Delta Mileage Upgrade Awards

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Old Mar 4, 19, 4:00 am   -   Wikipost
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Note: This thread is about Mileage Upgrade Awards, which are Sky Miles upgrades that upgrade your coach seat to First Class, Delta One or Premium Select.

Important Details:
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  • Your underlying fare class remains Economy, and you are technically still booked as an economy passenger.
  • You are granted all inflight & airport benefits of having that upgraded seat (i.e. Premium security line, Sky Club access on international flights, etc).
  • You earn miles based on your original Main Cabin fare.
  • Mileage Upgrade Award prices are set by route and do not fluctuate based on the cash price of the upgrade.
  • Delta no longer publishes the miles required by route to upgrade, and the numbers below is a FT best attempt to collect this data; it may not be accurate.
  • Mileage Upgrade Awards are confirmed after your coach ticket is booked (though could be in the same phone call with an agent who has checked for upgrade space before booking)
  • The only way to use Mileage Upgrade Awards is by calling Delta--there is no online option.
  • This Wiki contains only minimal information about upgrading to and from Premium Select; please share information as you gather it, either by updating the wiki or posting in the thread.
  • You must be booked in an upgradeable fare class to upgrade. It is possible to buy up to an upgradeable coach fare class and then upgrade with miles.


How to Upgrade with Delta Sky Miles
  • You can Either:
    • Call Delta and ask to book a flight that has Mileage Upgrade Awards available and then purchase and upgrade the flight at the same time with that agent. Inventory is highly limited.
    • OR, call Delta to upgrade a flight you have already booked. When you call they will either process the upgrade or tell you that there are no upgrades available.
      • If an upgrade is not available, it is possible to waitlist.
        • Mileage Upgrade Awards that are waitlisted do not transfer to the Airport Upgrade List (for gate upgrade) and cannot be cleared at the gate.
        • There have been rare exceptions reported to this rule. If you want to attempt to clear your upgrade at the airport on day of departure, speak with a red coat. This is against policy and will not usually work, but some have reported success.
  • If you want to upgrade a flight that you have already booked the change fee should be waived for this upgrade. Ask for a supervisor if this is challenged.
  • The Delta agent may offer you either Delta Upgrade Awards or Upgrade with Miles (see details below). Confirm you are getting the lowest mile option.
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NOTE: Delta offers an additional upgrade option which is called Upgrade with Miles. These upgrades are available on US Domestic flights only and are a pay with miles type of upgrade. (meaning that, unlike Mileage Upgrade Awards, the amount of miles needed fluctuates based on the cash price of an upgrade). When you use Upgrade with Miles you will earn miles for your flight based on the cabin flown, as you have now paid (with miles) to change your ticket to a premium cabin ticket (vs an upgraded coach ticket). The mileage amounts listed in this thread are not for this program. To use Upgrade with Miles you need to log into your reservation and check for an upgrade offer or call Delta and ask. Upgrade with Miles typically requires more miles to upgrade than Mileage Upgrade Awards.
In order to use Mileage Upgrade Awards from Main Cabin or Comfort+ to First Class or Delta One, you need to be booked in the correct fare class:
  • Within North America and northern South America you can upgrade when booked in: Y/B/M/H/Q/K/L/U/T
  • For all other markets you can upgrade when booked in: Y/B/M//H/Q/K
    • You can see your booking class by logging into your reservation. Directly under your seat assignment it will say your cabin and your booking class. For example: MAIN CABIN (Q)
The wiki needs to be updated to include information about upgrading to and from Delta Premium Select.

Prices for the following markets as quoted by multiple reservations agents.

Other thread of potential interest:

Pricing is one-way


US/Canada/Mexico/Caribbean First Class (Most North America routes except for flights that offer Delta One)
Y/B/M: 15,000 miles
H/Q/K: 20,000 miles
L/U/T: 30,000 miles

Domestic Delta One Routes (domestic transcon & Hawaii routes that offer Delta One service such as JFK-LAX, LAX-DCA, ATL-HNL, etc)
Y/B/M: 23,000 miles
H/Q/K: 28,000 miles
L/U/T: 40,000 miles

US-Hawaii (Except for Delta One routes MSP/ATL/JFK/DTW-HNL. For these routes, see Domestic Transcontinental Premium Routes )
Y/B/M: 15,000 miles
H/Q/K: 20,000 miles
L/U/T: 30,000 miles

US-Northern South America
Y/B/M: 30,000 miles
H/Q/K: 45,000 miles
L/U/T: 55,000 miles

