If you’re a fan of Delta Air Lines and you like to fly comfortably and save money, Premium Select might be for you. Delta Air Lines offers six different flight classes including two premium options, three economy options, and an option between premium and economy: Premium Select.
Today, we’re focusing on Premium Select, the newest flight class available on select international flights. As with any flight class, you may or may not feel like Premium Select is worth the added price of a ticket. In this article, we’ll compare Delta Premium to the options above and below it to help you decide if your next ticket should be for one of these roomy reclining seats.
In this post you'll learn:
What Is Delta Premium Select?
Delta Premium Select is designed to give passengers more comfortable long-haul flights. This class offers priority services, exclusive amenities, and oversized seating among other perks. It is the flight class between Delta Comfort+ and Delta First Class, which is actually the airline’s version of business class. Delta Premium Select was introduced in fall 2017 and has been growing in popularity and expanding to more planes and flight routes ever since.
Premium Select seats are not available on every flight. At this time, they are only on four different aircraft including Airbus A350s, some Boeing 757-200s (75H), and, more recently, Boeing 767-300s and Airbus A330s. On certain planes, Delta Premium Select is the most elite seat class available. On others, Delta One or First Class are above Premium Select.
Features and Perks
Delta Premium Select seats are positioned in groups of two on the outside and three on the inside (depending on the plane) in a cabin of their own. This flight class is ideal for parties of two or three or those flying alone.
From Billboard noise-canceling earbuds to adjustable foot and leg rests and 13.3” entertainment screens, Premium Select passengers fly in comfort and are well taken care of in the air and on the ground. They also enjoy priority boarding and a cabin of their own on the plane.
To give you a better idea of what sets Premium Select apart from other classes on Delta flights, let’s break down the differences between these seats and the seats below and above it. Here are all the features and perks included in Delta Premium Select.
Premium Select vs. Comfort+
Delta Comfort+ is the seat class below Premium Select and previously the best of economy seating. Comfort+ has the most amenities and roomiest seats in economy, but Premium Select is a step better. Here is how these two flight classes differ starting with the flight itself.
The first difference is that Premium Select seats are larger and more comfortable. They are wider and have a greater pitch compared to Comfort+ and feature in-seat power ports as well. Premium Select seats have a pitch of 37” or 38” and a width of 18.5-21”, depending on the plane. Comfort+ seats have a pitch of 18” and a width of between 17.2 and 17.3”. Passengers in Premium Select can recline and Comfort+ passengers cannot.
Premium Select seats also feature adjustable footrests, leg rests, and headrests that Comfort+ seats do not. Amenity kits are available to all Comfort+ and Premium Select passengers, but Premium Select passengers enjoy more amenities in their TUMI kits including premium facial and hygiene products. Both flight classes offer complimentary pillows, blankets, and headsets upon request on long-haul flights.
You’ll also notice differences in accommodations. For example, the Premium Select cabin has the largest entertainment screens Delta has to offer at 13.3” while Comfort+ entertainment screens are standard for economy passengers when they are available.
Additional in-flight services available to Premium Select passengers include Signature Service on dining and meal service on every flight. Meal service is offered on select Comfort+ flights.
Before the flight, Premium Select passengers enjoy Sky Priority services when checking in and boarding their flights. Premium Select passengers are prioritized over Comfort+ passengers, who use Comfort+ boarding services to check in and board before other economy passengers.
Finally, we searched several flights to figure out the difference in fare price. For a Premium Select ticket, you’re looking at a price tag of about 20% to 30% more per person compared to the same Comfort+ ticket
Premium Select vs. First Class
There are also several differences between Premium Select and First Class, the first of these being that Premium Select is technically an economy ticket and First Class is a premium ticket (often considered to be closest to a business class). First Class isn’t as premium as it gets, that’s Delta One, but it is more premium than Premium Select.
On the plane, First Class seats are a little wider on average and recline ever so slightly more. Whereas a Premium Select seat has a pitch of 37” or 38” and a width of between 18.5” and 21”, First Class seats have a pitch of between 38” and 39” and a width of between 20.5” and 20.9”. The seats and comfort level are pretty similar but there may be a little more space between First Class seats on some planes.
Both flight classes put you in a cabin separate from the rest of the plane for privacy and comfort. When they are on the same plane, the Premium Select cabin is located behind the First Class cabin in front of the Main Cabin for economy travelers. First Class passengers have a dedicated flight attendant in their cabin.
The meal service First Class passengers receive depends on the duration of their flight but is similar to Premium Select service on long international flights. Amenities are also comparable between the two flight classes.
