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 Feb 25, 19, 1:53 pm
  #196  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Home Airport: PDX
Programs: Delta Skymiles DM; On Track for 1M Delta in 2019
Posts: 98
Cheap price to go from {U,L} -> K for a 65k each-way upgrade

Booked today a round trip PDX<->BCN (via AMS in both directions) for travel in mid-April (Mon-Sun). Outbound was in a U fare and return was in an L fare. The L fare cost $130 to upgrade to a K, and the U fare cost $105 to upgrade to a K. Once all was upgraded to a K, it was 65,000 miles in each direction to upgrade to D1 for the PDX<->AMS legs. Cleared immediately.

I was so pleasantly surprised that the cash fare upgrade was so little! I have plenty of miles, but I'm on a tight budge cash-wise.

Last edited by shipitfish; Feb 25, 19 at 1:54 pm Reason: add a few more details and clarifications
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Old Feb 25, 19, 3:25 pm
  #197  
 
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Originally Posted by shipitfish View Post
Booked today a round trip PDX<->BCN (via AMS in both directions) for travel in mid-April (Mon-Sun). Outbound was in a U fare and return was in an L fare. The L fare cost $130 to upgrade to a K, and the U fare cost $105 to upgrade to a K. Once all was upgraded to a K, it was 65,000 miles in each direction to upgrade to D1 for the PDX<->AMS legs. Cleared immediately.

I was so pleasantly surprised that the cash fare upgrade was so little! I have plenty of miles, but I'm on a tight budge cash-wise.
Nice! Did you have to call in for this or was it available to you online?
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Old Feb 25, 19, 8:00 pm
  #198  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Well it's been 8 days and surprisingly, nobody from Delta even replied to my rant to them about discontinuation of mileage upgrades in the Americas. Is Delta ghosting me?
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Old Feb 26, 19, 7:35 am
  #199  
 
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Originally Posted by marcworld View Post
Well it's been 8 days and surprisingly, nobody from Delta even replied to my rant to them about discontinuation of mileage upgrades in the Americas. Is Delta ghosting me?

It usually takes longer than that and recently they seem to have been responding via phone call rather than email.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 12:42 pm
  #200  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Tried separatepost about this but maybe this is a better place. At beginning of January I used miles to upgrade a K class ticket to D1. I have D1 seat assignments, so the upgrade appears to have processed. However, the miles do not seem to have been withdrawn from my account. Is there a reason for this? When are they going to withdraw them - and what if I have less than the necessary 120K miles when that happens?

Thanks in advance
Dan
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Old Feb 26, 19, 1:53 pm
  #201  
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Originally Posted by dddaaannn93 View Post
Tried separatepost about this but maybe this is a better place. At beginning of January I used miles to upgrade a K class ticket to D1. I have D1 seat assignments, so the upgrade appears to have processed. However, the miles do not seem to have been withdrawn from my account. Is there a reason for this? When are they going to withdraw them - and what if I have less than the necessary 120K miles when that happens?

Thanks in advance
Dan
Cross posting is generally frowned on. As posted to your other posting, this is normal. Miles don't come out till ticket is reissued. There's no rush to do this since you've already been upgraded. Just needs to be done before checking in.
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Old Feb 27, 19, 8:50 am
  #202  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Originally Posted by JBJ2435 View Post
Nice! Did you have to call in for this or was it available to you online?
Oh sorry, should have mentioned. I was already talking with an agent because I was getting an error message trying to book the flight online (strangely, I never had that happen before, but at last booking step, it was saying "Unable to complete transaction, call an agent".) After three tries, I called the DM desk to book. Once I booked, I was trying to apply a GUC, and then realized I should ask about cash upgrade to K fare, then mileage upgrade, and she checked and found that price. The agent was as surprised as me that going from {L,U}->K on an international leg was only a total of $235 round-trip. I am sure I got lucky; I'd love to understand why!
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Old Mar 4, 19, 12:28 pm
  #203  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
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Just called into to get a quote on an upgrade on an ATL-LAX K fare. I was told that if there is a $/mileage upgrade on the itinerary page there was no option for a Mileage Upgrade Award. The agent seemed to think there was no other option (Gold reservation line). Anyone have any thoughts on this? I plan on calling back to try another agent.
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Old Mar 4, 19, 12:31 pm
  #204  
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Originally Posted by ems717 View Post
Just called into to get a quote on an upgrade on an ATL-LAX K fare. I was told that if there is a $/mileage upgrade on the itinerary page there was no option for a Mileage Upgrade Award. The agent seemed to think there was no other option (Gold reservation line). Anyone have any thoughts on this? I plan on calling back to try another agent.
I believe flat rate award upgrades went away for domestic flights.. It's now simply variable $/mile upgrades.
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Old Mar 4, 19, 1:10 pm
  #205  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
I believe flat rate award upgrades went away for domestic flights.. It's now simply variable $/mile upgrades.
Thanks for the info, I guess I missed that!
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Old Mar 4, 19, 1:30 pm
  #206  
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Originally Posted by ems717 View Post


Thanks for the info, I guess I missed that!
Mileage Award Upgrades are no longer offered for routes in North and South America

"For all markets, with the exception of Delta-operated flights in North America and South America, "

https://www.delta.com/content/www/en...-and-more.html
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Old Apr 4, 19, 11:37 am
  #207  
 
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So I understand that DL has removed most flights from being able to use mileage upgrade awards and you can only use whatever FCM offer DL.com gives you, but what if there is no FCM offer? The reason I ask is because I’m thinking about booking a HNL-MSP-MCO flight on a K Fare and there typically aren’t any FCM offers on D1 flights IME. If I end up booking that flight and there is indeed no FCM option, can I therefore attempt to use a millage upgrade award which would be 28K miles according to the wiki?
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Old Apr 4, 19, 8:17 pm
  #208  
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Originally Posted by MCO Flyer View Post
So I understand that DL has removed most flights from being able to use mileage upgrade awards and you can only use whatever FCM offer DL.com gives you, but what if there is no FCM offer? The reason I ask is because Iím thinking about booking a HNL-MSP-MCO flight on a K Fare and there typically arenít any FCM offers on D1 flights IME. If I end up booking that flight and there is indeed no FCM option, can I therefore attempt to use a millage upgrade award which would be 28K miles according to the wiki?
No. The whole point is the mileage awards are gone. There is no award to use. BTW it's only N America and Northern S. American flights that no longer have an award upgrade option.
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Old Apr 18, 19, 12:58 pm
  #209  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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I'm on a paid Comfort W and W+ fare in early June. GSP-DTW-LHR outbound and FCO-ATL-GSP coming back. Can I use miles to upgrade to Delta One? Anyone have a read on what a fair amount will be if it is possible?

UPDATE: I called and there was no upgradable inventory. I'd have to rebook to a Main Cabin Upgradable fare (about $200 difference) and then she quoted 65K miles each way. But I'd be waitlisted and she said she had no idea if they'd open any inventory since it's in June, peak season etc. Ugh.

She suggested I call back later to see if inventory has opened up. Anyone know how far out those decisions are made? Thanks.

Last edited by Chanticleer; Apr 18, 19 at 1:14 pm
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Old Apr 18, 19, 2:17 pm
  #210  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by Chanticleer View Post

She suggested I call back later to see if inventory has opened up. Anyone know how far out those decisions are made? Thanks.
There is no way to know if or when more inventory will become available. Delta does not make public the factors they use to decide, so paying to upfare and then waitlist is a risk. I would guess that for summer travel that is not that far away, your chances of an upgrade are low.
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