Delta waffles on transcon upgrade policy

Rendering of Delta's new lie flat seating on transcon 757s. Been on one yet?

Rendering of Delta’s new lie flat seating on transcon 757s. Been on one yet?

Delta has quietly begun offering complimentary upgrades to its high-level Medallion members on transcontinental flights to/from New York-JFK after yanking them away last March. Pulling those cherished upgrades on these five-hour flights resulted a prolonged rash of bitter complaints from Delta’s best customers on its most lucrative routes.

This is not an “official” policy change, but Delta is now offering occasional comp upgrades to its specially outfitted and serviced Business Elite cabins flying between New York JFK and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

“Delta is handling this on a case by base basis,” Delta spokesperson Anthony Black told TravelSkills. “While the policy has not changed, we have now begun to award our top medallion customers upgrades on those flights during slower travel periods or as the operation permits.” Which means the horror and frustration of being seated in coach when there are empty seats up front is now less likely. But not completely UN-likely. 

Recent: The 6 most irritating actions of infrequent flyers

Why is Delta backing down from it’s tough stance? My guess is that JetBlue’s well-publicized entry into the premium transcontinental airline market with its new MINT class is raising the bar for everyone as other airlines react in hopes of protecting market share.

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What do you think? Have you been turned down for an upgrade that you felt you deserved? Have you been lucky enough to get a comp upgrade on a transcon yet? Tell us about it below! 

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