Delta Mileage Upgrade Awards

    Hide Wikipost
Old Aug 29, 22, 7:38 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: UnevenGray
Wiki Link
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.

These are no longer available on domestic routes and have been replaced with using miles for FCM buy-ups at slightly over 1 cpm -- see the FCM thread

Important Details:
BLANK SPACE
  • 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.
BLANK SPACE
BLANK SPACE
BLANK SPACE
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:
  • Mileage Upgrade Awards are no longer available for flights within North America and South America. These routes generally have variable online mileage upgrade offers which are based on the cash upgrade offer at the rate of 1 CPM (less 7.5% US excise tax for domestic flights).
  • 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:

Current Pricing (may be out of date, updates appreciated)

international main cabin to PS
Y/B/M: 25,000
H/Q/K: 35,000

US to Europe
Main Cabin (fare class Y, B, M) to Delta One - requires OY - 35,000 miles
Main Cabin (fare class H, Q, K) to Delta One - requires OY - 65,000 miles
Premium Select (fare class P, A, G) to Delta One - requires OY - 40,000 miles

US to South Asia/Oceania
Main Cabin (fare class Y, B, M) to Delta One - requires OY - 45,000 miles
Main Cabin (fare class H, Q, K) to Delta One - requires OY - 90,000 miles
Premium Select (fare class P, A, G) to Delta One - requires OY - 45,000 miles


LAX-SYD
PS (A) to D1: 17,500 miles

Historical pricing

(for curiosity/comparison, this section is a mix of really old and not so old pricing so may not make a lot of sense)

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

NOTE: It *might* be possible to upgrade domestic segments of a PS fare (G A P) ticket to either FC or domestic D1 (unclear which) for 17,500 miles. *Unconfirmed*

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
(NOTE: Confirmed on Aug 28, 2022 at this rate from JFK-AMS. Confirms books into OY class)

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

Print Wikipost

Old May 17, 22, 2:48 pm
  #421  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: PSC
Programs: Hilton Diamond/IHG Platinum/DL Plutononium
Posts: 1,646
Originally Posted by 21A View Post
Done successfully last month, PS => D1 40k EU-US (one way) from G, the lowest PS class
Do we know if this works if you book PS with Miles? Or needs to be a revenue ticket.
hi55us is offline  
Old Jun 15, 22, 12:49 pm
  #422  
21A
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,344
Originally Posted by hi55us View Post
Do we know if this works if you book PS with Miles? Or needs to be a revenue ticket.
No personal experience, but from my understanding it has to be a revenue ticket. I believe a class change on a mileage ticket would just be a reprice (they would collect the difference at whatever the currently quoted D1 fare in miles is).
21A is offline  
Old Jun 15, 22, 1:04 pm
  #423  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 19,351
Originally Posted by 21A View Post
No personal experience, but from my understanding it has to be a revenue ticket. I believe a class change on a mileage ticket would just be a reprice (they would collect the difference at whatever the currently quoted D1 fare in miles is).
Correct. While you can use GUCs on PS award tickets to upgrade to D1, MUAs can only be done on revenue fares (it's listed in the eligibility rules for MUAs that they cannot be applied to Award Travel).
It's possible you might get an FCM offer to upgrade on an award ticket. But these are only generated by system and if there are none offered you can only upgrade by exchanging PS award for a D1 award.

Last edited by xliioper; Jun 15, 22 at 1:11 pm
xliioper is offline  
Old Jun 26, 22, 1:55 pm
  #424  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: New York City
Programs: DL: Platinum, UA: Silver, AMEX Plat, Hyatt: Globalist and Marriott: LF Titanium Elite & Ambassador
Posts: 1,218
If I book via AMED Travel to get the recent $300 credit - would it be possible to upgrade using Skymiles to D1 and still get credit for D1 MQM/MQD?
LDNConsultant is offline  
Old Jun 26, 22, 2:01 pm
  #425  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: San Francisco
Programs: DL
Posts: 432
Originally Posted by LDNConsultant View Post
If I book via AMED Travel to get the recent $300 credit - would it be possible to upgrade using Skymiles to D1 and still get credit for D1 MQM/MQD?
Amex travel shouldnt affect your ability to do a MUC, so long as youre booking an eligible fare class. You wont earn any bonus MQM from the upgrade though, just economy MQM/MQD.
dlflyer00 is offline  
Old Jun 29, 22, 10:38 am
  #426  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 54
Hi! I know that doing a mileage upgrade award on a Virgin Atlantic flight is pending availability of a G fare on delta.com, then booking into a YMBW fare on DL.

