How to use a Global Upgrade Certificate (GUC)

The race to the bottom is in full throttle at Delta Air Lines by devaluing a choice benefit for their top-tier frequent flyers. Global Upgrade Certificates (GUCs) allowed a Diamond Medallion to book any main cabin (fare classes V, X, T, U, L, K, Q, H, M, B, Y) or Delta Comfort+ (fare class S) and apply use a GUC to move them up to First Class or Delta One.

Savvy Diamond Medallion members could book deeply discounted tickets for a few hundred dollars and use these certificates to upgrade to the Delta One cabin for free – a well deserved and earned perk for frequent flyers spending a minimum of $15,000 in flights with Delta Air Lines.


Effective February 1, 20022 Delta Air Lines changed the rules for redemption of GUCs requiring that both a Premium Select cabin (fare classes G, A, P, F) be purchased and there must be fare class Z available in order to clear into Delta One.

The up-side

There’s isn’t much here, except that if fare class Z is available you can immedaitely confirm into Delta One at the time of booking.

How to use the system to your advantage

The following recommendations have been heard/seen in the wild – YMMV.

If you see a flight with both Premium Select and Delta One fare class Z availability, buy main cabin and hope for an upgrade offer to Premium Select. If you take the upgrade to Premium Select, you’ll be in a fare class that is eligible to apply a GUC to Delta One. Again, assuming fare class Z is still available, call reservations and have them apply and clear the GUC.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

You might also like