Many Delta Air Lines frequent flyers have had to navigate some complicated changes that make it more difficult to upgrade into Delta Comfort+ extra legroom seats.
Longtime Delta Medallion elites are used to getting complimentary access to the extra legroom seating at the front of the main cabin, but Delta starting implementing changes to its extra legroom seating in 2014, when it re-branded what was previously Economy Comfort to Delta Comfort+.
In May 2016, Delta started selling Comfort+ as separate fare class and treating it as a separate cabin. Complimentary booze and upgraded snack baskets followed.
The most relevant change: Delta Medallions can no longer simply select Comfort+ seats on the seat map. Instead, “upgrades” to Comfort+ are now processed the same way as first class.
This means that many Delta elite flyers are now unable to simply click on the extra legroom seating — advertised as a frequent flyer benefit — when checking in for their flight (Silver Medallions), three days prior to departure (Gold Medallions) or when they book their ticket (Platinum and Diamond Medallions).
A few quick steps will help ensure seating in this upgraded economy section.
Comfort+ Seats Must Be Requested As Upgrades, Not Just Chosen
Medallions must take the extra step of “requesting” an upgrade to Comfort+.
In practice, these upgrades almost always clear. It is possible to set your Delta.com profile to automatically request upgrades on any itinerary attached to an elite SkyMiles number.
If you’re unable to select a Comfort+ seat that you think you should be able to, go to your reservations page on Delta.com and click the “Manage Upgrades” link.
On the upgrades screen, ensure that the Delta Comfort+ upgrade box is checked off.
Delta Limits Comfort+ Upgrade Inventory
Up until 2016, Delta Medallions could always select any available Comfort+ seat within the given availability window. Now, Delta limits Delta Comfort+ upgrade inventory just as they do first class upgrades, so some Medallions may not clear into Comfort+ ahead of time.
Those empty seats belong to Medallions, and even Silver Medallions are cleared into Comfort+ on most flights. You may have to wait until you get to the gate, though, to find out where you’re sitting.
Delta Assigns Upgraded Middle Seats
Delta will upgrade unwitting Medallions into middle seats in the Comfort+ cabin.
Be sure to watch the seating chart. If no aisle or window seats are available, some Medallions prefer to “unrequest” the upgrade to Comfort+, and just shoot for a first class upgrade instead.
If you are moved into a middle seat, it’s now possible to move back to a main cabin aisle or window seat on the Delta.com seat map or using the FlyDelta mobile application, but only up until about 45 minutes before check-in.
Gate agents can move you back, if they haven’t given your previous seat away, so be sure to jump on top of things as soon as possible if you notice your upgrade has cleared into a middle seat. It can be difficult to get back into an existing seat once the boarding process starts.
A good alternative for all Medallions are exit row seats. Those seats often have more legroom than Comfort+ seats, and can be chosen by any Medallion at booking, for free.
If you want to stay in your exit row seat, just remember to uncheck the upgrade box, lest you be sucked up into the gate upgrade process and watch your exit row seat vanish onscreen.
Hope these tips help!
Shelli Stein is a health and fitness entrepreneur who travels the world in search of culture, food, and fun! Besides contributing to PointMeToThePlane, you can find her at Joy in Movement.
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