Delta Comfort Plus vs. Premium Select: Which Is Best?

Premium Select is only available on international flights, which often makes it worth the splurge.
Aug 8, 2022

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Choosing where to sit on a flight used to be fairly straightforward: You chose either first class or economy. These days, airlines have created so many classes of service it can be hard to tell what each one offers. From the posh Delta One seats to Comfort Plus, basic economy and more, Delta has a lot of options to choose from.

If you’re flying internationally, you may have noticed you also have the option of choosing a Premium Select seat. To help you decide which class of service is best for you, here’s what you can expect when buying a ticket in Delta Comfort Plus versus Premium Select.

An overview of Delta Premium Select’s benefits

Delta Premium Select seats have more legroom and recline than an economy seat. (Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines)

Although Delta Comfort Plus is available on all Delta flights, both domestic and international, Delta Premium Select is only available on some international routes.

The Premium Select cabin is a few notches above Comfort Plus; think of it as a blend between an economy-class type seat and Delta One service. Here are some of the perks that accompany a Premium Select ticket:

  • Legroom: Premium Select seats are up to 19 inches wide and offer up to 38 inches of pitch, which is the distance between your seat and the seat behind you. You can also recline about 7 inches, as much as you would when flying domestic first class. You’ll also get an adjustable foot rest and elevated leg rest.

  • Airport experience: Premium Select passengers can check in using the Sky Priority lane, receive faster security screening and board the plane in an earlier group.

  • In-flight entertainment: All seats come with a high-resolution 13.3-inch entertainment screen with a power socket and remote, noise-canceling headphones.

  • Service: You’ll receive an amenity kit, a pillow and blanket, and you'll have a dedicated flight attendant for the cabin. You’re also served meals on ceramic plates with real silverware.

Delta Premium Select amenity kits include skincare products by Grown Alchemists and bags designed by Someone Somewhere. (Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines)

What to expect: Delta Premium Select

Delta’s Premium Select seats come with different rules and benefits than Comfort Plus seats. Learn more about this fare class below.

Fare flexibility/ticket changes

Delta has implemented a flexible ticket change and cancellation policy on most of its fares on travel originating in North America (except basic economy fares). If you wish to cancel or change your Delta Premium Select ticket, you can do so at no cost — though you will need to pay any difference in fare.

Baggage and boarding

Delta Premium Select passengers get to board right after Delta One passengers and before everyone else, including those traveling with children. Two free checked bags and expedited baggage service are included with a Premium Select ticket.

Seat selection

The Premium Select cabin is directly behind Delta One on planes equipped with business class or at the front of the plane on aircraft without a Delta One cabin. Seat selection is included with ticket purchase.

Earning rates

Delta flyers earn SkyMiles based on the cash price of a ticket, not the distance flown. Only the base fare counts toward mileage accrual, and Medallion status helps elevate earning rates. Delta loyalists earn redeemable miles at the following rates:

Elite status level

SkyMiles you earn

General member

5 miles per $1.

Silver Medallion

7 miles per $1.

Gold Medallion

8 miles per $1.

Platinum Medallion

9 miles per $1.

Diamond Medallion

11 miles per $1.

Medallion upgrades to Delta Premium Select aren’t available on international routes, so you have to pay for one using either cash, SkyMiles or Global Upgrade Certificates. You can choose to upgrade right away when booking or later through “My Trips” in your Delta account.

What to expect: Delta Comfort Plus

If you’re considering purchasing a Comfort Plus ticket, here are more details about your ticket’s rules and benefits.

Fare flexibility/ticket changes

All Delta tickets originating in North America (with the exception of basic economy) are eligible for free changes and cancellations. If you change your ticket, all you have to pay is any fare difference. If you cancel your ticket, you’ll receive a Delta eCredit for the original amount paid toward a future trip booked by Dec. 31, 2023 (for travel through 2024).

Baggage and boarding

Delta Comfort Plus customers board after Premium Select or first-class passengers and those traveling with children, but before most Medallion members with Sky Priority status.

You’ll have to pay for checked bags on domestic itineraries, and you can check one bag for free on international flights. You also get dedicated overhead bin space above your seat, which means you should be able to find space for your bag even if you board after your group is called.

Seat selection

Delta Comfort Plus seats are located behind first class on domestic flights and behind Delta Premium Select seats on international aircraft equipped with both cabins. Selecting a Comfort Plus seat is included with ticket purchase.

Earning rates

The same earning rates apply to Delta Premium Select tickets. You’ll earn the following number of miles based on the cost of the flight and your Medallion status.

Elite status level

SkyMiles you earn

General member

5 miles per $1.

Silver Medallion

7 miles per $1.

Gold Medallion

8 miles per $1.

Platinum Medallion

9 miles per $1.

Diamond Medallion

11 miles per $1.

Upgradeability

Delta allows upgrading any flight with money or with miles, unless you’ve purchased a basic economy fare. Medallion members receive complimentary upgrades to Comfort Plus (prioritized based on status level) on all routes.

How can credit cards and elite status improve your overall experience?

If you’re a Delta SkyMiles credit card holder or a Medallion member, your flying experience can be improved slightly, but not significantly.

For example, if you hold the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card or the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, you can check one bag for free when flying in Comfort Plus on domestic itineraries. Terms apply.

International flights already include a bag, and Premium Select passengers can check up to two bags at no cost, so the card’s free checked bag benefit is redundant.

Some Medallion members receive a higher baggage allowance on domestic flights and flights to Canada.

  • Silver Medallion: one bag.

  • Gold Medallion: two bags.

  • Platinum Medallion: three bags.

  • Diamond Medallion: three bags.

On international flights, Delta Medallion members receive one additional free bag over the standard checked baggage allowance. When flying in the Premium Select cabin, the allowance increases to three additional bags.

As for priority boarding, both Premium Select and Comfort Plus flyers board the aircraft before Medallion members flying in lower cabins or those who hold a co-branded Delta credit card, so in this case neither elite status nor cardmember status help enhance your experience.

If you’re considering an upgrade from Delta Comfort Plus to Premium Select

While Comfort Plus is closer to the level of service you’ll receive in the economy cabin, Premium Select offers travelers a bit more luxury with early boarding, a higher baggage allowance, better food and a more comfortable seat configuration.

On domestic flights, the choice of Delta Comfort Plus versus Premium Select is made for you, since Premium Select is only available on international flights.

If you do find yourself booking a ticket on a flight with both classes of service, you’ll be able to decide which works best for you and your budget. If you’re traveling for vacation, Delta Comfort Plus will do the job, but if you’re traveling for business and not able to splurge for Delta One, then Delta Premium Select might be more your speed.

Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines.


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