As much as I believe Delta is a great airline for domestic travel (in terms of upgrades and their onboard product), their international upgrade policy is the worst of any US airline. You have to book a Y, B, or M fare in order to upgrade, and those are often more expensive than discounted business class tickets. Compare that to American, where I get eight systemwide upgrades valid for any fare just for being an Executive Platinum member. Meanwhile at Delta you’re typically looking at a $2,500+ fare just to have the privilege of upgrading on a transatlantic flight.
One of the last half decent upgrade values for transatlantic travel (be it with Delta miles or systemwide upgrades) was upgrading from Air France premium economy to business class. Last June they already devalued that option by excluding “A” premium economy fares from being upgradable, which was the cheapest premium economy fare. However, it looks like they’ve one upped themselves, and now you can’t upgrade Air France premium economy to business class at all through Delta, be it with miles or systemwide upgrades.
What’s awful about this is that no notice was given. Many people booked Air France premium economy tickets with the intention of upgrading and have been waiting for Air France business class award space to open up (which is required in order to upgrade), though they’re now hosed.
And with that, Delta SkyMiles and systemwide upgrades became even more worthless for international upgrades. I guess they deserve credit for their consistency at least?
(Tip of the hat to Delta Points)