Last week, we speculated that changes would be coming to Comfort Plus, and the changes were finally implemented this weekend, for travel on May 16, 2016 or later, which means starting then you’ll see three options of type of fares which now include Main Cabin, Delta Comfort+ and Delta One/First.
I decided to do a sample search as a Platinum Medallion I get free Comfort Plus shortly after booking, however during the booking process it does not appear that way, making it unclear. If you wanted Comfort Plus (which now books into the W fare class) it would be $137 more than coach on this flight one-way from LAX-JFK.
When it comes to Medallion benefits, here’s what is changing:
- Medallion members will continue to enjoy complimentary upgrades to Delta Comfort+ based on availability, after purchasing a Main Cabin ticket and opting in for a Delta Comfort+ upgrade.
- Diamond and Platinum Medallion members will be upgraded to an available Delta Comfort+ seat at the time of ticketing, while Gold and Silver Medallion members will be eligible to receive upgrades three days and one day prior to departure.
- Medallion members will be notified of their new Delta Comfort+ seat assignment via email and will have the option to change to another Delta Comfort+ seat, if available.
- Only one travel companion traveling in the same reservation will be eligible for complimentary access to Delta Comfort+ when traveling on the same flight as the Medallion Member and the companion must be a SkyMiles member.
- The clearance window will be based on the lowest SkyMiles tier level in the reservation.
- Global and Regional Upgrades may be used to upgrade to/from Delta Comfort+.
Since the new fares are just starting to be sold, NOT all the details about how this will affect Medallions has been sorted out yet, but it should be before May 16th comes. For instance, Gold and Silver Medallions will be getting upgrade instruments, though those have not been rolled out yet.
The biggest negative is how you can only have one companion with you in Comfort Plus, vs. how you could have eight before. If you’re a Diamond or Platinum Medallion traveling with a lower-level Medallion or a non-status companion, you wouldn’t be able to select Comfort + till just 3 days prior at the earliest, depending on your companion, since you’ll now clear of the lower of the two.
When purchasing a flight, it makes no indication that you’re eligible for a free upgrade to Comfort Plus, and instead is a misleading, since it wants you to buy up to it, even though you’ll get it for free as a Diamond or Platinum Medallion at ticketing.
I don’t have a good feeling about the direction where this is heading… Feel free to comment below with your thoughts.