Delta needs to be about increased staffing of phone agents, baggage handlers and decreased cancellations and delays.

    I’m in Europe for 10 days and my family and I had to carry on because I can’t trust the airline to operate its business despite having purchased 3 business class...

    As a high yield Delta flyer let me just say this: fix your airline operations before you spend another second on boarding procedures.

    The next announcement from Delta needs to be about increased staffing of phone agents, baggage handlers and decreased cancellations and delays.

    I’m in Europe for 10 days and my family and I had to carry on because I can’t trust the airline to operate its business despite having purchased 3 business class tickets. The flight over was 5 hours late and on the flight back we’re being advised to get to the airport 4.5 hours early and “hope it’s a good day.”

    I don’t need another email from the CEO or another 10K apology mile bonus. I’ll get on the plane last as a Diamond if they bring back my faith that my checked bag will arrive.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      And, of course, you can't access the Sky Club more than 3 hours before your flight.

    2. BookLvr Gold

      100% agree, Brian!

      We had a Delta flight booked on May 22nd, set to leave IAD at 11:58 am. We arrived at the airport at 9:00 am to check in. Delta had canceled our flight and rebooked us on KLM leaving at 6:25 pm...and the KLM desk didn't open until afternoon. No one texted or emailed to let us know. We found out at the airport...and were now ~9.5 hours early for our flight.

      ...

      100% agree, Brian!

      We had a Delta flight booked on May 22nd, set to leave IAD at 11:58 am. We arrived at the airport at 9:00 am to check in. Delta had canceled our flight and rebooked us on KLM leaving at 6:25 pm...and the KLM desk didn't open until afternoon. No one texted or emailed to let us know. We found out at the airport...and were now ~9.5 hours early for our flight.

      They also downgraded us from First (first leg)/DeltaOne (second leg) to economy/economy with no refund of miles. This seems to be in violation of the Contract of Carriage, so I filed a complaint and Delta sent an auto reply saying to expect it will be 30 or more days until they get back to us. It has been 2+ months.

      So YES! More phone agents, more customer service, fewer cancellations! Please!

    3. Greg Guest

      Wow what a maddening rebook surprised no other transatlantic options with biz were avail

    4. BookLvr Gold

      @Greg--They were available. We asked about this at the Delta check-in desk and they said we might be able to pay KLM for an upgrade. KLM did indeed send us such an offer and we took it, at $899/person.

      I feel like Delta owes me EITHER the pro-rated difference between an economy and business fare or my $899/person. I would be happy to get Delta SkyMiles, or FlyingBlue miles, or cash.

      I paid WAAAAAAY too...

      @Greg--They were available. We asked about this at the Delta check-in desk and they said we might be able to pay KLM for an upgrade. KLM did indeed send us such an offer and we took it, at $899/person.

      I feel like Delta owes me EITHER the pro-rated difference between an economy and business fare or my $899/person. I would be happy to get Delta SkyMiles, or FlyingBlue miles, or cash.

      I paid WAAAAAAY too many miles for these flights in the first place, and then to be downgraded to economy when business seats were available feels like a poor value.

      I feel like Delta may actually concede this point, since their own Contract of Carriage makes it sound like customers get the same class of service or a partial refund. They sure aren't in any hurry to respond to me, though.

      "A. Delta’s Liability in the Event of Schedule Changes, Delays and Flight Cancellations

      If there is a flight cancellation, diversion, delay of greater than 120 minutes, or that will cause a passenger to miss connections, Delta will (at passenger’s request) cancel the remaining ticket and refund the unused portion of the ticket and unused ancillary fees in the original form of payment in accordance with Rule 22, If the passenger does not request cancellation and refund of the remaining portion of the ticket, Delta will transport the passenger to the destination on Delta’s next flight on which seats are available in the class of service originally purchased. At Delta’s sole discretion and if acceptable to the passenger, Delta may arrange for the passenger to travel on another Carrier or via ground transportation. If acceptable to the passenger, Delta may provide transportation in a lower class of service, in which case the passenger may be entitled to a partial refund. If space on the next available flight is available only in a higher class of service than purchased, Delta will transport the passenger on the flight, although Delta reserves the right to upgrade other passengers on the flight according to its upgrade priority policy to make space in the class of service originally purchased. Delta will not be liable under any circumstances for any special, incidental or consequential damages arising from the foregoing."

