One of the benefits of being a Delta Medallion is unlimited complimentary upgrades to First Class and Comfort Plus. If there is upgrade inventory available in advance, Medallions are upgraded at that time, however more often than not, upgrades will occur at the gate.
On a recent trip, I noticed that the flight went from 6 Comfort Plus seats an hour before the flight, down to just 1 seat, 30 minutes prior as a result of the gate agents clearing Basic Economy passengers into Comfort Plus.
Here’s what happened:
On a recent Delta flight out of Los Angeles, that was full and possibly even oversold by a few passengers, there was a long list of passengers awaiting seats. These passengers were likely on Basic Economy, E fares, who are typically assigned seats at the gate.
An hour prior, according to the Gate Information Display screen, there were 6 seats in Comfort Plus, and 2 seats in Business Class. Fast forward to boarding, and both seats in Business Class showed that passengers were upgraded, however of the 6 seats in Comfort Plus, only 1 of the seats showed as an upgrade. The other 5 were assigned, to passengers awaiting a seat assignment.
What should have happened, was the gate agents should have upgraded the 6 Medallion members from the Main Cabin to Comfort Plus, and then assigned those 6 “additional” seats in the Main Cabin to those Basic Economy passengers awaiting seats. However, the gate agents skipped this step and just assigned Comfort Plus seats to Basic Economy passengers.
Delta has responded with the following statement:
While the situation described does not align with Delta’s upgrade policy/procedure, there is not a way to determine the Medallion level of other customers or the fare product another customer purchased via gate upgrade or standby displays. Any customer who feels they were not given the correct seat assignment should share their concern with customer care, who will review their inquiry
On one hand, the flight was full and the gate agents wanted to get it out of time, however it diminishes the integrity of their upgrade policy for Medallion members, and also encouraging Basic Economy tickets to be purchased.
Has anyone else noticed Comfort Plus seats being assigned to Basic Economy passengers rather than Medallions when there is a lengthy upgrade list? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.