What is a Preferred Seat on Delta?

Published on: December 8, 2023
Written by Karim Niru / Fact-checked by Evander Mac

A preferred seat on Delta is a type of airline seating that offers additional comfort and convenience compared to standard economy seats. These seats are typically located in more desirable areas of the plane, such as the front of the cabin or near the emergency exits, providing extra legroom and easier access during boarding and deplaning.

Delta’s preferred seats are a step above the standard economy but differ from Delta Comfort+ seats. While both offer additional legroom, Comfort+ seats come with extra perks like priority boarding, dedicated overhead bin space, and complimentary drinks. This distinction is crucial for passengers deciding between comfort and cost. Regarding priority boarding, preferred seat passengers do not receive this benefit as standard, unlike those in Comfort+ or higher tiers.

Evaluating whether Delta’s preferred seating is worth the extra cost depends on individual preferences and travel needs. These seats offer a more pleasant flying experience compared to standard economy seats, especially on longer flights or for taller passengers. However, they do not include all the amenities of higher-tier seating options. For those looking for a balance between comfort and affordability, preferred seats can be an ideal choice.

what is a preferred seat on delta

Delta’s main cabin seats, while more economical, do not offer the same level of space and convenience. This is particularly noticeable on international flights, where the extra comfort of preferred seats can significantly enhance the travel experience. When selecting a seat with Delta, passengers have the option to upgrade to preferred seating, often for an additional fee. In some cases, frequent flyers or those with certain credit cards may be eligible for complimentary preferred seat upgrades.

For a more detailed insight into the benefits and considerations of choosing a preferred seat on Delta, including comparisons with other seating options and tips on how to secure the best seat for your journey, read the detailed article below.

Delta’s Preferred Seats: Comfort and Convenience in the Air

Delta’s Preferred Seats Explained

Definition and Basic Features

Delta’s preferred seats are a special category of seating designed to enhance passenger comfort and convenience. These seats are strategically located within the aircraft, offering more legroom and quicker access to the aisles. Unlike the cramped quarters of standard economy, preferred seats give you that extra bit of space to stretch out, making your journey more enjoyable.

Location in the Aircraft

You’ll find these preferred seats primarily at the front of the main cabin or near the emergency exits. Their placement is key: being closer to the front means you’re one of the first to disembark, saving you time, especially on tight connections. Plus, the extra legroom near the emergency exits is a godsend for taller travelers.

Comparison with Standard Economy Seats

Compared to standard economy seats, Delta’s preferred options are a noticeable upgrade. Economy seats often leave you longing for more space, especially on longer flights. With preferred seats, that extra legroom and quicker aisle access can make a significant difference in your travel experience.

Delta Preferred Seats vs. Comfort+

Feature Comparison

FeaturePreferred SeatsComfort+
AmenitiesStandardAdditional (incl. drinks)
CostModerate IncreaseHigher Increase

Preferred seats offer increased legroom compared to standard economy, but without the additional amenities found in Comfort+. The cost is moderately higher than economy but less than Comfort+.

Exclusive Benefits of Comfort+

Comfort+ seats take it up a notch with not just extra legroom, but also perks like priority boarding, dedicated overhead bin space, and complimentary drinks. These features cater to those who value both comfort and convenience during their flight.

Ideal Choice for Different Traveler Types

Preferred seats strike a balance between cost and comfort, making them ideal for budget-conscious travelers who still crave a bit of extra space. On the other hand, Comfort+ is tailored for those who don’t mind spending a bit more for enhanced amenities.

Assessing the Value of Preferred Seating

Cost Analysis of Preferred Seats

When it comes to cost, preferred seats are a middle ground. They’re more expensive than standard economy but offer a noticeable improvement in comfort. For many, the extra expense is justified, especially on longer flights where comfort becomes increasingly important.

Balancing Personal Comfort and Expense

It’s all about what you value most. If you’re someone who dreads cramped spaces on long flights, the extra cost for a preferred seat might seem like a small price to pay for a more comfortable journey. On the other hand, if you’re tight on budget, standard economy might suffice.

Passenger Testimonials and Reviews

Many passengers have shared their experiences, noting the significant difference in comfort. Reviews often highlight the relief of having extra legroom and the convenience of being closer to the front of the plane, making transitions smoother.

Boarding Priorities with Preferred Seats

Boarding Process for Preferred Seat Passengers

Passengers with preferred seats don’t get priority boarding like those in Comfort+ or first class. They board with the main cabin, which means a bit of a wait but still earlier than basic economy.

Comparison with Priority Boarding for Higher Tiers

Priority boarding is a perk reserved for higher tiers like Comfort+ and first class. This means they get to settle in their seats and stow their luggage without the rush and bustle experienced by main cabin passengers.

