Change Your Altitude

Silver Medallions Rejoice! Delta Grants Upgrades for Award Tickets

I’ve always found Delta’s Silver Medallion status to be a pat on the back to a semi-frequent traveler. And not because that’s a personal opinion I have of those who “only” travel 25,000 MQMs and spend $3,000 MQDs per year,  but rather, because of the minimal benefits Delta provides those with Silver Medallion status.

Well, starting today, Delta will be granting Silver Medallions complimentary upgrades to First Class on award travel, when traveling on eligible tickets.

Delta First Class Cabin. Credit: Delta Airlines

Delta First Class Cabin. Credit: Delta Airlines

This might not be a game-changer for the Medallion program, but it is nice addition to the fairly limited perks currently offered to Silver Medallions, which include:

  • Upgrades to First Class Cabins (on revenue and eligible award tickets) – 24 hours prior to departure
  • Upgrades to Comfort+  (on revenue and eligible award tickets) – 24 hours prior to departure
  • Complimentary Preferred Seats
  • Waived Baggage Fees
  • Priority Boarding (Zone 1)

As I said, the addition of award tickets for upgrades don’t completely revamp the benefits, but it’s definitely not a bad thing. The question is, of course, how likely a Silver Medallion is to actually receive an upgrade to First Class. While Delta clears Medallions before any other priority tickets, a Silver Medallion would basically have to be traveling on a flight with no others Medallions in order to be upgraded to First Class.

And of course, this benefit does not apply to flights where Delta operates the Delta One Cabin – so you’re limited to flights in the 48 contiguous states (minus JFK-LAX or SFO), some flights to Hawaii, Alasa, Canada, Bermuda, Caribbean, and Central America. In short – if there’s a lay flat bed involved, upgrades won’t be available.

So while there may not be a huge dramatic impact to most, out there somewhere, I’m sure there’s a Silver Medallion traveling on a medallion-less flight enjoying his or her upgrade to first class – and loving this benefit.


Does this change to Delta’s Silver Medallion Benefit make you more interested in banking your miles with Delta rather than United or American? Will this change your loyalty to the program in any way? 

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