I am traveling to Albuquerque (from New York) in October. I recently checked ticket prices and coach is about $300 and first class is about $1000. I do not want to fly that far in coach but I think Delta has some new upgrade system where you can only upgrade if you are a Medallion member. I am a SkyMiles member with over 50,000 miles but I’m not a Medallion member.
Should I just go ahead and buy the coach fare and hope for the best at the gate?
Answered by The Penny Pincher
Delta allows Medallion members to upgrade without cost depending on an individual’s status, cost of ticket, and availability.
As for your trip, I would wait. Most likely your flight will connect through Atlanta. Since most of the New York to Atlanta flights operate as the Delta Shuttle, which does not have first class, your best chance for an upgrade is from Atlanta to Albuquerque. Usually, the Atlanta to Albuquerque flight is not very full. Therefore, you should have a good chance for an upgrade on this segment, by asking at the gate.
In addition, October is far in the future in terms of airline ticket prices—most likely there will another round of fare cuts starting in late August for fall travel. So waiting could yield you a lower fare.
Another thing to keep in mind is Delta’s special first class fares. Recently Delta has been offering special first class fares during their slower months, such as in October.
All in all, I would recommend waiting a bit to see how airfares shape up this fall.
Let me know how it works out,