Delta’s Medallion elite members are eligible for complimentary upgrades to First Class and Comfort+ seats when traveling alone or with a single companion on non-basic economy fares, but if you have three or more people booked on the same PNR (passenger name record / confirmation code), then no one is eligible for an upgrade.
There’s a simple travel hack to get around the limitation and as long as you’re willing to split a group’s reservation, it’s easy for a companion to get an upgrade along side every traveling Medallion member.
To get an upgrade for an elite and a companion as part of a larger booking, all you need to do is contact Delta over the phone or chat and ask them to “split the PNR for the Medallion member and a companion” from the rest of the group. On splitting, the Medallion member and companion will get a new PNR and the rest of the group will remain on the old PNR. The new PNR will be eligible to add to both the First Class and Comfort+ upgrade lists like any regular booking.
- You can split a PNR multiple times, especially useful with multiple elites and multiple companions
- You can’t ever recombine a split PNR
- During normal schedule changes Delta tends to rebook automatically in chunks via PNR so there’s a small chance that you may end up with separate flights for each PNR after a schedule change. For this reason, I’d only split the PNR right before your upgrade window starts unless you like dealing with Delta over the phone
- During IROPs, the same automatic rebooking engine could split you across different flights, so caveat emptor
- The companions left without a medallion in their group will lose priority access on their boarding passes, but they can still board with the elite (just say: “they’re with me” at boarding)
Good luck and happy upgrades!
Using ultra-high speed cameras, science captures the exact moment that a Delta PNR splits.