I suppose it’s hard to take away something that’s already been taken away, then put back, but not published. However, I’d say Delta has managed to do that. Just what the heck am I talking about? Per DeltaPoints, Delta has quietly removed the unpublished upgrade benefit for Platinum Medallions on the premium transcon routes from JFK to LAX and SFO. Now, you can only be placed on the upgrade list for these Business Elite/soon to be Delta One™ transcon flights if you are a Diamond Medallion. While the likelihood of me flying one of these routes is slim to none in the foreseeable future, the way Delta has managed this particular series of upgrade changes has been kind of hokey from the get-go to put it mildly.

delta transcontinental upgrades

I’m glad Delta is really proud of their transcon product. But seriously, is it so much more superdynawhoppin’ special than what American and United offer in the market? So special that an airline needs to go out of their way to annoy higher level Medallions? Remember, the usual Medallion upgrade process was removed for just these routes (and JFK-SEA until recently) not all that long ago, and restricted to mileage upgrades or using a Global Upgrade Certificate. At some point over the last year, Delta quietly re-instituted upgrades for just Platinum and Diamond Medallions in sort of a super-secret fraternal handshake kind of way. The official word was that their policy had not changed, but they had begun awarding upgrades to Platinums and Diamonds during slower travel periods as the operation permits.

While I doubt someone at Delta woke up this morning and said “let’s annoy some Platinums today,” the whole back and forth trick with this is interesting. I want to give Delta the benefit of the doubt, but for whatever reason, I’m struggling today. Admittedly, Delta has the financials on this, I don’t. However, I can’t help but ask – was anyone being harmed by letting this one little thing remain the way it was?

-MJ, January 22, 2015