    5. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      Just came back from 2 weeks in Europe - on return trip had a flight delay and missed connection at CDG, it took really excellent, very dedicated, AF customer service agent over 30min to find 2 available same-day J seats and that was only because we said "just get us somewhere in the northeast US (or Canada)". Otherwise we'd have been spending the night in Roissy. She explicitly told us she was only able to...

      Just came back from 2 weeks in Europe - on return trip had a flight delay and missed connection at CDG, it took really excellent, very dedicated, AF customer service agent over 30min to find 2 available same-day J seats and that was only because we said "just get us somewhere in the northeast US (or Canada)". Otherwise we'd have been spending the night in Roissy. She explicitly told us she was only able to do it because we didn't have checked bags which would've guaranteed a next-day rebooking if we wanted to stay in business. Originally booked on a A359 and ended up on a 4-class 77W - the 58-seat J cabins were totally full.

      Lessons learned (or reinforced):
      1) Demand is off the charts right now, major airlines and airports are beyond capacity. Plan accordingly
      2) If you can avoid it, absolutely never ever check a bag if you're looking for flexibility.

  41. Bgriff Guest

    For United’s policy, boarding before first class can be nice for those who get it — overhead bin space can sometimes be limited on certain regional jets, or if you’re in the bulkhead row, or on certain jets where there is limited overhead space in certain parts of the cabin due to safety equipment, overhead crew rests, etc. (Or, not that it applies to any UA aircraft, missing center overhead bins to create a more...

    For United’s policy, boarding before first class can be nice for those who get it — overhead bin space can sometimes be limited on certain regional jets, or if you’re in the bulkhead row, or on certain jets where there is limited overhead space in certain parts of the cabin due to safety equipment, overhead crew rests, etc. (Or, not that it applies to any UA aircraft, missing center overhead bins to create a more spacious cabin.) That said, as someone who has sometimes flown United premium cabins but never with high status with them, I also don’t love how that plus other policies (like taking meal orders by status level) can collectively make paying premium cabin customers feel significantly devalued, so it’s not an easy call to make.

  42. John Guest

    Oh the horror oh my goodness what is going on what is this world coming to princess lucky. What is so important about when you board. The last time I checked the plane gets there and leaves after everyone boards

    1. GBOAC Diamond

      To those who think that when you board is not relevant, airlines are focused on getting passengers on board as efficiently as possible. So boarding efficiency is an issue and airlines do this differently (I personally think Southwest has the most egalitarian policy).
      Unfortunately in the real world passengers don't check all of their luggage and the fact of the matter is there is competition for limited overhead space. So for many of when...

      To those who think that when you board is not relevant, airlines are focused on getting passengers on board as efficiently as possible. So boarding efficiency is an issue and airlines do this differently (I personally think Southwest has the most egalitarian policy).
      Unfortunately in the real world passengers don't check all of their luggage and the fact of the matter is there is competition for limited overhead space. So for many of when you are able to board is important:-(

    2. Eskimo Guest

      LOL, I hear this all the time from bitter people without top (published) tier elite. It's a pleasure to don't have to board with those bitter.

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Brian Guest

As a high yield Delta flyer let me just say this: fix your airline operations before you spend another second on boarding procedures. The next announcement from Delta needs to be about increased staffing of phone agents, baggage handlers and decreased cancellations and delays. I’m in Europe for 10 days and my family and I had to carry on because I can’t trust the airline to operate its business despite having purchased 3 business class tickets. The flight over was 5 hours late and on the flight back we’re being advised to get to the airport 4.5 hours early and “hope it’s a good day.” I don’t need another email from the CEO or another 10K apology mile bonus. I’ll get on the plane last as a Diamond if they bring back my faith that my checked bag will arrive.

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Gray Guest

Oh, good grief. Give me a break. If you're in F, you're in F and this has no impact. If you're not in F, you're not in F and sliding you to board right after F shouldn't even impact access to overhead bin space. This should just make things a little easier on the F attendant.

3
Eskimo Guest

Would you really stop travelling just because 10 people boarded before you? Your threat is worse than with people who will never fly 737MAX again. And as a Diamond Medallion, I find your experience odd. The number of times I have endure "sitting in the back, in middle seats and up against bulkheads" is very rare, even flying on a short notice. Unless you're already flying First, it's very hard to find seats against bulkheads on Delta anymore, only 3-6 seats on maybe all narrowbody?

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