Since Delta has been on a long-term path to end domestic first class upgrades they want you to think of extra legroom coach seats as an ‘upgrade’. They don’t let you just select these extra legroom ‘Comfort+’ seats if you have elite status, like American and United allow for their 50,000 mile flyers instead:
- Diamond and Platinum members can upgrade into extra legroom coach after ticketing
- Gold (50,000 mile flyers) have to wait until 72 hours prior to departure and take what’s left
- Silvers can ‘upgrade into’ Comfort+ within 24 hours of departure
However since Comfort+ seats are just like regular coach, three seats next to each other on each side of the aisle on narrowbody aircraft, you might have an aisle seat or even an exit row aisle further back and wind up ‘upgraded’ into a middle seat. That’s some upgrade.
Delta learned that this was a problem, that their customers were getting upgrades that were really downgrades, so they built a workaround, sort of.
[W}hen traveling alone, Medallion Members who are not opted in to receive automatic Delta Comfort+ upgrades will now have the ability to request a Delta Comfort+ upgrade to any available seat or only a window/aisle seat when checking in for a flight at delta.com or at an airport kiosk.
Mitt Romney’s Chief of Staff fell victim to Delta’s supposed upgrades.
— Matt Waldrip (@mattwaldrip) July 8, 2019
Unfortunately the option to request an upgrade to a non-middle seat only in extra legroom coach only becomes available at check-in. And there’s no option to choose to upgrade to an aisle only.
As the only airline flying between Salt Lake City and Washington DC (both National and Dulles, Southwest flies to BWI), and the airline contracted by GSA for the city pair, Senator Romney’s Chief of Staff is going to keep putting up with Delta’s approach to loyalty.
Delta’s operation is a bit more reliable, their flight crews a bit friendlier, but SkyMiles remains inferior not just for award redemption but for elite benefits as well.