Will I Be Upgrade Eligible For My SkyMiles Award Ticket Once I Achieve Silver Medallion Status?

Oct 6, 2013

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TPG follower Robert is about to become a Silver Medallion with Delta SkyMiles and wants to know:

@thepointsguy I booked a SkyMiles award ticket and will soon achieve Silver Medallion status. Will it update my itinerary to show upgrade requested?”

First, congratulations on becoming a Silver Medallion, and let me warn you that elite status is addictive, so once you earn it, you’re going to want to achieve an even higher level.

When it comes to your question about whether your award ticket will be listed as upgrade eligible on Delta, the answer is no because Silver Medallions do not get upgraded on award tickets. That currently is a benefit for only Gold, Platinum and Diamond Medallions.

Delta Gold Medallion
Delta offers upgrades on award tickets for Gold Medallions or higher.

Let’s say you did have Gold or higher status. Delta should automatically list you for the upgrade, but what I always like to do is to call the airline to make sure your new status is reflected on all tickets that you purchased or redeemed miles for before you had the status. Just give a day or two though from the time you earned the status for it to reflect in the system since it may take a little bit to get updated. After qualifying, whenever they book a ticket, Gold and higher Medallions should see the “Upgrade Requested” appear on their ticket when they view it online.

You should see your reservation say "Upgrade Requested" online
You should see your reservation say “Upgrade Requested” online

What can be annoying is if you just got elite status and are traveling the next day and it isn’t reflected yet. You could always go up to the gate agent and sometimes they can see it and will be able to manually add you to the upgrade list. This goes for all airlines and even hotel companies. I know when I first got Starwood Platinum status, my reservations that I made prior only reflected my Gold status despite calling Starwood to update them, which was a bit annoying since they normally process elite upgrades the night before and I missed out.

Starwood Gold
Once you reach a new elite status level, make sure your reservations reflect the new status.

So what I would recommend for hotel stays is to cancel and rebook once you have the new status if the same rate or same amount of points is available just to make sure the new status is reflected correctly.

For airlines, it’s great to be proactive and to call the airlines or even tweet them just to make sure your reservation shows as upgrade eligible, and if not always ask at check-in or even the gate agent to make sure you get that hard deserved upgrade.

Great question, and be sure to tweet me @thepointsguy with any others.

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