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Delta Comfort Plus vs. Premium Select: What’s the Difference?

If you're flying one of Delta's long-haul routes you'll see two booking options between Delta One Business class and economy: Delta Premium Select and Delta Comfort Plus. But what's the difference, and how do you choose? 


Delta flight JFK-CDG


Both are a step up from economy, but neither experience will be quite as comfortable as a lie-flat business class seat. Premium Select is Delta's version of premium economy with some of the same amenities you'll find in business class but without the privacy or seat that converts to a bed. Meanwhile, you can think of Comfort Plus as a more souped-up version of an economy seat. As the name implies, these seats have a little more comfort than you'll find all the way in the back of the plane. 

From the inflight experience to travel benefits to cost, here's everything you need to know about Delta Premium Select vs Delta Comfort Plus to determine which seat is best for your next trip. 


What is Delta Premium Select? 

Delta Premium Select is a premium cabin experience that isn't close to the lie-flat, more luxurious offerings of Delta One Business Class, but is undoubtedly a huge step up from economy. 

The Premium Select seat itself is quite nice and comfortable –  especially if you're traveling with someone else. But it also comes with perks like Sky Priority benefits and free checked bags. 

You'll only find Delta Premium Select on Delta's long-haul flights on wide-body airplanes like the airline's A330s, 767s, and A350s where Delta One business class can also be found. Most domestic flights just have First Class, Comfort Plus, and economy. 


Premium Select notes
Courtesy: Delta Air Lines


Read our full review of Delta Premium Select!

No matter which plane you're on, you'll find fewer seats in each row of the Premium Select cabin than back in economy or Comfort Plus, and that means wider seats. Delta's Airbus A350s are laid out in a 2-4-2 configuration in Premium Select, while A330s have 2-3-2 seating.

The Boeing 767s with Premium Select cabins have just six seats in each row in a 2-2-2 configuration.

Typically, you'll find just a few rows of Delta Premium Select separated by a divider before the economy cabin. That makes it a fairly intimate, exclusive area of the plane.


Delta Premium Select cabin


If you're traveling as a couple or a duo, the two seats on the side are perfect. My wife and I selected these seats for our flights to Paris and back last year. In addition to the seat itself, having a row to ourselves made the ride even more comfortable. 


Delta Premium Select seats


The seats come with significantly more legroom than you'll find in economy – though clearly not the nearly limitless legroom you get in Delta One. On the Airbus A330-300, for example, each Premium Select seat gets 38 inches of legroom compared to the 32 inches of space back in economy.

Your screen is still on the seatback in front of you, meaning the traveler ahead of you can still recline their seat into your space – and these seats have more generous recline than your typical economy seat.


Delta Premium Select seats


The seats are a massive upgrade from economy, with a little extra width and significantly more padding. Most Premium Select seats measure about 18 1/2 inches wide, a valuable half-inch more than your standard economy seat flying with Delta.


Delta Premium Select seats close-up


The headrests are pretty plush and the seats themselves are nice and new.


Delta Premium Select headrest and seat


The seats also come with a footrest which you can see I put out here. This feature was not something I knew I loved until flying premium economy. It's really nice to take that strain off your legs during a long flight and keep you from sliding out of your seat if you want to sleep. 


Delta Premium Select footrest


Unlike business class seats that recline with the push of a button, these Premium Select seats are not motorized. The recline, footrests, and leg rests are all analog, as you can see here. That means, you push the button and then push back on your seat to make it recline. The footrests automatically pop out and release when you push these buttons, too. They're fairly easy to use.


Seat controls on Delta Premium Select


Let's talk about that legroom again, because it's really nice. I'm six feet tall and still had plenty of room to extend and even cross my legs in Premium Select, even when there's something in the pocket in front of me.


Legroom in Delta Premium Select


The bulkhead seats at the front of the Premium Select cabin have even more legroom and space, too. 


Bulkhead legroom on Delta Premium Select


One of my favorite aspects of the Premium Select seat is the enormous TV screens. Clocking in at 13.3 inches, it's the biggest screen I've ever seen in the sky outside of a business class cabin. 


Delta Premium Select seat back screens


Both seats also had access to their own power port, which included a USB and a traditional plug-in at each port. That's in addition to the USB port on the screen itself, a staple of Delta's seatback screens.