US-Southern South America
Y/B/M: 40,000 miles
H/Q/K: 60,000 miles

US-Europe:
Main Cabin to Delta One:
Y/B/M: 35,000 miles
H/Q/K: 65,000 miles

Main Cabin to Premium Select:
Y/B/M: 25,000 miles
H/Q/K: 35,000 miles

Premium Select to Delta One:
P/A/G: 40,000 miles

US-Northern Asia (Japan/Korea/China):
Main Cabin to Delta One:
Y/B/M: 45,000 miles
H/Q/K: 70,000 miles

Premium Select to Delta One
P/A/G: 45,000 miles

US-Southeast/Southwest Asia, Micronesia, Southwest Pacific:
Y/B/M: 35,000 miles
H/Q/K: 80,000 miles

US-Africa (incl. South Africa)
Y/B/M: 35,000 miles
H/Q/K: 80,000 miles

US-Middle East
Y/B/M: 35,000 miles
H/Q/K: 80,000 miles
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Old Jan 23, 19, 10:23 pm
  #136  
 
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Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
Is this one way or round trip? 45K is higher than has been reported by others for a one way upgrade from an M fare. Previous reports were 30K miles one way.
Quoted via Twitter for one way travel. Thought it was higher than expected, but still worth it for the 15.5 hour trip (for me at least).
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Old Jan 23, 19, 10:29 pm
  #137  
 
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Originally Posted by factorr View Post
Quoted via Twitter for one way travel. Thought it was higher than expected, but still worth it for the 15.5 hour trip (for me at least).
i would for sure pay it if it got me into J. But it may be worth double checking that it is the correct amount. If you do, will you report back? We should update the wiki.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 7:55 am
  #138  
 
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i would for sure pay it if it got me into J. But it may be worth double checking that it is the correct amount. If you do, will you report back? We should update the wiki.
The Twitter rep confirmed, from ATL - PVG for a "M" class fare the mileage award is 45k miles.

Last edited by factorr; Jan 24, 19 at 8:35 am
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Old Jan 24, 19, 8:58 am
  #139  
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Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
i would for sure pay it if it got me into J. But it may be worth double checking that it is the correct amount. If you do, will you report back? We should update the wiki.
I wonder whether DL is starting to charge miles to go from coach to PS and then more miles for PS to D1 On flights that have suites.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 9:03 am
  #140  
 
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Last edited by UNDLAC; Feb 4, 19 at 2:11 am
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Old Jan 24, 19, 9:05 am
  #141  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I wonder whether DL is starting to charge miles to go from coach to PS and then more miles for PS to D1 On flights that have suites.
Based on the seat map, DL185 appears to be an older config 777 w/ C+. However, that could be incorrect...
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Old Jan 24, 19, 9:13 am
  #142  
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Originally Posted by jdrtravel View Post
Is this one way or round trip? 45K is higher than has been reported by others for a one way upgrade from an M fare. Previous reports were 30K miles one way.
TATL was recently quoted at 35K from YBM, so it would make sense that TPAC is more than that. I updated Wiki with new TPAC rates.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 9:25 am
  #143  
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I think I just got ripped off.
JFK-SLC Skymiles award upgrade for 35k one-way, originally booked in K (and re-booked into "OY"* class post-upgrade).
Per the chart in the wiki it should be 20k, but I didn't think to look here until right after the agent processed it.
The "pay with miles" option online was ~$400 or ~38k+ miles, so I did save a few (although would I have earned first class EQMs doing that as it books into Z???).

I asked her to double-check, and while she did confirm that a route like JFK-LAX would be the 28k as quoted in the Wiki, she double-checked and said SLC was 35k.

I may write in to customer service anyway, complaining. But of course I didn't have to accept the offer, so I'll live with the outcome.

Perhaps its best to wait to update the Wiki on this one?

*My email confirmation has "O" but DL.com has "OY"
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Old Jan 24, 19, 10:44 am
  #144  
 
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
I think I just got ripped off.
JFK-SLC Skymiles award upgrade for 35k one-way, originally booked in K (and re-booked into "OY"* class post-upgrade).
Per the chart in the wiki it should be 20k, but I didn't think to look here until right after the agent processed it.
The "pay with miles" option online was ~$400 or ~38k+ miles, so I did save a few (although would I have earned first class EQMs doing that as it books into Z???).

I asked her to double-check, and while she did confirm that a route like JFK-LAX would be the 28k as quoted in the Wiki, she double-checked and said SLC was 35k.

I may write in to customer service anyway, complaining. But of course I didn't have to accept the offer, so I'll live with the outcome.

Perhaps its best to wait to update the Wiki on this one?

*My email confirmation has "O" but DL.com has "OY"
If you had taken the 38K miles offer, yes, you would earn 50% bonus MQMs.

Both your current OY upgrade or the 38K miles upgrade booking into probably Z make you eligible for domestic SDC, but you will have a much easier time with a Z class ticket than an OY class ticket.

