Delta Companion Upgrade Gamble
Admittedly coming into 2019 my elite status situation wasn’t looking as good as it had in past years. I did have my beloved Hyatt Globalist status, but was mostly coming into the year as a free agent on the airline side of things.
Things changed quickly though in 2019 and through a variety of promotions and deals I secured quite a lot of status. At one point I had unearned status with all 3 major American carriers obtained through status matches or challenges. I also earned Alaska MVP status through a cheap Cathay Pacific First class fare from Vietnam.
My Delta Conundrum
One of the statuses I have been excited about trying out is Delta Platinum. I obtained it through a match from United Gold which was given to me by a trial from Founderscard. Originally I was going to use the Delta status challenge to obtain Delta Gold or Platinum long term, but it appears I will only lock in Silver status through 2021 due to me having to cancel one of my planned trips to Orlando due to the flu.
Fortunately though I still have my Platinum status from the challenge through the end of January, so I decided to put it to the test with my upcoming flight to the Bahamas. It is a risk for sure, but I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
Here is the scenario:
- My wife, daughter and I needed tickets to Nassau
- Delta had very cheap rates of $165 in economy and $338 in First Class LAS-ATL-NAS
One quirk I learned about with Delta is that you aren’t eligible for upgrades if you have 2 or more companions on the reservation. I thus knew I had to book my wife separate from us for this journey, so I could take advantage of the status. But could I really take the upgrade with Ellie and leave Jasmine in the back? Probably not.
My Delta Upgrade Gamble
This debate is an age old one for elite flyers. What to do when you get the upgrade but your spouse doesn’t? Admittedly Jasmine has volunteered to sit in the back before when Ellie and I have scored an upgrade, but this is a redeye flight and I suspect I would be the one alone in the back if the upgrades were to clear. So what did I do? What was my gamble?
With First Class seats being so cheap, I opted to book Jasmine in First Class outright. I paid with Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 1.5 cents per point value. Then, I booked Ellie and I separately into economy also using Ultimate Rewards. Our upgrades to Comfort+ (benefit of Delta Platinum Medallion) cleared right away and we are now awaiting the news as to whether or not we will get upgraded to First Class.
Will The Upgrade(s) Come Through?
As of right now just over 5 days out there are at least 9 open seats in First Class on the LAS-ATL flight and 6 on the ATL-NAS flight (less important). The flight is also still selling for the same price despite it being very close to last minute. The earliest my first class upgrade could clear would be at 5 days out, so I’ll know whether my gamble paid off or not soon enough. At this point I would say the chances of us getting the upgrade are very good, but only time will tell.
What This Flight Also Gets Me
Combined with my Delta Vacations flights booked earlier in the year, this flight to Nassau will lock in my Delta Silver status from the challenge. I am not sure how much I will use it now that I also have gifted American Airlines Executive Platinum status, but it is nice to have in my back pocket, plus it gives me a (very) small chance of an upgrade on our March flights to Hawaii.
Delta Companion Upgrade Gamble – Bottom Line
Sometimes all we can do is take an educated guess and hope our evil plans work out. In this case I’ll either be sitting in the back with Ellie while Jasmine enjoys her more spacious seat up front or we will all be up there together! Either way it is fun to play the game and I have no regrets about spending a few more points to lock in my wife’s Domestic F seat.
How do you handle similar elite status upgrade scenarios? Do you leave your spouse in the back while you take the upgrade, do you book them up front or a combination of both? Share your thoughts in the comments and I’ll make sure to follow up with the results of my little Delta companion upgrade gamble.