But does anyone know if there's any correlation between G availability on Virgin Atlantic's site and Delta's? Years ago, I think the advice was if something pops up on VS's site, then it would likely be available soon on DL's. Is that still true?
jw1313 is offline  
Old Jun 29, 22, 1:36 pm
  #427  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Antonio
Programs: DL DM, Former AA EXP now AY Plat, AC 75K, NW Plat, Former CO Gold, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 24,043
Originally Posted by jw1313 View Post
Hi! I know that doing a mileage upgrade award on a Virgin Atlantic flight is pending availability of a G fare on delta.com, then booking into a YMBW fare on DL.

But does anyone know if there's any correlation between G availability on Virgin Atlantic's site and Delta's? Years ago, I think the advice was if something pops up on VS's site, then it would likely be available soon on DL's. Is that still true?
G is the only UC fare class VS partners can book. If a flight shows available to book via DL/KL/anyone except VS itself, then it can be upgraded. Carriers can always offer more seats to their own program than they offer to partners. Thus why can't use VS website to know if DL can upgrade.
flyerCO is offline  
Old Jun 29, 22, 2:00 pm
  #428  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 54
That's what I thought. However, since posting I did chat with a VS agent who said that the availability in question was just released a few days ago. She said it should be showing up for Delta. So, I'm going to ask Delta to double-check it, and the VS agent said a DL ticketing agent could even call a VS agent to verify as well. So... we'll see. I've used mileage upgrade awards many times and gotten some great deals, but geez everything is changing a lot these days.
jw1313 is offline  
Old Jun 29, 22, 2:03 pm
  #429  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 19,351
Originally Posted by jw1313 View Post
Hi! I know that doing a mileage upgrade award on a Virgin Atlantic flight is pending availability of a G fare on delta.com, then booking into a YMBW fare on DL.

But does anyone know if there's any correlation between G availability on Virgin Atlantic's site and Delta's? Years ago, I think the advice was if something pops up on VS's site, then it would likely be available soon on DL's. Is that still true?
To be clear, you are looking at VS award flights on delta.com and not revenue? (G is a revenue PS class on revenue DL coded flights). W class Comfort+ fares on DL have an underlying coach class. The underlying coach class must by YBMHQK to apply a GUC.

Last edited by xliioper; Jun 29, 22 at 2:20 pm
xliioper is offline  
Old Jun 29, 22, 2:09 pm
  #430  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Antonio
Programs: DL DM, Former AA EXP now AY Plat, AC 75K, NW Plat, Former CO Gold, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 24,043
Originally Posted by jw1313 View Post
That's what I thought. However, since posting I did chat with a VS agent who said that the availability in question was just released a few days ago. She said it should be showing up for Delta. So, I'm going to ask Delta to double-check it, and the VS agent said a DL ticketing agent could even call a VS agent to verify as well. So... we'll see. I've used mileage upgrade awards many times and gotten some great deals, but geez everything is changing a lot these days.
Agents don't know when availability was released. Also VS agent is incorrect about it showing up. If it's available, it's available. It doesn't take awhile to become accessible to others. DL TA isn't going to call VS. Only time that would happen, IRROPS/SCHEDULE CHANGE to ask about opening space if the cabin still has seats for sale, but not in correct fare class.
flyerCO is offline  
Old Jun 29, 22, 2:35 pm
  #431  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 99,662
Originally Posted by dlflyer00 View Post
Amex travel shouldnt affect your ability to do a MUC, so long as youre booking an eligible fare class. You wont earn any bonus MQM from the upgrade though, just economy MQM/MQD.
If you use the PTS/CTS IAP for a premium cabin ticket, my understanding is that these aren't considered published fares, so for example you wouldn't be able to use a GUC to upgrade from PS to D1. I would assume that mileage upgrade awards have the same restriction.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Jul 18, 22, 7:23 am
  #432  
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 2
Hi all,

First time posting, so I've read around a bunch of threads in search of my answer, but apologies in advance if I missed something obvious.