These seats also come with a wider, better tray table. It comes out at half-width if you're just holding a drink and/or snack and full-width across your seat for your meals. 


Full tray table on Delta Premium Select


The middle console, which you'll share with a seatmate, is also fairly roomy, offering another spot to put your phone or rest a drink.


Middle armrest Delta Premium Select


Beyond the extra legroom and seat perks, flyers in Delta Premium Select get some extra goodies, too. When you get to your Premium Select seat, you get a business class-style amenity kit for your journey. While it's not filled with all the bells and whistles you'll get in a true business class amenity kit, it was still branded “Delta One” on the packaging.

You also get a decent set of Delta headphones, a really comfortable and nice memory foam pillow, and a blanket that wasn't paper thin … but also not exactly substantial, either.


Delta Premium Select amenities


The amenity kits from Someone Somewhere were much better than I expected. They didn't have zippers, which was unusual for an amenity kit – just the cloth topper with the shoelace-like string to hold it together. Inside was a toothbrush, a pen, a sleep mask, earplugs, and a few creams from the Grown Alchemist. Still, it was plenty substantial for a premium economy amenity kit, in my opinion.


Delta Premiium Select amenity kit contents


The kits differ from flight to flight, sometimes offering other things like socks, too, 

The dining experience is slightly (but only slightly) more elevated than the Comfort Plus and economy experience, too. The wider tray tables allow for a white tablecloth dinner service, although the food is likely just what you'll find in the economy cabin, but with actual silverware. 


Guinea fowl Delta Premium Select


Yeah…it's nothing to write home about. 

Finally, Premium Select tickets have the added perk of Delta's Sky Priority service at the airport. Sky Priority gives you priority check-in and security here in the States as well as expedited customs and immigration access at participating airports in Europe like Paris (CDG) and Amsterdam (AMS).

We were able to use the Sky Priority check-in area to get checked in without standing in any line whatsoever. Upon landing in Paris, we also were able to go through SkyPriority immigration and security before heading to our connecting flight. 


SkyPriority check-in


It's nice to get into the shorter line and get a little extra dedicated service, even if SkyPriority doesn't include perks like lounge access. 


What is Delta Comfort Plus?

On domestic flights, Delta Comfort Plus is really just economy with a little extra legroom. On international flights, you get a few extra perks like a small amenity, too.  


Comfort Plus


Delta Comfort Plus is a fare class available on all Delta and Delta Connection two-cabin aircraft across Delta's entire network.

Here’s what Delta Comfort+ passengers can expect: 

  • Priority boarding and deplaning
  • More legroom
  • Dedicated overhead bin space
  • Amenity kit (on long-haul international flights)
  • Seat location towards the front of the plane on domestic flights
  • Extra recline and greater legroom on longer flights
  • Premium snacks and complimentary coffee, beer, wine, and spirits on most flights

On most domestic flights, Comfort Plus seats are sandwiched between the regular economy rows and the first-class cabin. On nearly all long-haul routes, Delta also has a Premium Select cabin with slightly larger and more comfortable seats. On those flights, Comfort+ is between that cabin and the economy section.

Exactly how much extra legroom you get in these seats varies from plane to plane. But in most cases, you can expect an additional 2 inches to 4 inches of space to stretch your legs compared to standard economy seats.


Comfort Plus legroom


A tiny feature I love in Delta Comfort+ is the small front pocket on the seatback pocket. It's a small thing, I know, but having a place to place your phone, wallet, or headphones inflight is convenient.

But when it comes to legroom, Comfort Plus isn't always a step above what you can get in economy. On some planes, you'll get even more legroom in what Delta calls its “Preferred Seats” in economy – especially exit rows. You typically have to pay extra for these seat assignments unless you have Delta Medallion Status, in which case you can select them for free.

On long-haul international flights, Comfort Plus travelers also get a pillow, blanket, earbuds, and an amenity kit for the journey. In economy, comfort can be hard to find, but it's a little easier with Comfort Plus Delta fares. Just how much easier likely depends on how tall you are.


Comfort Plus


Comfort Plus Delta passengers also have dedicated overhead baggage space in their section, meaning there is more likely to be room for your carry-on bag once onboard.

