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Delta offers two types of upgrade certificates: Regional Upgrade Certificates (RUCs) and Global Upgrade Certificates (GUCs). As the names imply, they’re redeemable for either domestic or international travel. RUCs can be applied to the same routes that offer complimentary upgrades (all Delta-operated domestic flights and select short-haul international flights like Mexico or Canada). They can also be used on award tickets, miles + cash tickets on Delta-operated flights, Pay with Miles tickets, companion certificates, and tickets booked as a part of a Delta Vacations® package.
Diamond and Platinum Medallion® members can choose Regional Upgrade Certificates (RUC) as a Choice Benefit. Platinum members earn four certificates. Diamond members can select four Global, eight Regional, or two Global and four Regional.
Until recently, Delta flyers looking to redeem one of these certificates had to call in to have it applied. This just changed and now travelers can request these upgrades online when booking a flight. With long hold times and some agents not fully aware of the process, this could be frustrating.
Delta makes it easy to see if upgrade space is available. If you’re logged into your SkyMiles® account (with Platinum or Diamond Medallion® status), you’ll see which flights have space. It’s clearly marked on the left side of the flight selection screen while booking.
When checking out, the Upgrade Certificate Request window will appear. When it does, you can select the appropriate upgrade type and check the box to apply it before checking out. You’ll then receive an email and push notification in the Delta app confirming your upgrade or showing that you have been waitlisted.
Upgrade certificates can only be applied online for new flights and this must be done on Delta.com. The My Trips page will soon show upgrade availability and allow you to add them to existing reservations. The functionality will also come to the Delta app in early 2023.
Anthony’s Take: While I buy first and business class tickets, I’m all for making more things self serve and adding the functionality to the tools available to customers. Delta gets bonus points for making this a reality faster than initially promised (it said 2023 when it rolled out the changes to the Medallion® qualifications a few weeks back).
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