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Delta’s mischievous mis-pricing of upgrades

Delta’s mischievous mis-pricing of upgrades

In recent months Delta have been making a big push to upsell unsold premium seats in their cabins. This is music to investors ears but quite the opposite for their frequent flyers and medallion members who had gotten very used to free upgrades over the years. Part of this is due to company’s travel policies restricting domestic first and the increasing willingness of people to pay for a “better” experience.



Usually within a day or two of booking you will see the options to upgrade appear in your reservation page. They are actually very interesting to watch as the prices fluctuate all over the place in the weeks between booking and flying. I would love to know if they have customer specific information on this and know when a person is more likely to bite. Either way the price will pop up and no even includes the option to pay with miles at a 100 miles a dollar which is pretty pool value.


What is interesting and very shrewd of Delta is that depending on where you are looking there are different prices. On my upcoming trip to Tokyo an upgrade to the new Premium Select cabin is $460 or 46,000 Skymiles on the App, however if I check out he website the same upgrade is $410 or 41,000 Skymiles. A pretty significant difference. Even more interesting if you try and buy the flight right now, the same upgrade will cost you $400. Finally if you try and book with miles the difference is surprisingly just 13,000 miles or $130 in theory. 


How that all makes sense I don’t know, Premium seats are obviously better than economy but each person has a different personal value. For a long flight like LAX to HND it may be worth $410 and I pulled the trigger on $299 for the way back. But the morale of the story is really to check both the App and the website not having a standard there is really very poor form from Delta but what can you do, if you’re in the market to upgrade check all your options first.

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