Opinion: Is A Complimentary Upgrade To Delta Comfort+ Worth It?

Image Courtesy of Delta Air Lines
Like many Delta Medallion members, I value the perk of complimentary upgrades to be one of the best benefits. On 9/10 flights, I will be upgraded from my standard Main Cabin seat to Delta Comfort+ Seat. As a Gold Medallion member, these clear 72 hours in advance, depending on availability. Unfortunately, any upgrade I've ever been given to First Class won't clear until boarding time.

So the question begs, is it worth it for you to be upgraded to Delta Comfort+?

Let's break down the benefits of a Delta Comfort+ seat over a traditional Main Ca

bin one. Delta treats Comfort+ as a totally different class, akin to Premium Economy. Other Legacy Carrier just treat it like an upgrade on their Economy fare, similarly how Delta charges a fee for preferred seating on an aisle or window further up, or an exit row. According to the Delta Air Lines website,
Spacious Seat: Delta Comfort+ gives you space, with up to 3 more inches of legroom on domestic flights and up to 4 more inches on international.  
Dedicated Bin SpaceRest easy knowing your things are at hand, with dedicated overhead bin space available right above your seat. 
Priority Boarding: With Delta Comfort+, you’ll be given Sky Priority boarding, which allows you to board and settle in sooner.  
Little ExtrasWe thought out all of the little things in Delta Comfort+ — like a pillow, blanket, complimentary headset, and amenity kit on long-haul international flights.  
Movies, TV & More: Enjoy a large library of films, TV, HBO®, SHOWTIME®, music and games with Delta Studio®on your seatback screen. You can also stream entertainment on your personal device, where available.   
More Snacks to Enjoy: In addition to standard onboard fare, you can snack better with Delta Comfort+. Enjoy fresh fruit and other premium snacks on many routes over 900 miles when meal service is not available. Plus, on flights over 350 miles, Starbucks® coffee, beer, wine and spirits for 21+.
Right off the bat, we can immediately eliminate some of those perks that we know are not different than standard Main Cabin. For example, all seatback and streaming entertainment is free and standard to all seats. If you are a Gold Medallion or higher, you've already received Sky Priority boarding, so that's another perk we can cross off.

In terms of dedicated overhead space, I have never seen this enforced. That being said, given your boarding zone, I can almost guarantee you will have no space if you are in Zones 2 or higher. In addition, Main Cabin seats receive pillows, blankets, headsets and a small amenity kit on long-haul international flights. I believe the Delta Comfort+ one comes with a toothbrush, but that's the only difference.

So far, the remaining differences are the upgraded snack / drink service and more spacious seat. With the snack and drink service, this may be great on non-premium domestic flights. They often pass the snack basket more than once, and you can enjoy wine, beer and cocktails for free. Remember, on long haul flights, wine, beer and cocktails are free to Main Cabin. You will also be served a meal.

Most Delta Comfort+ seats have been refinished with quilted covering and red trim, differentiating them from Main Cabin
Image Courtesy of Delta Air Lines

The one that people care about most is legroom. Yes, a Delta Comfort+ seat is generous with legroom. That being said, given any Medallion status, you can choose a preferred seat, which include exit rows and bulkheads. I would never book a flight unless I could sit there. I fly most often from LGA to West Palm Beach, and exit rows 15 and 16 on the A320 have 40 inches of legroom. No Delta Comfort+ seat can match that. 

Let's take my recent flight from JFK to Amsterdam in Main Cabin. I had booked an exit row seat, with a minimum of 42 inches of legroom. 3 days before travel, I was granted an upgrade to Comfort+. I would be separated from my friend. I opted to move back. Unless I wanted a toothbrush and less legroom, my current seat was significantly better

About 4 days before the flight, I'll take a look at Comfort+ and First Class to see what's left. If I feel as if I will be placed in a middle seat, I take myself off the list. I would rather keep my spacious seat and just not have a beer. Although, I have tons of drink vouchers that come with my status that I could use as well.

If you get stuck in a standard Main Cabin seat when booking, by all means, take the upgrade. Otherwise, enjoy your exit row.


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