Delta’s Latest Enhancement to Medallion Upgrade Policy


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Delta has always had a very generous Medallion upgrade program, offering unlimited complimentary Medallion upgrades if First Class seats were available, compared to other airlines which require 500 mile upgrades. However, with Delta upgrades clearing in advance have been less common, and gate upgrades for Medallions seem the norm these days.

With gate upgrades, it’s always a tough decision whether to board the aircraft if you aren’t upgraded rather than wait. Delta’s old policy was that if you boarded the plane you gave up your right to an upgrade, however starting today there is a new policy in place which Medallions will be pleased to hear.

Delta First Class

Delta’s new policy for gate agents is to upgrade Medallions who have boarded in the Main Cabin 10 minutes prior to departure onboard the aircraft. This will be combination of the gate agents working together with the flight attendants to ensure Medallions will be upgraded, while still aiming to close the boarding door 5 minutes prior.

With this change, gate upgrades will now clear 40 minutes prior to departure instead of 30 minutes. The reasoning behind this, is that Delta sells tickets up to 30 minutes, so they wouldn’t want to upgrade a Medallion only to have a First Class seat sold and then downgrade them. Though in reality, not too many passengers are buying First Class tickets 30 minutes prior to a flight.

Overall this new change with upgrading Medallions onboard, should be one that everyone will enjoy! No longer should you see First Class go out with empty seats.

If you are looking for a way to earn even more miles, The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card earns you 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months. The Delta Reserve® Credit Card earns you 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 10,000 bonus miles after your first purchase on the Card. The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card earns you 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

In addition, Delta will no longer sell upgrades to Comfort Plus onboard the aircraft anymore.

Feel free to share below if you’re experienced an onboard upgrade on Delta!

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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  1. Pretty sure United upgrades all their elite members as well, but good luck if you’re not a 1K.

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