Delta Air Lines has updated its rules for snagging a better seat, including changes for Starwood Preferred Guest elites, passengers on international flights equipped with the airline’s new Delta Premium Select cabins, and travelers on transatlantic partner Virgin Atlantic.
Platinum Preferred members of Starwood’s loyalty program who are enrolled in Crossover Rewards for travel on Delta can now request free upgrades to both First Class and Delta Comfort+ based on their SPG tier level when they have paid tickets. The free upgrades apply for flights within the U.S. and Canada, and select Asia/Pacific and Latin America/Caribbean markets. A few months ago, shortly after the conclusion of their merger, Starwood and Marriott introduced the ability for members of both loyalty programs (and Ritz-Carlton’s) to link their accounts, and also offered them elite status match with reciprocal benefits.
Delta’s new ‘Premium Select’ international premium economy cabin will start to appear as the airline deploys new Airbus A350s in 2017, and the airline confirmed that SkyMiles members can use miles to upgrade to those seats after they buy a Main Cabin ticket. Diamond Medallions who select Global Upgrade certificates as a benefit can use them to upgrade to Premium Select from Main Cabin or Delta Comfort+ seats, but neither regional upgrade certificates nor complimentary upgrades can be used for Premium Select. The airline also said that Medallion members who purchase Premium Select seats will get a 50 percent Medallion Qualification Miles bonus.
And SkyMiles members can now use miles to book partner Virgin Atlantic’s premium economy cabin on flights from the U.S. to the U.K., either by phone through Delta reservations or through delta.com. Virgin’s premium economy section includes priority boarding and dedicated check-in, upgraded dining and leather seats with power ports. (See Virgin Premium economy video above or here.)
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