Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Elite SkyMiles Members are about to lose a whole lot of premium economy
privileges.
(Photo: Delta Air Lines)
By Grant MartinIt used to be that
Premium Economy on domestic U.S.
routes was considered as a bonus for lucky
economy passengers.Elite passengers flying in coach could pick up the premium
seats upon booking and enjoy a bit of extra leg room, while regular passengers
could either pay for the extra space or roll the dice to find a seat at
checkin.New changes coming to the way that Delta markets its Comfort+ seats,
however, spell the end of its Premium Economy as we know it.Related: The
Airline With Economy Better Than First ClassFrom 10,000 feet, the changes to
Comfort+ articulated by Delta last week seem geared towards restricting free
access to premium economy so that the airline can sell more seats in that
cabin.
After May 16 of 2016, elite passengers booking tickets on Delta will
have to enter an upgrade queue to move into the Comfort+ cabin.
Diamond and
Platinum members will get upgraded "shortly after ticketing" while Gold and
Silver members will get upgraded 72 and 24 hours respectively before
flight.
Diamond and Platinum members currently are allowed to select Comfort+
seats at the time of booking while Gold and Silver members can select them at
the 72 and 24 hour windows.
With this new mechanism, Delta will upgrade
members based on availability and then the onus is on passengers to select
seats.The booking mechanism for Comfort+ will also change.
Coming up,
passengers will be given the distinct option of booking a flight in Comfort+
along with economy or business, driving passengers into a specific fare bucket
rather than letting them book economy tickets and then select the Comfort+
cabin during seat selection.Elites will also only be able to bring along one
companion within their reservation with the upgrade, a reduction from eight
passengers before.Combined, the changes all point to Delta tailoring Comfort+
as its own distinct and marketable class of service rather than a simple
augment to the main cabin experience.
The result may mean better Comfort+
bookings and better revenue for the airline — but elite passengers will
take the brunt of the cuts.Related: Another Passenger Overboard! Why Do People
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travel series A Broad Abroad.Elite SkyMiles Members are about to lose a whole
lot of premium economy privileges.
Elite passengers flying in coach could pick
up the premium seats upon booking and enjoy a bit of extra leg room, while
regular passengers could either pay for the extra space or roll the dice to
find a seat at checkin.New changes coming to the way that Delta markets its
Comfort seats, however, spell the end of its Premium Economy as we know
it..Elite SkyMiles Members are about to lose a whole lot of premium economy
privileges.
Elite passengers flying in coach could pick up the premium seats
upon booking and enjoy a bit of extra leg room, while regular passengers could
either pay for the extra space or roll the dice to find a seat at checkin.New
changes coming to the way that Delta markets its Comfort seats, however, spell
the end of its Premium Economy as we know it.

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