Delta First Class Upgrade Experiment Pays Off

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For the last few weeks I’ve been trying to figure out how to get an upgrade as a Delta Platinum flying the elite heavy route to NYC from Atlanta. At first, I did what every business traveler does, book the direct flight to LGA. But after a few weeks of being stuck in the middle, I decided to try an upgrade experiment. I’m happy to share that the upgrade experiment has finally paid off with a first class upgrade.

Scored An Upgrade On Elite Heavy NYC To ATL On Thursday Evening

At first, the LGA route yielded only middle seats for several weeks. I needed an innovation, a game changer.

So flight times changed and then airplanes changed. I was still high on the upgrade list. I then decided to change to change to fly into EWR for the flight up to NYC. It turns out, the flight to and from EWR is much easier to get an upgrade. I checked in for the last flight to Atlanta and noticed I started and ended in the number one position for the upgrade. As I was leaving the club lounge for the departure gate, the agent confirmed a big seat upfront. Jackpot! The experiment paid off big time. Free drinks, an actual meal, and extra leg.

First Class Never So Sweet

After a few weeks in the middle, first class was never so sweet.

I was confirmed into a big seat upfront. We were served a meal and the drinks were flowing once again, for free this time.

I went with the unlimited Woodford Reserve, no two bottle limit on Delta.


The dinner choices were Shrimp & Chicken or a Chicken Sandwich.



Bottome Line

Flying on elite heavy routes as a lower level elite can be frustrating. But if you look at available seats and upgrade space, you can greatly increase your upgrade chances.

The free domestic upgrade is the major reason I keep coming back to Delta week after week. I just sometimes have trouble battling all those Diamonds (disclosure: I used to be one and it was almost 90% upgrades) for the seat up front.

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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. I’m gold and have 50% luck getting upgraded from ATL-LGA. That Shrimp & Chicken is one of the best meals I’ve had in domestic first in Delta.

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