The Delta Comfort Plus product (C+) offers seats towards the front of the plane, SkyPriority boarding, extra leg room, dedicated overhead bins, and improved snack service on longer flights.
In November 2015, Delta announced forthcoming changes to its Comfort+ (regular economy seats with more legroom and more recline on internationally-configured aircraft) product for domestic flights. C+ will now fall under the “W” bucket; a bucket used for premium economy on many carriers.
Effective November 14, 2015, for travel on or after May 16, 2016, in the U.S.50 and Canada, Delta will offer customers the ability to purchase Delta Comfort+™ in their initial purchase as a fare and not as an ancillary purchase.
Delta Comfort Plus Product Changes
- Eligible passengers (ergo Medallions) will have to request an upgrade to C+.
- Diamond/Platinum: Diamond and Platinum Medallions may clear once book so long as space is available.
- Gold/Silver: Gold and Silver Medallions will be “upgraded” at the 72 and 24 hour windows respectively.
- Companions: Medallions traveling with a companion on the same reservation will be ranked according to the person with the least status. Limited to a request for a maximum of 1 companion.
- Companion Certificate: Passengers using the DL AMEX Companion Certificates are not eligible for C+ upgrades.
These changes are going to especially affect Medallions who’ve enjoyed access to C+:
- Those travelling with a companion. Previously, it was pretty easy for a DM to get a companion on a different reservation into C+. Medallions could also easily get C+ seats for more than one companion of all traveling were on the same PNR.
- There’s also the risk of being upgraded into a middle C+ seat.
- Time will tell how partner elites are treated with regard to accessing the C+ product, especially for domestic US flights.
- While this initial roll out is for domestic flights, I think it’s safe to expect DL will do the same for its international C+ product. For now, it remains an add on, but I’d be really surprised if this change does not come.
What’s it going to cost?
While the above has been discussed widely, in doing an award search for my sister today (trip is late October 2016), I noticed DL is now “selling” award tickets for three classes of service – Main Cabin, Comfort+, and First/Business.
On the outbound, there was a 10,000 mile difference between Main Cabin and Comfort+, awards. An F/J award was more than double the C+ price.
For the return, it was even worse! A 10-15,000 mile difference between Main Cabin and Comfort+ depending on the selected booking.
It’s no secret Delta is making it more expensive to redeem miles. These changes indicate it’s simply going to cost more to sit in better seats…