Some Delta Elites Can Avoid Being ‘Upgraded’ Into a Middle Seat

Jan 2, 2018

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Ever since Delta rolled out its Comfort+ product, rebranding and replacing its original Economy Comfort seats, and then making Comfort+ an entirely separate fare class, Delta’s high-tier elites have had a problem. For regular Delta customers, the airline charges a premium for Comfort+ seats, but Delta Platinum and Delta Diamond elites can request them for free immediately after booking. Delta Golds can do the same within 72 hours of departure, while Delta Silvers can get any Comfort+ seats that may be left at 24 hours before departure.

Since Comfort+ seats come with up to an extra 3 inches of legroom, dedicated bins, extra snacks and drinks and some other amenities, free upgrades to these seats would seem to be a nice bonus for Delta elites. However, the issue is that on most of its flights, Delta categorizes more than a few middle seats as Comfort+.

That means if you’re a Delta elite who had already chosen a nice aisle or window seat and ask to be upgraded to Comfort+, you could end up getting stuck in the middle. Yes, with more legroom and extra snacks, but still… in the middle.

This makes upgrading to Comfort+ a bit of a gamble. Even though in May, Delta implemented the option for elites to reverse a Comfort+ upgrade and go back to their original seat, the system still causes a great deal of grumbling from Delta elites.

However, as TPG reader Jonathan L. noted on Tuesday in the TPG Lounge, Delta has been testing an option for elites to choose to only be upgraded to a window or aisle Comfort+ seat.

Screenshot courtesy of Jonathan L. in the TPG Lounge.

The test of this Comfort+ middle seat opt-out feature has been underway since September, but based on recent reports, it’s not yet available systemwide across all Delta flights, only on certain flights and markets. Some readers in the TPG lounge report having seen this option before now, while others as high as Platinum elite do not see it at all on existing reservations. But it’s certainly unanimous that this is an extremely welcome change.

Delta has not yet said if or when it will be rolling the feature out to all its flights and elites, but if you’re a Delta elite who hates being ‘upgraded’ to a middle seat, definitely let Delta know your thoughts and whether you’d like to see this option on your next Delta flight.

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