Much to the chagrin of Delta Medallions, Delta’s Q417 earnings call on Thursday revealed just how profitable those purchased upgrades are. Delta president Glen Hauenstein bragged that the domestic upgrade revenue stream is “extremely strong and growing fast”. Not only that, he hypothesized that the majority of growth is coming from business travelers who are using their own personal dollars to upgrade when their companies purchase them economy seats. The airline even allows them to print two separate receipts, one for reimbursement of the business expense (the economy ticket) and one for the upgrade. Sadly, it was noted that many of these travelers are already Delta elites, but don’t want to risk not securing the upgrade and are willing to spend out of pocket!
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