If all else fails, let’s hope you have spare cash to clinch an upgrade. On flights where Delta agents expect empty first-class seats, passengers will now be allowed to buy standby upgrades to the first-class cabin for $40, $60 or $80 per flight based on the length of the flight. Similar to the familiar 800-mile segment upgrade program, the least expensive fares U and L are excluded from the program. Also excluded are SkyMiles award tickets.
The $40 fee is for flights up to 799 miles, the $60 fee for flights between 800 and 1599 and the $80 fee for flights over 1,600 miles.
The program is available at airports in Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York/LaGuardia, New York/JFK, Orlando, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington/National.
According to Delta the program will have no effect on the number of first-class seats available to Medallion members using confirmed upgrades. Let’s see how this program pans out.