Delta’s Comfort+ product grows into Asia, Latin America

Delta Air Lines’ shift to make Comfort+ a separate booking cabin has expanded. The extra legroom product, which comes with a variety  of other amenities, is now available for travel on or after 19 September 2016 in a number of new markets covering Asia and Latin America.

The following regions now include a separate Comfort+ booking class and cabin:

  • Between the US and Canada and Latin America/Caribbean regions, excluding Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Chile
  • Between the US and Canada and the Asia-Pacific region excluding China, Hong Kong and Taiwan
  • Within the Asia-Pacific region, excluding China, Hong Kong and Taiwan
  • Between Asia-Pacific region markets, excluding China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and Latin America/Caribbean region markets, excluding Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Chile

A quick spot-check of fares suggests that the premium for the Comfort+ product is not especially high compared to the cost of buying the extra legroom ‘a la carte’, though it costs more than buying Comfort+ a la carte in at least one example.

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The product, as sold today, offers additional legroom and Sky Priority access for boarding in these international markets. Upgraded snacks and booze are also part of the deal, though the long-haul flights already include better offerings for everyone in economy on that front.

kontron newestBuying a Comfort+ seat on these routes can only be done through a Delta sales channel (online, phone or in person). Third party booking sites do not yet have access to the Comfort+ product, though the company “remains engaged with distribution partners to allow Delta Comfort+ to be displayed and purchased through travel agents and in consumer direct shopping displays”. In other words, their tech isn’t where it needs to be yet but they’re working on it.

And then there are the other markets that do not yet have Comfort+ sold as a distinct fare class. In those cases, passengers can continue to purchase the upgraded offering a la carte rather than as a separate cabin.

The “upgrade” process remains slightly confusing – and potentially frustrating for Medallion members as the potential to be auto-upgraded into a middle seat remains. That’s a bone of contention with the existing Comfort+ system since it first launched and shows no sign of abating (see the comments section of this post).

And now that middle seat might be yours for a 10+ hour trip.

3 Comments

  1. Glen

    I still want to be by the window as much I like the extra seat pitch. I will stick with either Air NZ or Virgin Australia both have good seat pitch. I am flying AKL to IAH this year. I have used some air points to get a better seat pitch. I hope it worth it having never flown this route before

  2. Brian Fisher

    I will say that when I booked today’s day trip to SFO (though the focus of this article was more focused on international markets), selecting whether or not I wanted to be auto upgraded into Comfort+ was pretty straightforward. I was able to select to only upgrade into First and not Comfort+. (again, this is definitely a domestic thing). However, as a Diamond, I was able to wait until a seat I wanted became available on the seatmap in Comfort+, select that upgrade, and then select that seat. I’m not sure how that would work for a Gold/Silver Medallion, but it should be pretty painless for a Diamond/Platinum Medallion. Though to be honest, it’s still kind of crappy that they offer it as a separate fare class altogether.

    • Seth Miller

      The numbers are very clear; on that front I give Delta lots of credit.

      As for the upgrade process, as you note it is more convoluted now than it was. There’s the potential for confusion and, no matter what, customers now must babysit the reservations rather than just letting it happen. That’s bad news in a lot of ways.

      And, while I’m not opposed to it operating as a separate fare class in theory, I believe that the DL implementation has some notable flaws. That’s in large part because of the history of “free” upgrades for a couple decades now. And now rewinding that concept is going to be rough.