Can You Redeem Delta Global Upgrades on Partner Airlines?

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One of the choice benefits that Delta Diamond Medallions can choose from is four Global Upgrades or eight Regional Upgrades. Depending on your travel, the better choice off the bat is the four Global Upgrades.

Redeem Delta Global Upgrades on Partner Airlines?

Redeem Delta Global Upgrades on Partner Airlines?

Global upgrades can be used on pretty much all Delta flights including anywhere within the United States, Hawaii, Alaska, transcons between JFK and LAX or SFO, Central America, Northern South America, Southern South America, Transatlantic, Transpacific, and Intra-Asia Oceania.

The great thing for all these options is that the fare classes needed to book are extremely reasonable. Delta states that these are valid for use systemwide on published Main Cabin fares booked in Y, B, M, S, H, Q, K, L, U, T, X or V class meaning the only fare classes not eligible are award tickets (N class) and extremely discounted coach (E fares), but everything else is available.

The question today is whether you can redeem Delta Global Upgrades on partners and it’s a mixed answer. You can redeem them on Air France and KLM but it’s quite restrictive and here’s why:

If you want to redeem on KLM:

  • Valid on all flights coded as KLM and operated by KLM.
  • One-way upgrade from published Main Cabin fare in Y, B, or M class to Business Class.

If you want to redeem on Air France

  • Valid on most transatlantic flights operated by Air France.¹
  • One-way upgrade from Main Cabin when booked in Y, B, or M class to Premium Voyageur Class.
  • One-way upgrade from Premium Voyageur when booked in S or W class to Business Class.

Bottom Line

Based on the fare class restrictions for redeeming on Air France and KLM, the best value is to redeem Delta Global Upgrades on long-haul Delta operated international flights (think Southern South America, Australia, South Africa, Europe, etc.)

Have you redeemed your Delta Global Upgrades? Feel free to comment below!

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. For details on current offers visit the card issuer’s site.

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  1. I used a global upgrade certification in May for FNT-ATL, ATL-AMS and AMS-BRU. The AMS-BRU segment, on KLM, is pathetically short but it was a two-cabin KLM aircraft. I did not get KLM’s business-class, despite the global upgrade having been confirmed for two segments on Delta aircraft.

  2. Frustrating experience with the Global Upgrade certificates. Booked DL MSP/AMS with connection on KLM from AMS/Zurich. This was all one ticket. Still the upgrade certificates were only valid on the DL portion (MSP/AMS). DL specified that KLM would *not* recognize the upgrade certificates. Makes no sense. given that they are allegedly sister airlines.

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