Delta’s making it easier to upgrade companions, but favoring SkyMiles members with no status over Medallion Gold, Silver, and Platinum members. How does that make any sense?
Delta’s Odd New Companion Upgrade Policy
The issue is companions traveling on separate reservations. Currently, if you are traveling with a companion on the same PNR (reservation), you clear according to the window of the passenger with highest status. So a Gold Medallion member traveling with a Diamond Medallion member would clear at the Diamond window. Up until this week, companions traveling on separate reservations could request Delta link them and thus trigger companion upgrades, but clearance would depend upon individual status (with non-status members clearing at 24 hours prior to travel, subject to availability).
Per Rene’s Points, Delta has adjusted this policy. Companions without status will now clear with the status member. So a Diamond clears as early as 120 hours prior to departure and now their non-status companion will as well, even on a linked but separate reservation.
But here’s the twist. If your companion has status, they will still clear at their respective windows. So let’s say a Diamond is traveling with a Silver. The Diamond may still clear at 120 hours prior to travel while the Silver will still have to wait until 24 hours before travel.
How does that make any sense?
I have no status on Delta. If my friend with Diamond status was traveling, I could link my reservation and jump Platinum, Gold, and Silver members waiting for upgrades in the process? But if I had Gold status I could not do so?
The Language Is Clear, Right?
Something doesn’t add up, but the official language is right here:
If you and your companion are in different paid ticket reservations that have been linked, upgrades to U.S. 50 domestic Delta One, First Class and Delta Comfort+ work a little differently:
- For domestic Delta One and First Class, your upgrades will clear based on your individual Member Status and confirmation windows, if available. For example, if Platinum and Silver Medallion Members are traveling together, the Platinum Medallion Member will clear at the Platinum window and the Silver Medallion Member will clear at the Silver window. If your companion is a General Member who does not have Medallion Status, their upgrade will clear at the clearing time of the Medallion Member’s Tier. For example, if a Platinum Medallion Member and a General Member are traveling together, both will clear at the Platinum window.
There is it…
First, don’t get cheeky if you have lower tier status and create a fake SkyMiles number so you have a back-up account without status. Delta may respond by shutting down both of your accounts.
Second, don’t think you can just leave out your SkyMiles number all together and add it later. Delta will bypass you for an upgrade without a SkyMiles number affixed to your name.
This Policy Makes No Sense
I don’t see how a policy of favoring members without status over Platinum, Gold, and Silver members makes any sense.
Yet you can now impress the girl in the bar or your boss or a travel colleague by letting them jump the upgrade queue over road warriors with mid-tier status.
That’s not going to go over well..
I’m really scratching my head here. I do think there is a nice benefit in allowing friends and family to upgrade when traveling on a separate itinerary. But penalizing those with status? That does not appear to be a well-thought-out policy.
Am I missing something or do you also find this new policy confusing?