Strategies for Efficient Boarding

Even without priority boarding, you can still make the process smoother. Being ready with your boarding pass and carry-on, and waiting near your boarding zone can help you get on the plane quickly and hassle-free.

Preferred Seats on International Flights

Comfort Differences

Flight TypeLegroomOverall Comfort
InternationalMore CrucialSignificantly Better
DomesticLess CrucialMarginally Better

On international flights, the extra comfort provided by preferred seats is more pronounced. The extended legroom and quicker aisle access are invaluable on long-haul journeys.

Considerations for Long-Haul Flight Comfort

For those long international flights, comfort becomes a priority. Preferred seats offer that much-needed extra space, allowing you to arrive at your destination less cramped and more refreshed.

Selecting the Right Seat for International Travel

Choosing the right seat on international flights can make a huge difference. Consider factors like flight duration, personal comfort needs, and budget when selecting between preferred seats and other options.

Securing the Best Seat on Delta

Step-by-Step Guide to Seat Selection

Selecting the best seat on Delta is straightforward. During booking, you can view the seat map and choose your preferred spot. Keep an eye on the extra cost, and weigh it against the benefits.

Tips for Frequent Flyers and Credit Card Holders

If you’re a frequent flyer or have a Delta-affiliated credit card, you might be eligible for complimentary upgrades or reduced rates on preferred seats. Always check your loyalty program benefits before booking.

Probability of Free Upgrades

Status LevelLikelihood of Upgrade
Gold and AboveHigh
visual chart (1) probability of free upgrades
visual chart (1) probability of free upgrades

Frequent flyers with higher status levels have a better chance of scoring a free upgrade to preferred seats, especially on less crowded flights.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can Families Book Preferred Seats Together?

Yes, families can book preferred seats together on Delta flights. When making a reservation, you can view the available preferred seats on the seat map and select adjacent seats. It’s advisable to book early, as preferred seats are popular and can fill up quickly, especially on busy routes or during peak travel seasons. If you’re unable to find seats together at the time of booking, you can check back closer to your flight date, as additional seats may become available.

Are Preferred Seats Available on All Delta Flights?

Preferred seats are available on most Delta-operated flights, but their availability can vary depending on the aircraft type and route. Some regional or shorter flights may have limited preferred seating options due to the size and configuration of the aircraft. It’s best to check the seat map during booking or contact Delta directly to confirm the availability of preferred seats on your specific flight.

Are Delta Preferred Seats Comparable to Delta One Seating?

Delta preferred seats offer some extra legroom and recline, suitable for short-haul flights. However, they do not provide the same level of comfort and luxury as delta one seating. Delta one seating offers lie-flat beds, direct aisle access, and premium onboard amenities for long-haul flights.

Do Preferred Seats Offer Extra Services Like Meals?

Preferred seats on Delta do not come with extra services like complimentary meals. The primary benefit of these seats is the additional legroom and preferred location in the cabin. Any additional services, such as meals or snacks, would depend on the flight’s duration and class of service. For instance, on longer international flights, meals are typically provided to all passengers, regardless of seating choice.

Can You Upgrade to Preferred Seats After Booking?

Yes, you can upgrade to preferred seats after your initial booking. This can be done through the Delta website or mobile app by accessing your existing reservation and selecting a new seat from the seat map. Upgrades are subject to availability and may incur an additional fee. It’s often possible to upgrade even at the airport, either at check-in or at the gate, if preferred seats are still available.

Are Preferred Seats Refundable If I Cancel My Flight?

If you cancel a flight with a preferred seat, the refundability of the seat fee depends on the fare rules of your ticket. Generally, if your ticket itself is refundable, the additional fee for the preferred seat is also refundable. However, if you have a non-refundable ticket, the fee for the preferred seat may not be refundable. Always check the specific terms and conditions associated with your ticket and seat selection.

How Do Preferred Seats Compare to Exit Row Seats?

Preferred seats and exit row seats both offer additional legroom, but there are differences. Exit row seats are located next to the emergency exits and may provide even more legroom than standard preferred seats. However, passengers in exit row seats must meet certain criteria and be capable of assisting in an emergency. Preferred seats, while offering extra space, don’t come with these additional responsibilities or requirements.

Is It Possible to Select Preferred Seats for Part of My Journey?

Yes, you can select preferred seats for only part of your journey with Delta. This flexibility is useful if you want the extra comfort on a longer leg of your trip but are less concerned about it on shorter flights. When booking or managing your reservation, simply choose the preferred seat option for the specific flight segments where you desire the extra comfort. This can be a cost-effective way to enjoy the benefits of preferred seating without incurring the cost for your entire journey.

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