Is Delta’s E Fare Class Driving Medallion Members Away?

Apr 5, 2015

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TPG reader Anette asked me at a recent TPG reader meetup:

“My question is regarding the new Delta E Fare Class that’s meant to compete with Spirit Airlines. Those of us who travel for work are often forced to book through our company and can’t select our fare class. Do you feel that is driving a lot of Medallion members away from Delta?”

Anette, you hit the nail on the head. Delta is definitely trying to compete with low-cost carriers by offering the E fare. The concept of allowing people to pay for items they want makes sense on the surface. However, for business travelers such as yourself, having to book the lowest fare complicates things.

Delta doesn’t make it easy to upgrade to the next fare class, even if it’s only a difference of $20. Most booking portals won’t allow you to book the more expensive fare, and if you call to change the fare class, you’ll often be charged the $200 change fee plus the difference in fare. It isn’t worth that price just for economy comfort seats.

My recommendation would be to share your feedback with Delta, which has been known to roll back changes in the past. Delta recently scaled back on transcontinental upgrades and faced a number of complaints from Diamond Medallion members. The airline then unofficially eased its rules regarding those upgrades.

Complaints from Medallion members are often taken seriously at Delta. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

As a Medallion member, make your voice heard. Reach out to Delta on social media, and hopefully your opinion can help make a change for the better. If not, vote with your wallet and take your dollars elsewhere. Change to a carrier that values your purchases, even if they’re in the lowest fare class.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at

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