Both First Class and Premium Select passengers use Sky Priority check-ins for expedited baggage delivery and priority boarding, but First Class passengers board first before everyone else and at the same time as One passengers.
Elite members of Delta SkyMiles are eligible for complimentary upgrades to First Class but complimentary upgrades are not offered for Premium Select. You can also use points to purchase First Class tickets when award seats are available.
But the biggest difference is in the price. Premium Select tickets are significantly cheaper than First Class tickets. When we compared multiple flights, we found that a First Class ticket costs upwards of $3,000 more than a Premium Select ticket for the same route. On some routes, you could be paying greater than twice as much for First Class.
How to Upgrade
Anyone with a Main Cabin or Comfort+ ticket (but not those in Basic Economy as this class is not eligible for upgrades) can purchase an upgrade to Premium Select if it is offered on their flight. You can do this when booking a ticket or before flying. Reserve your seat as early as possible as they are limited.
When you pay for your ticket and any post-purchase upgrades with cash, you qualify to earn Medallion Qualification Dollars and Medallion Qualification Miles that can help you reach the next SkyMiles tier.
Can You Use Points?
Yes, you can use Delta SkyMiles points to upgrade your ticket to Premium Select from an economy ticket. This option is subject to availability and may end up costing you more in points than it would in dollars, but this could still be a good way to save money.
And if you are a Diamond Medallion member, the highest tier, you are eligible to upgrade to Premium Select using Global Upgrade Certificates, which you may receive as a Choice Benefit. You can upgrade to Delta Premium if you purchased a Main Cabin or Comfort+ ticket or ask to be waitlisted for Delta One if you prefer. Upgrade requests must be made and cleared in advance of your flight before you check in or you may not be approved.
Delta Diamond and Platinum Medallion members can also save money on Premium Select by requesting complimentary upgrades to Comfort+ right after booking a flight and then paying the difference from Comfort+ to Premium Select with cash or points.
Note that Delta does not offer complimentary upgrades to Premium Select for any passengers regardless of their membership tier or ticket type.
Is It Worth it?
You’re going to notice a big difference between Premium Select and Basic Economy and Main Cabin tickets. From priority boarding to roomier seats and better inflight service, Premium Select is much more…well, premium. The cost of the ticket includes better food, faster check in and boarding, a more comfortable flight, and more amenities. Of course, it also costs about twice as much as an economy ticket, on average, so you’re getting what you pay for.
When you compare the price of Premium Select to the price of the next lowest seat class, Comfort+, you find that the difference is pretty insignificant. So if you’re already paying for an international long-haul ticket, you might as well shell out the extra $250 or $300 for Premium Select. Even better if you have points to spare and can use those to cover the difference.
Another thing to consider beyond just a more comfortable flight is that you can earn more elite qualifying miles with a Premium Select ticket than you do with lower fare classes. Premium Select fares, which can begin with an A, P, or G, are eligible to earn 150% Medallion Qualifying Miles. Comfort+ tickets and all other economy tickets earn only 100% Medallion Qualifying Miles. For 50% more miles, we think the price difference is more than worth it.
You just have to remember that Premium Select isn’t always going to be available. This is a disadvantage of the flight class that can make your life a little more difficult when booking.
If you’re trying to make the choice between Premium Select and Comfort+, it’s almost definitely worth the minimal added cost for Premium Select. It’s also worth noting that if you’re on a connecting flight and you’ve booked Premium Select, you may find yourself in Comfort+ seats, so you might not get to choose in certain instances.
And compared to First Class and Delta One, you’ll save a ton booking Premium Select for a flying experience that’s still pretty luxurious. For potentially less than half the price, you’re getting a flight that arguably shares more in common with premium than economy and you’re definitely not slumming it.
It doesn’t hurt to look at the seat map for your plane before flying to get an idea of how your Premium Select seat will compare to others. You may find that you prefer to book Premium Select on A350s, for example.
The only time we don’t recommend Premium Select is if you’re used to flying Basic Economy and your main priority is cutting costs.
When Premium Select is available for a long-haul flight you’re booking, you should generally book it. Premium Select strikes the perfect middle ground between a stripped-down economy ticket and a pricy premium ticket, both in terms of price and accommodations. For the extra miles alone, this flight class is worth booking if you’re working your way toward elite status. Use points to upgrade when possible or cash in a Global Upgrade Certificate.
Delta Air Lines is probably going to continue making this flight class available on more planes, so hopefully, it becomes easier to book.