I'm flying DCA - LAX - SYD and back in early November '22 with my wife. I have already purchased the main cabin seats (X on LAX - SYD, V on SYD - LAX), and I am looking to upgrade with miles to PS or D1 (ideally D1 for my poor back). I already called an agent and was given some pretty wild mileage quotes to do these upgrades, and I'll share below:
Upgrade (LAX - SYD, no availability for the return long haul flight FYI):
MC to C+: $149 or 7900 miles
MC to PS: $499 or 49,900 miles
MC to D1: $2718 or 271,800 miles

Unfortunately, the agent was not able to give me quotes from PS to D1 unless I bought the PS seat first. I've read further up in this thread the general experience for others was the upgrade from PS to D1 was around 50k miles, but I think I also read that Delta changed their policy in the recent years to only give miles upgrades based on the per dollar difference of the fare (which might explain why the miles quote to D1 is so outrageous). Does anyone have any experience on these long haul upgrades and any tips to get to D1 the cheapest?
P3P5I is offline  
Old Jul 18, 22, 7:33 am
  #433  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 19,351
X and V fares would not be eligible for Mileage Upgrade Awards (MUAs) as only K and higher coach fares (or PS P/A/G fares) are eligible for these. If purchasing a C+ fare, the underlying fare basis for the C+ fare (found at Fare Rules link when purchasing) must be K or higher. These would likely be FCM offers (there's another thread for those) which are basically unpredictable and do not have fixed levels like MUAs. An FCM upgrade is not a re-fare, so you wound not likely be able to apply an MUA if you take an FCM upgrade to C+ or PS. You would actually have to pay fare difference and do a re-fare to correct fare class to apply a MUA.

Availability to apply a MUA on a flight can vary (there has to be bucket inventory availability for MUAs in addition to purchasing a sufficiently high enough fare class) , but they are always mileage based (there's no cash option) and they are not based on fare difference.
MSPeconomist likes this.

Last edited by xliioper; Jul 18, 22 at 7:43 am
xliioper is offline  
Old Jul 18, 22, 7:36 am
  #434  
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by xliioper View Post
X and V fares would not be eligible for Mileage Upgrade Awards (MUAs) as only K and higher fares are eligible for these. These would be FCM offers (there's another thread for those) which are basically unpredictable and do not have fixed levels like MUAs.
Thank you for the quick response! I'll post in that thread.
P3P5I is offline  
Old Jul 18, 22, 9:00 am
  #435  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 99,662
Originally Posted by P3P5I View Post
Hi all,

First time posting, so I've read around a bunch of threads in search of my answer, but apologies in advance if I missed something obvious.

I'm flying DCA - LAX - SYD and back in early November '22 with my wife. I have already purchased the main cabin seats (X on LAX - SYD, V on SYD - LAX), and I am looking to upgrade with miles to PS or D1 (ideally D1 for my poor back). I already called an agent and was given some pretty wild mileage quotes to do these upgrades, and I'll share below:
Upgrade (LAX - SYD, no availability for the return long haul flight FYI):
MC to C+: $149 or 7900 miles
MC to PS: $499 or 49,900 miles
MC to D1: $2718 or 271,800 miles

Unfortunately, the agent was not able to give me quotes from PS to D1 unless I bought the PS seat first. I've read further up in this thread the general experience for others was the upgrade from PS to D1 was around 50k miles, but I think I also read that Delta changed their policy in the recent years to only give miles upgrades based on the per dollar difference of the fare (which might explain why the miles quote to D1 is so outrageous). Does anyone have any experience on these long haul upgrades and any tips to get to D1 the cheapest?
If these amounts are RT prices, I'd jump at being able to get D1 USA-SYD and SYD-USA for under $3000 per person from a cheap coach fare. However, you want to understand whether you're buying the ability to sit in a D1 seat versus genuinely upfaring to a D1 ticket.
MSPeconomist is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread