Delta One is the name for Delta’s premium business class service, which they offer on most international longhaul flights, as well as on select transcontinental flights.
These flights feature fully flat beds in the forward cabin, along with Delta’s enhanced premium cabin service, including Westin Heavenly bedding, Tumi amenity kits, and improved food & beverage offerings.
Last week Delta announced they’d be expanding the number of routes which offer official “Delta One” service (as opposed to some routes which have internationally-configured cabins, but don’t have the enhanced soft product). The new routes include:
- New York JFK to Seattle as of April 1, 2018
- New York JFK to San Diego as of April 1, 2018
- New York JFK to Las Vegas as of May 1, 2018
These three routes join Delta’s four existing domestic Delta One routes, which include New York to Los Angeles, New York to San Francisco, Washington DCA to Los Angeles, and Boston to San Francisco.
As Ben noted on Friday, this was Good News/Bad News for Delta elites, as the SkyMiles upgrade policy offers elite members complimentary upgrades to Comfort+ and First Class, but not to Delta One. In other words, when these changes kick in, there would be seven long domestic routes not offering elite members complimentary upgrades.
Shockingly, Delta has announced an update to this policy today, which will be effective as of April 1, 2018.
Starting in April, Delta SkyMiles Medallion Members will be eligible for unlimited day-of-departure Complimentary Upgrades to the Delta One cabin on all domestic flights, including Hawaii
The “day-of-departure” caveat is key, as the upgrade window is shortened for all Medallion members:
The domestic Delta One upgrade process will align with the airline’s domestic First Class process, except upgrades will be awarded in the hours leading up to the flight, as opposed to beginning several days ahead of time.
This is a huge change for Delta, and a day-of upgrade is certainly better than no complimentary upgrade, though I contest the assertion that it’s “industry-leading”. American allows upgrades on all routes, following the normal elite upgrade window, as an example.
But there’s no question that this is a significant improvement for Delta elites, who would have previously needed to use their Choice Benefit upgrade vouchers to upgrade on these routes.
Of course, elites will still be able to use instruments to confirm upgrades ahead of time, and on these popular routes there may not be much upgrade space to speak of regardless, but I tend to feel this is an overall positive change.
What do you make of this change to Delta One upgrades?