The email confirmation shows O and it doesn't show the 2nd letter. That's normal.

I personally would call back and press for the 20K. They can undo what they did and reinstate your previous ticket. If not, and I had decided to burn 35K on JFK-SLC, I would pay the 38K (3K difference) for the 50% bonus MQMs, plus you will probably make up the 3K in more RDMs rewarded (as the system will give you at least 5x and up to 11x for your extra ~$400 in "spend")
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Old Jan 24, 19, 11:40 am
  #145  
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Originally Posted by btonkid12345 View Post
If you had taken the 38K miles offer, yes, you would earn 50% bonus MQMs.

Both your current OY upgrade or the 38K miles upgrade booking into probably Z make you eligible for domestic SDC, but you will have a much easier time with a Z class ticket than an OY class ticket.

The email confirmation shows O and it doesn't show the 2nd letter. That's normal.

I personally would call back and press for the 20K. They can undo what they did and reinstate your previous ticket. If not, and I had decided to burn 35K on JFK-SLC, I would pay the 38K (3K difference) for the 50% bonus MQMs, plus you will probably make up the 3K in more RDMs rewarded (as the system will give you at least 5x and up to 11x for your extra ~$400 in "spend")
Thanks for the commentary. Just spoke to another agent who chalked it up to there not being the appropriate inventory for the lower-level 20k mile award, so it came out of a higher class. I didn't have high confidence in the info received though. She kept referred to the higher level as the "new" process that lets you upgrade to any available seat depending on the inventory and said it was 35 because there was only full J inventory available. That is true now, but when I upgraded it was also showing D1 C1 I1 Z1. And before that D/C/I/Z seat was released (thanks ExpertFlyer!), they wanted $800+ for the upgrade into J.

Also, I asked what class the traditional upgrade should normally book into and she threw out L/U/T, but I think she must have been confused between the original booking class and the upgrade class, as she was also by that point talking about a 25k upgrade price.

I don't want to undo anything in case the release of my seat doesn't go back into Z inventory. So I'll just hold for now and maybe write in for clarification anyway.

I guess I am a little bummed about the 50% bonus MQMs and as a Gold, I'd earn ~3,200 RDMs extra which would have funded the difference. But I was on the phone and had to make a go/no-go decision quickly and didn't think it all through.

I think I do get SDC as Gold anyway, and while having unrestricted ability to change to any other available flight in FC is nice, I'm unlikely to use it in this case.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 1:01 pm
  #146  
 
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Two things to note about SDC. There is an internationally configured 757 doing this route once daily, so it might definitely be worth switching onto that flight. Also, when doing a SDC with an paid instrument like miles or certs, they usually have to process it manually(other times they tell you not possible and you HUCA). In my experience this leads to sometimes getting it rebooked in a business fare class (J,D, I, Z) not representative of your original paid fare. This means with a SDC there is the potential to get a mileage bonus that you wouldn't get by just sticking to your original ticket.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 2:51 pm
  #147  
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Yeah, the flat beds are on the early AM flight from JFK, but that doesn't work for me. Thanks, though.
(And worth mentioning you really only get bonus MQMs if agent books you in a revenue class, as RDMs/MQDs are fare-based anyway.)
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Old Jan 25, 19, 7:01 am
  #148  
 
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Asked via twitter about JFK-EDI upgrade to D1. Currently SW, hoping to go OZ or OI though I think inventory is currently I and not Z. They told me 231k... Should I expect something more reasonable at some point that would be reflective of a typical mileage upgrade award, or are those not available for upgrading previously booked award tickets? Thanks!
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Old Jan 25, 19, 7:04 am
  #149  
 
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Originally Posted by griffy208 View Post
Asked via twitter about JFK-EDI upgrade to D1. Currently SW, hoping to go OZ or OI though I think inventory is currently I and not Z. They told me 231k... Should I expect something more reasonable at some point that would be reflective of a typical mileage upgrade award, or are those not available for upgrading previously booked award tickets? Thanks!

Mileage upgrade awards can only be applied to tickets booked with cash (or e credit). The price you are being quoted is likely the price of a D1 award ticket, less the miles you paid for your coach award ticket.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 7:22 am
  #150  
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Originally Posted by griffy208 View Post
Asked via twitter about JFK-EDI upgrade to D1. Currently SW, hoping to go OZ or OI though I think inventory is currently I and not Z. They told me 231k... Should I expect something more reasonable at some point that would be reflective of a typical mileage upgrade award, or are those not available for upgrading previously booked award tickets? Thanks!
I'm sorry you didn't like my answer where you posted the same question in the other thread, but neglected to mention that you had an award ("mileage") ticket.
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