Comfort+ passengers also get access to extra snacks like bags of chips, granola bars, and several sweets. In the economy cabin, normally only almonds, pretzels, or cookies are available to passengers.

No matter where you're flying, free alcoholic drinks are one of the most valuable perks of sitting in Comfort Plus, which is not something that is afforded to economy passengers on domestic Delta flights. Free beer and wine are available to Comfort Plus passengers on flights over 250 miles and free spirits are available for flights over 500 miles.


Delta Comfort Plus vs. Premium Select: Which is Better?

While not quite First Class or Delta One, Delta Premium Select offers a significantly better experience on long-haul international flights. It's a big step above the comfort and amenities in Delta Comfort Plus. 

Here's what you get with Premium Select that you don't in Comfort Plus: 

Wider seats with more recline, adjustable leg and headrests, and more legroom

An elevated dining experience with real tablecloths, earlier service, and actual silverware as 

An amenity kit on each and every flight 

More comfortable bedding for sleeping

Delta Premium Select seats are much wider with more recline, adjustable leg and headrests, and even more legroom. Compared to Delta Comfort Plus, this cabin also includes offers a (slightly) elevated dining experience with table cloths, earlier service, and actual silverware, along with premium snacks and beverages, and an amenity kit. Overall, with Delta Premium Select you’re in for a more luxurious and comfortable travel experience on long-haul flights. 

But with that premium experience comes a much heftier price tag. On the other hand, Comfort Plus fares are sometimes just a few dollars more (and up to a few hundred depending on the route) than the Main Cabin fare, making it a much more palatable upgrade for most travelers.

For some, a wider side, leg rest, and faster service are worth the price of booking Premium Select. For others, the extra legroom of a Comfort Plus seat is good enough.  


How to Book Delta Comfort Plus and Premium Select

In either class of service, you can book Delta Comfort Plus and Premium Select alongside all of Delta's other fares depending on what you're flying. The best way is to book directly with Delta. 

But you can also buy upgrades or get complementarily upgraded into these seats when you travel with Delta, too. 

Read our guide to finding and booking the best Delta SkyMiles deals! 


How to Book Delta Premium Select

There aren't any great ways to book a Premium Select seat through Delta's partners – especially if you want to use miles. And we never suggest booking flights through other third-party sites or online travel agencies.

These days, you'll find Premium Select seats on almost every flight heading across the Atlantic Ocean, over the Pacific, or even many flights down to South America. When you search for Delta flights, the Premium Select seats should be easy to find under the red tab on each flight.


Delta Premium select JFK-CDG


As you can see, Premium Select is a far cut below Delta One. Yet it's typically significantly more expensive than the economy cabin fare classes and even Delta Comfort Plus. When you select your flights, you'll see the “Sky Priority” banner at checkout. 


Delta Premium select JFK-CDG roundtrip


You can also use Delta SkyMiles to book Delta Premium Select on the same flights.


Delta Premium Select JFK-CDG SkyMiles


If those SkyMiles and cash rates look insanely high to you, you're not wrong. But it doesn't have to be that way. Over the years, our Thrifty Traveler Premium team has found some amazing deals flying Delta Premium Select over to Europe for as low as $500 and change. 


Delta Premium Select Premium deal


These deals are long gone. Join Thrifty Traveler Premium now so you don't miss the next one! 

We've also found great Delta SkyMiles deals for our Thrifty Traveler Premium members. And they don't get much better than flying Premium Select from almost every airport in the U.S. to any major city in Western Europe for just 90,000 SkyMiles roundtrip!


Delta Premium Select SkyMiles deal


Get cheap flights, SkyMiles deals, and other award alerts to use your points and miles with Thrifty Traveler Premium!

You can also purchase a Premium Select upgrade in the Delta app or on Delta.com after you book a Main Cabin or better fare. In our experience, there aren't any savings by doing this. You're better off just booking the Premium Select fare straight up. 


How to Book Delta Comfort Plus

Comfort Plus fares are available for purchase at booking on the Delta app or Delta.com just like any other fare … but that's not the only way to get one of these seats. 

Delta comfort plus JFK-CDG


Every once in a while, we find Delta Comfort flight deals, too. This deal to Bogotá, Colombia (BOG) comes to mind.


