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Breaking Down Delta Airlines Choice Benefits


Frequent fliers know the importance of reaching elevated airline status to unlock valuable benefits. However, it’s not always easy to interpret. Let’s break it down so you can reap the rewards! 

As an Atlanta-based agency (home of Delta Airlines) we’re going to speak specifically about the Delta Skymiles Program. For other airline loyalty programs, be sure to contact them directly to find out more details on their elite frequent flier programs. If you fly Delta, here is what you need to know about maximizing your Platinum and Diamond Level Choice Benefits.  


#1 Selecting Your Choice Benefits 

As a Platinum or Diamond Skymiles member, you are entitled to receive Choice Benefits. What you may not know is that you need to select your choice benefits before a deadline.

Choice benefits must be selected by January 31st of the year following your elite year. So, if you achieve Diamond or Platinum member status in 2024, you’ll be electing your choice benefits for 2025.


#2 There Is a Deadline to Choose Your Benefits 

Unlike other loyalty programs, Delta doesn’t default to offering a particular Choice Benefit to members that forget to select. If you miss the deadline, the benefits are lost. To avoid this, be sure to choose your benefits well before the deadline. To select your Choice Benefits, log into your account, Select Account then Choose My Skymiles then select Choice Benefits.  From here you’ll have the option to review  and choose from an array of benefits. For a complete list of benefits at each tier, please visit here


#3 Limitations around Regional and Global Upgrade Certificates 

One of the most popular Choice Benefits our Platinum and Diamond Skymiles clients select are the Regional and/or Global upgrade certificates.  Be aware – there are limitations when it comes to redeeming these. 

Fare Class:  Your upgrade certificate typically only moves you up one fare class. So, if you’re in the Main cabin, you can only apply your Global Upgrade certificate to either Comfort Plus or Premium Select class based on aircraft configuration and current seat availability. To guarantee an upgraded seat to Business Class/Delta One, you must first book a Premium Select ticket and then use your certificate to bump up to Business Class/Delta One. Otherwise, you’ll simply be placed on a waitlist for Delta One/Business Class from your Premium select upgrade.

Availability:  Certificates are also based on current availability. There is an internal allotment for how many certificates can be redeemed on each flight and oftentimes popular routes (particularly nonstop international routes between major cities) are not available to apply your regional/global upgrades to. Therefore, the earlier you request and redeem certificates, the better your chances are.


#4 Regional/Global Certificates Also Have Deadlines

Timing matters when selecting certain Delta Choice Benefits, especially for Regional and Global certificates. For Regional and Global upgrade certificates, they are valid for one year after you select them in addition to using them by the end of your Medallion year. What this means is any upgrade certificates earned from 2023 must be selected, applied, and used by January 31, 2025. 


Key Takeaway

If you’re a Diamond or Platinum member, shortly after earning your new status, make sure you login to your Skymiles account and select your Choice Benefits before the deadline for the upcoming year. Waiting until the last minute can cost you valuable perks and program amenities that can expire quickly if you wait and choose them towards the end of your Medallion year. 

With everything said, treat Delta Choice Benefits as an ace in your back pocket throughout the year by selecting your choice benefits ahead of time!