Delta Secrets – Check the upgrade list before you fly

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One of the biggest benefits for Delta elite members is the complimentary domestic upgrade. On elite heavy routes Silvers and Golds have little chance for an upgrade. Even Platinum members can find their name way up in the double digits on the upgrade list.

So make sure you remember to check a few things before you fly that will ensure you’ll have a chance for the upgrade.

Reminder To Check Upgrade List

First check to see that your reservation’s automatic upgrade has been requested. Then check to make sure your name is on the upgrade list before you fly.

You can use the Fly Delta mobile application or go to the website. The technology is great because having that information at your fingertips is powerful. But just check to make sure your name is actually on the list, and here is why.

Last night on my short 12 hour layover at home, I checked to see what position I was on the upgrade list for this morning’s turn around leg. There were 14 available seats for upgrade so I felt there was a good chance.

After I checked my reservation, it showed the upgrade was requested, but something was missing. My name wasn’t showing on the 46 person long upgrade list.

So I called the Delta Elite member line and they investigated the missing name. The agent came back and confirmed my upgrade was requested automatically but that the system never automatically added my name on the list. I’ll say that this is not a common occurance and on 99% of my flights the upgrade is requested properly. But the agent did say this isn’t the first time she saw this happen and that Delta should probably get IT to work on this. I said I’d be more than happy to fill out the IT helpdesk ticket and we laughed.

She was able to manually add my name to the upgrade list. Apparently she added a few others or the system did around the same time. Here is a before and after screen print of the upgrade list.



Heading to the airport this morning was a breeze. The TSA Pre line took all of 5 minutes and then I was in the club lounge enjoying a diet coke with a view.



But alas, the upgrade didn’t clear from position number 28 on the upgrade list and I find myself out of luck not because I missed the upgrade, but because I landed in the row behind economy comfort due to an aircraft change.


I take comfort knowing the window seat is always better than the middle. Atleast I had a shot at the upgrade, and if you follow a few simple steps you can too.


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About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. So here’s a new one on me: requested a same day confirmed to A flight with more open seats up front and was told in the Sky Club that I wasn’t eligible for an upgrade as a GM if I SDC’d. I’m calling BS on this one. What do you know about this?

  2. Whenever I checked the upgrade list on it never showed me the passenger name albeit abbreviated version on the upgrade list. It only shows how many seats available and where you are on the upgrade list. Where are you seeing the passenger list? DL app?

  3. I have enough mileage on Delta to upgrade from economy to economy comfort or to a business class but there seem to be no seat available. Are there ways to do it? Also how can I in list my name in the waiting list?

  4. I have enough mileage on Delta to upgrade from economy to economy comfort or to a business class but there seem to be no seat available. Are there ways to do it? Also how can I in list my name in the waiting list?

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