Delta Kicks Premium Select Passengers Out of First Class (Sad)

by John Harper

Delta Air Lines is no longer putting Premium Select premium economy passengers who purchase cashtickets  in first class on domestic connections.

Instead, cash Premium Select tickets now for sale on delta.com show only Delta Comfort+ seating on domestic legs. Delta Comfort+ is Delta’s brand name for economy seats with extra legroom. Comfort+ passengers also get additional snacks and free alcohol, but no meal service.

It seems the airline has pulled the plug on a major perk of connecting onto a Premium Select itinerary. Since Delta launched Premium Select in October last year, passengers seated in the new cabin were given first class seats whenever available on connecting domestic flights.

Delta Premium Select Chicago to Amsterdam Itinerary

Delta Premium Select itineraries were initially paired with first class seats on domestic connections. Those connections are now booking into Delta Comfort+

Other Premium Select amenities, including SkyPriority check-in, security access, boarding and the first class free checked baggage alotment, remain intact.

Those booking award tickets appear to be in luck, for now at least. Domestic legs on the same flights book into first class on SkyMiles awards. (h/t JT Genter, The Points Guy)

Delta Premium Select award itinerary first class Chicago Amsterdam

SkyMiles award tickets are still booking domestic connections in first class, for now.

Don’t hold your breath for long. Delta’s communications team signaled in a response to The Points Guy’s inquiry that they would seek to standardize the bookings between cash and mileage itineraries, meaning that amenities on award itineraries will be modified to match cash itineraries.

It’s worth noting that Premium Select seats are pricing out at base ‘Level 1’ SkyMiles rates that would have netted Delta flyers lie-flat DeltaOne business class seats to Europe and Asia just a few years ago.

The change in connecting cabins is a downgrade that doesn’t neatly align with the new Premium Select service profile. Premium Select cabins, on new Airbus A350 jets and retrofitted Boeing 777 jets, offer recliner chairs similar to those used in domestic first class, with larger entertainment screens, legrests and foot supports.

Delta serves Premium Select passengers meals on plates with cutlery, alongside higher quality liquor and wines. Flight attendants exclusively cater to the premium cabin, akin to the overall service experience Delta flyers expect in domestic first class.

Review: Delta Premium Select on the A350 is Truly a Class Above

Delta is even branding domestic-style first class Boeing 757 cabins “Premium Select” when those airplanes are deployed on transatlantic routes.

Delta’s new Premium Select cabin, seen on the Airbus A350, offers domestic first class-style accommodations on long-haul flights. Image by Delta Air Lines.

Many, but not all airlines, upgrade premium economy passengers to the next highest class of service whenever a premium economy cabin isn’t available on a connecting flight. Some, including American Airlines and now Delta, put premium economy passengers in econony on those shorter legs.

Those looking to snag a Premium Select SkyMiles award and fly first on connecting flights should book as soon as possible.

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4 comments

Jimmy July 9, 2018 - 6:51 am

Good news! Domestic upgrades on DL might get a bit easier to score now. Hopefully DL will fix the award class booking soon too now that all the bloggers have made DL aware of their oversight (thanks for this by the way!)

Reply
ATL delta July 9, 2018 - 1:07 pm

Sad? You must not fly Delta much because anything to reduce demand of first class seats is great news in this age of first class mobilization. Adding a handful of seats for possible upgrade is great news to this Atlanta based flier!

Reply
John July 9, 2018 - 1:58 pm

I am Delta Platinum. If I had the choice between a possibly perceptible improvement on comp upgrade chances on a two hour flight to Detroit and a guaranteed first class connection on an 18-hour itinerary, I’d pick the sure thing over the lottery odd change.

I’m sure others will like the odds, though.

Reply
Delta Will Expand Premium Select Fleetwide by 2021 - Point Me to the Plane July 14, 2018 - 10:05 am

[…] Review: Delta Premium Select on the A350 is Truly a Class Above […]

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