Who Goes First? Delta Air Lines Standby Priority List

airport-passengerStandby Priority Guide for Both Non-Frequent Flyer Passengers and SkyMiles Members

This list is intended as a general guide only; not all passenger types have been included, and it certainly has some inaccuracies. In fact, many of the codes may be obsolete, especially given the recent major changes Delta made to its SkyMiles program.

However, based on your frequent flyer or other status and your fare type, the list should give you a pretty good idea of why you ended up where you are on the standby list – that’s it, and nothing more.

Please share your experiences flying standby on Delta, your opinion of this list, or anything you feel we left out by using the comment form below  – or if you prefer, by contacting us confidentially.

Delta Standby  Codes and Priority

1. HKFR – Confirmed first class pax for whom there is no available seat in the first class cabin, who is also an Executive Partner (or Delta 360 status – see code key below) or a SkyMiles member with elite status, including Million Miler.

2. HKF – Confirmed first class pax who is not a SkyMiles member with elite status, for whom there is no available seat in the first class cabin.

3. HKCR – Confirmed business class pax for whom there is no available seat in the business class cabin, who is also an Executive Partner (or Delta 360 status – see code key above) or a SkyMiles member with elite status, including Million Miler.

4. HKC – Confirmed business class pax who is not a SkyMiles member with elite status, for whom there is no available seat in the business class cabin.

5. HKDL – Confirmed crew member or mechanic without a seat assignment.

6. HKI – IRROPS pax. On some lists, the order of #6 and #7 are reversed. However, recent pax experiences on Delta indicate that IRROPS pax are given priority over elite status economy class pax.

7. HKR – Confirmed economy class pax for whom there is no available seat in the economy class cabin, who is also an Executive Partner (or Delta 360 status – see code key above) or a SkyMiles member with elite status, including Million Miler.

8. HK – Confirmed economy class pax who is not a SkyMiles member with elite status, for whom there is no available seat in the economy class cabin.

9. HKV – Confirmed pax who is willing to give up his or her seat.

10. DM – Diamond Medallion on discount fare confirmed in economy class and desiring upgrade

11. PM – Platinum Medallion on discount fare confirmed in economy class and desiring upgrade

12. GM – Gold Medallion on discount fare confirmed in economy class and desiring upgrade

13. FO – Silver Medallion on discount fare confirmed in economy class and desiring upgrade

14. SM – Non-elite SkyMiles member on discount fare confirmed in economy class and desiring upgrade – also alliance partner upgrade

15. SBUP – Paid standby upgrades

16. A2 – death / emergency

17. B1R – Inconvenienced or mishandled by Delta, Medallion status pax

18. B1 – Inconvenienced or mishandled by Delta, all other pax

19. C – Inconvenienced or mishandled by another airline who paid Delta the full Y fare

20. Confirmed pax desiring a same-day flight change

21. S (S1A, S1B, etc.) – non-revs (non-revenue pax): airline employees, Buddy Pass travelers, etc.

General rules when all else is equal (> = have priority over) :
– SkyMiles members > non-SkyMiles members
– Medallion members > non-elite members in this order: Delta 360, DM, PM, GM, MM, FO (with the last two perhaps switching order in some instances)
– Full-fare pax (F,J,Y,B) > discount fare pax (all other fares, more or less)
– Order of booking class priority:
– – First class: F, P, A, G
– – Business class: J, C, D, I, Z
– – Premium economy: W
– – Economy: Y, B, M, S, H, Q, K, L, U, T, X, V (E is not eligible)
– – Award travel: R, O, N
– IRROPS pax on connecting legs > IRROPS pax on first leg of trip
– Older timestamps > newer timestamps (refers to time and date of ticketing, either original or re-issue).
– Booking class E is not eligible for standby
– Rebooked tickets are issued in the same fare class as the original ticket (if you move up to fare class Y on the rebooked ticket, you got lucky)

Code Key
EP = Executive partner – from Delta’s former top-tier, “secret” Executive Partner program. Like the program itself, this code is likely obsolete – maybe replaced by a new code for Delta 360, the new elite invitation-only tier.
PM = Platinum Medallion
DM = Diamond Medallion
GM = Gold Medallion
MM = Million Miler
FO = Silver Medallion
IRROPS = disruptions or delays to flight schedules: weather, maintenance or staffing issues, etc.
pax = passenger or passengers

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