Delta’s Economy Comfort “Enhancement” For Tickets Purchased After May 2

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As a Delta Platinum Elite member, I love getting First Class upgrades. When upgrades aren’t available, I really appreciate the complimentary economy comfort seats and extra legroom that comes along with it. But many non-elite members have to pay for upgrades to the Economy Comfort seats.

Consistent with past changes to pricing and fees, Delta has updated their site with the latest enhancement, this one impacts Economy Comfort. Specifically it will impact those who pay for an upgrade to Economy Comfort but wish to change or cancel their flight.

It used to be that members received a refund for purchased upgrades to Economy Comfort if they cancelled a flight.

Delta Economy Comfort

Enhancement To Economy Comfort For Tickets Purchased After May 2

If you purchased your ticket prior to May 2, 2013 you may still request a refund for any fees you paid to upgrade to Economy Comfort. But refunds will no longer be provided for tickets after May 2, 2013 when members who change their flight or seat selection after purchase.

Effective for Economy Comfort seat purchases on and after May 2, 2013, if a customer voluntarily changes his/her flight or seat selection once purchased, a refund for the original seat purchase will not be provided.

Delta Diamond, Platinum and Gold Medallion members still receive complimentary upgrades based on the table below. So this change will only impact these members who don’t get free Economy Comfort upgrades based on the table below:


A friend recently cancelled a flight which had a paid upgrade to Economy Comfort. The ticket was purchased prior to May 2, 2013 so she was able to recover the entire Economy Comfort upgrade fee. Had this ticket been after May 2, 2013, she would have lost the Economy Comfort upgrade along with the upgrade fee.

Bottom Line

This change makes it a little harder on Silver Medallion and non-elite Delta flyers who do not receive complimentary domestic Economy Comfort upgrades. It also makes the sweet spot more important for complimentary domestic Economy Comfort upgrades, which is at the Gold Medallion level. This level can be obtained by earning 50,000 MQMs during a year. This can almost be done by picking up the Delta Reserve card which provides 10,000 MQMs after the first purchase and up to 30,000 MQMs with Miles Boost after hitting the spending threshold.

In addition to losing Economy Comfort upgrades when a customer changes a flight, customers also incur a $200 change fee for travel the 50 United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and usually about $250 change fee for travel outside those area.

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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. Just thieves…anyone who flies this carrier by choice deserves this and all of the future enhancements. It kills me that Delta sponsored a bar-b-q and concert at the Boarding Area conference this weekend…and most bloggers say it does not influence them at all…glad to see you are not one of them. Delta Points will usually write some fluff piece and push those Delta Credit Cards, just sad, no journalism, just graffiti

  2. Wow. This is basically stealing, in my opinion. I have no incentive to upgrade to economy comfort now.
    You know; with the increase in change fees, higher ticket prices, baggage fees (or credit card annual fee), difficulty to make even Silver Medallion (due to MQDs), the work needed to get a low mile award ticket, and now keeping prepaid fees for a seat when the ticket is refunded, I’m not sure Delta is the airline for me anymore.
    I am all for flowing with the changes and doing what we can to keep the airline profitable, but I don’t think this new rule is fair. If a non-elite (or low level elite) cancels or changes a ticket, they already pay almost half to most of the ticket price in change fees, and this just makes that fee too high.
    For 4,000 miles flown, we can get Star Alliance Silver status on Aegean airline, which provides one free bag, priority security, priority check-in, priority baggage handling, and priority boarding. Basically the same as the Delta AMEX without the annual fee. In addition, United has better award seat availability and lower ticket prices than Delta out of my market, even if their customer service is lacking.
    No wonder Southwest Airlines is doing so well among the American traveling public.
    This new policy (keep a fee without delivering the goods) takes advantage of their infrequent customers, and this makes me reconsider flying with Delta in the future, even if I pay a fair price (as set by their MQD requirement) for their ticket.

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