Thrifty Traveler Premium deal Delta Comfort Plus Bogota Colombia

In this case, the Comfort Plus fares were cheaper than the Main Cabin rates! 


Delta Comfort Plus


You can upgrade to Comfort Plus at any point after purchasing your ticket, too. But you have to have booked a main cabin economy seat: Delta Basic Economy fares are not eligible for upgrades. 

On the Delta app or at Delta.com, you'll be given an upgrade offer to the Comfort Plus and First Class cabins if seats are available. Sometimes those upgrade offers can be hundreds of dollars, but you may also see offers as low as $9 for a one-way trip, like my short flight from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Chicago-O'Hare (ORD).


Comfort Plus upgrade

There is a better way to get yourself to Comfort Plus for no money at all: complimentary upgrades. All Delta Medallion status holders get unlimited free upgrades when space exists. It's one of the best perks of earning status with Delta.

Diamond Medallion members get first dibs, then Platinum Medallion, Gold, and Silver. And when you request an upgrade on your ticket, you are put into a ranked list based on, among other things, your status with the airline.

In fact, if you hold either Delta Platinum or Delta Diamond Medallion status, you'll be upgraded to a Comfort Plus seat almost immediately after booking – assuming there's space available. Because of that, you'll be in at least Comfort Plus on most flights you book.


Comfort Plus


With Delta Gold Medallion status, Comfort Plus upgrades start to clear 72 hours before the flight – based on availability. And finally, if you hold Silver Medallion status, Comfort Plus seat upgrades will start to clear 24 hours before the flight – assuming seats are still available.

Even if you don't have Medallion status, you can still request a complimentary upgrade to Comfort Plus if you hold certain Delta co-branded credit cards. Travelers with the *delta skymiles platinum card* or the*delta reserve card* can join the complimentary upgrade queue, although you'll be in line behind passengers with status. 

Still, if you have Medallion status or hold one of Delta's top two cards, request that upgrade! It's worth a shot at a total cost of $0.

Read more: How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Upgraded with Delta


Bottom Line

Delta Comfort Plus vs. Delta Premium Select is a choice travelers must make if they want better than economy but aren't willing or able to shell out the cash (or miles) for Delta One business class. 

Premium Select is undoubtedly a better flying experience, but it is typically at a higher cost that some travelers might not find worth paying. Meanwhile  Comfort Plus offers more legroom than economy for a more reasonable price – and sometimes even cheaper than an economy seat.


6 Responses

  • I’m looking forward to my premium select LAX-SYD flight in June after finding a good deal a few months ago for 1300.00 RT.

  • I actually had the chance to experience both Comfort Plus and Premium Select on my most recent overseas trip last spring. I was most impressed by the Premium Select experience on my return from flight from CDG – MSP. With Delta ONE being something like $2K more, PS was a great “in-between” option with the amenities and extra comforts that make a 9 hour flight much more enjoyable. It was actually one of my most enjoyable flights ever and the A330-900 NEO made for a sweet ride. On the other hand, we took Comfort+ from BOS – DUB and the overnight experience was much less fun. Fortunately, that is a much quicker ride overseas. Takeaways: give Premium Select a try on your next flight. You won’t regret it!

  • I booked a comfort plus seat on Delta direct from HNL to ATL. I was ticked when they bumped me to a connecting flight in LAX. However, I have just discovered that they also were selling Premium seats as comfort plus? Those were the seats we had, and we got everything but the meal! Definitely an upgrade from normal comfort plus, but not sure it would be worth 100’s of dollars more.

  • Absolutely thrilling! The airline magically creates 10 different pricing tiers from a single airplane is just a dazzling display of capitalism in action. How innovative of them to find so many unique ways to charge travelers.

    Maybe charging us for using the bathroom on the plane is in the works next!

  • Great article. I’ve flown Delta’s Premium Select and three times in the last year and United’s Premium Plus once. Two negative notes that never get mentioned. One, this class seems to be always over the wing, so no views. Two, the large center armrest is very hard and immovable. If you’re solo it’s good as it keeps fellow travelers out of your space, a positive. But if you travel as a couple you can’t lift it up for more room (or cuddling!). And a minor quibble: my first flight had a welcome drink of bubbles right after take-off. But none have had that since.

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