Delta’s year-old Comfort+ seating — which many SkyMiles Medallions have come to expect as an automatic free perk with extra legroom, priority boarding and free drinks — is going through some changes.
Starting next spring, those seats will have their own pricing in Delta’s website fare searches, so they can be purchased in advance — and that might mean fewer available free upgrades for elites.
It is possible to pay extra for a Comfort+ seat now, in the form of a seat assignment fee. But the front section of economy is mostly a place for Delta to seat its Medallions as a free perk, making them feel a little more special than the folks in the back of the bus.
Those seated in Comfort+ get Sky Priority boarding access, complimentary booze, and premium snacks on longer flights in addition to the major perk: extra legroom.
Delta said Comfort+ seats will be available to purchase as a fare option for travel starting May 16, 2016, within the U.S. and Canada. Here’s how it looks on Delta.com:
If you are a Platinum or Diamond Medallion, you’ll still choose Comfort+ seats when you make your reservations (if available). Gold Medallions get access to the seats three days prior to the flight; long suffering Silvers can grab what’s left over when they check in 24 hours ahead of time. These upgrades are made automatically if you’ve checked the Comfort+ box on the “request upgrade” section of the passenger information page. Those with successful requests will be notified by email.
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In a big downgrade, the companion allowance for elites seeking Comfort+ seating will also be reduced substantially — from up to eight companions to just one- not good news for families who like to travel together.
The Delta website has added an FAQ page for customers regarding the changes coming to Comfort+.
Basically, the net effect is that elites who used to take Comfort+ as a routine perk will now have to stand in line to see what’s left after paying passengers buy the seats.
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