How I Scored a Transcontinental Upgrade on Delta

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Last week, I wrote out how Delta Brings Back Transcontinental Upgrades for Platinum and Diamond Medallions on their New York (JFK)- Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle routes and wanted to put it to the test.

I had to fly New York (JFK)- Los Angeles last minute so decided to book a ticket on Delta and hope for an upgrade with my Platinum Medallion status.

Throughout the booking process and even once the reservation was made, it showed “Upgrade Not Eligible”, however I noticed the day of my flight it showed View Standby List and I was listed on that.

Upgrade delta

I was rushing to the aiprort and didn’t have much time so just headed straight to the gate where I noticed my name as well as 4 others who were upgrades all which said UP next to them.

I thought maybe some other people were non-revs but at this point coach was oversold and they had not cleared anyone from the standby list so these were all Medallions.

Delta transcon

As I settled into the BusinessElite cabin, I talked to another Medallion member who also received the upgrade and was unaware of the new policy.

Delta transcon

Celebrating my transcontinental upgrade with a pre-departure beverage.

Delta transcon


Per my earlier post, the new official policy is that Diamond and Platinum Medallions traveling on a paid ticket (no award ticket) without a companion should be eligible for an upgrade and be added to the Airport Standby List.

If you aren’t automatically added and feel that you should be, do call the Medallion line 6 hours before your flight to see if they can add you. Here’s to more transcontinental upgrades and hoping they make this a published benefit again!

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  1. I flew LAX JFK round trip on a 40k award ticket in coach a few weeks ago. Was told on outbound to wait to board as an upgrade was likely. It didn’t clear but on the return it did. No upgrade list though and although I flew business back, my app still said economy with seat 1A selected. They were oversold and offered $1k delta dollars or visa gift card to give up seat and wait til next day.

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