After a long night I occasionally need to double check headlines out of sheer shock and an assumption that I read something wrong. Trading my knee basher seat for a bigger lazy boy on the same flight is usually the dream when flying any airline on a short domestic flight. It appears I, and likely you, are setting the new bar far too low. Though it doesn’t fall under the term “complimentary” upgrade, Delta is looking to offer upgrades for commercial passengers to private jets for between $300-800 per person. Interested? 

a close-up of a plane seat

I’m with you. They can’t be serious, but they are. Delta has one of the largest private jet fleets in the United States and their “Delta Private Jets” program has not quite lit the world ablaze. In an attempt to minimize downtime and open legs (unused flights where jets sit costing money) the airline is finding synergy between it’s commercial fleet and private fleet. By offering it’s elite medallion commercial passengers with itineraries comparable to the “positioning” needs of a private plane the opportunity upgrade to something far greater than a lazy boy, a private jet, the airline stands to turn lost money into some money… while blowing minds. So far, Delta has mentioned that these opportunities will be specifically focused on the Northeast where a large amount of business travel occurs, primarily on short hop regional flights. Essentially, if I have a ticket booked from New York to Richmond, Virginia at noon on a Wednesday and a private jet needs to get from New York to Virginia that day, they might offer me the paid upgrade just to make some money while positioning the plane. They win because I likely cover some fuel costs and I win…well… because I traded a lazy boy for a f**king private jet man!

a table and chairs in a plane

My synopsis is that chasing one of these special upgrades down will be more luck than strategy. But hey, crazier things have happened. Anticipating the needs of private jet travel while simultaneously matching it to your elite status and scheduled flights is probably comparable to winning the lottery. Of course if you do that you probably won’t be too concerned about flying commercial after that anyway. Regardless, I for one will now be waiting by the phone like a teenage boy on a Friday night every time I book a flight out of New York. We all can dream….

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Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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