Delta Airlines introduced a five cabin category rebranding on March 1, 2015, and some changes are coming to Comfort+ for flights on or after May 16, 2016:
Effective May 16, 2016, Comfort+ will become its own fare category in the US and Canada available at booking and for upgrades. How will this effect SkyMiles Elite Medallion members in regard to paid and award booking, upgrade eligibility and mileage earning?
Paid and Award booking:
Currently you access Comfort+ by choosing and paying extra for the seat; after May 16, 2016, Comfort+ will be booked by choosing the Comfort+ fare class (W) and will increase the price of your paid and award tickets quite a bit (expect a $50-$300 difference on most paid round-trip flights and a difference of 15,000-30,000 SkyMiles for round-trip award flights)
For international flights, you will continue to have the option to pay for a Comfort+ seat when booking your flight and choosing your seat
Platinum and Diamond Medallion members will elect a complimentary upgrade to Comfort+ when making a reservation in addition to maintaining complimentary upgrade eligibility to First Class, although the Comfort+ upgrade will only show as confirmed if seats are available
Gold Medallion members will only receive access to Comfort+ 3 days prior to the flight if seats are still available in addition to maintaining complimentary upgrade eligibility to First Class
Silver Medallion members will have access 24 hours ahead of their flight if any Comfort+ seats remain in addition to maintaining complimentary upgrade eligibility to First Class
Medallions who want to upgrade to Comfort+ can select a regular economy ticket first and then will need to check the Comfort+ box on the “request upgrade” section of the passenger information page during booking, Comfort+ upgrades will be made for you automatically and confirmed by email; don’t miss this step or you will miss out on a possible upgrade
The Comfort+ companion allowance for Medallion Elites will be reduced from up to 8 companions down to 1 (which is a BIG downgrade for Medallion members traveling with a group or family) and per the FAQ page, clearance priority will be based on the lowest-level Medallion member in the reservation (which means if one traveler has an Elite Medallion status and the other has no Medallion status, the companion will be at the bottom of the upgrade priority list - we hope this is an error that will be clarified before May 16, 2016)
Comfort+ will be fare class W, which currently entitles member to Medallion Qualifying Miles equating to 150% of actual miles flown
We hope this overview of the fare classes with Delta is helpful. While Elite Medallion members have come to expect at least an upgrade Comfort+, with the fare class available for purchase May 16, 2016, it's possible that all seats will be sold, limiting upgrades to only the highest Elites and confirmed Comfort+ at booking will cost quite a bit more for paid and award tickets.