The Delta Air Lines board order method can make a hectic trip more enjoyable. Understanding the Delta boarding zone (also known as groups) is the key to the entire process. The groups are divided into a few categories, and the priority is fairly simple. Your boarding order will move faster on Delta the higher your […]

The Delta Air Lines board order method can make a hectic trip more enjoyable.

Understanding the Delta boarding zone (also known as groups) is the key to the entire process. The groups are divided into a few categories, and the priority is fairly simple. Your boarding order will move faster on Delta the higher your status is with that airline. You’ll find Sky Priority lanes in some airports for passengers with priority access.

Learn how Delta’s boarding order can make your flight more comfortable and enjoyable.

Delta Air Lines’ nine boarding groups

That’s right, you read it correctly! Delta has nine distinct boarding zones plus preboarding. They are often displayed at the gate to show which group is currently boarding.

The preboarding process is for those that need more time before boarding the aircraft, as well as military personnel on active duty traveling with an official ID. Delta’s boarding groups give priority to passengers in premium cabins and those who have elite status on the airline or with its SkyTeam partner airlines.

Delta has nine zones, in the order they are boarded:

Boarding zone

SkyMiles Medallion members

Other passengers and elite status members from partner airlines


Those who need extra time to board the plane and active-duty U.S. military members with identification.

Delta One or First class

  • First class passengers.

  • Delta One passengers (two-class aircraft).

Delta Diamond Medallion

Diamond Medallion members.

Delta Premium Select

  • Delta Premium Select passengers (on eligible aircraft).

  • Passengers traveling with car seats and strollers.

Delta Comfort+

Delta Comfort+ passengers.

SkyPriority (preferred boarding)

  • Platinum Medallion members.

  • Gold Medallion members.

  • Flying Blue Platinum and Gold members.

  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold members.

  • LATAM Pass Black Signature, Black and Platinum Elite members.

  • SkyTeam Elite Plus members.

  • WestJet Rewards Platinum and Gold Elite members.

Main Cabin 1

Silver Medallion Members.

  • Delta Corporate travelers.

  • Delta SkyMiles Gold, Platinum and Reserve American Express cardmembers.

  • Flying Blue Silver members.

  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Silver members.

  • SkyTeam Elite members.

  • SkyMiles Select members.

  • LATAM Pass Gold+ Elite members.

  • WestJet Rewards Silver Elite members.

Main Cabin 2

Main Cabin customers.

Main Cabin 3

Main Cabin customers booked in T, X and V fare classes.

Basic Economy

Basic Economy passengers (E).

Priority Boarding Zones

The first passengers to board include those with elite status, such as partner airline members, and those in premium seating. Once the zones in question have boarded, other passengers can board.

While Delta SkyMiles American Express Cardholders are allowed to board the aircraft in the main compartment zones, their priority is not the same as Delta’s highest elite status members.

Members of the Silver Medallion program do not receive priority boarding when they depart from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol or Paris Charles de Gaulle.

Delta Premium Select

The Premium Economy Cabin can only be found on select aircraft, mostly those flying internationally. It features a larger seat, improved recline and upgraded amenities and meals.

Delta Comfort+

The seats in the front cabin have extra legroom. These seats offer free wine, beer and other snacks to customers. Priority boarding is another perk for this particular section of seats.

SkyMiles Select

Although no longer available for purchase, travellers who still possess this paid-access qualification can enjoy benefits like priority boarding or drink vouchers.

Basic Economy

Delta’s Basic Economy fares have the most restrictive boarding levels and are therefore the least accommodating for overhead bags. Other perks such as upgrades, seats assignments and miles earning are not allowed.

What are the boarding zones?

The highest possible boarding zone is available to passengers.

If you have Diamond Medallion status and are traveling in main cabin you will be able to board the plane much sooner than other passengers in main cabin.

How to Get Priority Boarding on Delta Flights

If you want to be given priority for boarding, there are many ways to do so. The overhead bins near your seat are a great benefit for those with carry-on luggage.

Book Premium Cabin Tickets

You may or may not want to choose this option, but you will board faster if you can afford to pay more for a seat in the premium cabin.

Delta offers a variety of premium seats, from Delta One, its most expensive category, down to Comfort+, which has extra legroom in the main cabin. These groups are all boarded before the main cabin.

Upgrades are another way to ensure early boarding. If space allows, Medallion upgrades can be offered on many domestic flights and regional ones.

You may be able purchase an upgrade using miles or cash before your flight. This is a good way to get an upgrade that goes beyond your in-flight service, as it will also increase your priority for boarding.

Elite Status

Priority boarding is one of the benefits that comes with loyalty to an airline or its partners.

Delta Medallion Members, SkyTeam Elite Plus members and Elites, as well as elite members of partner airlines, all have the option to board ahead of most main cabin passengers. This gives them more time to store their bags, before there is no space left.

Delta’s elite flyers are given priority but partner elites will board soon after.

Use Your Military Benefits

Armed forces personnel can board the plane at the front of the queue, as long as they bring identification. This is a wonderful way to show appreciation for those who have served their country.

Delta Corporate Business

Companies and organizations with corporate contracts with Delta can offer additional benefits to their flyers. These include faster boarding before other customers in the main cabin.

Delta SkyMiles American Express Cards

Many people choose Delta Air Lines cards for their priority boarding because of the earlier priority. AmEx cards can be used to ensure overhead bins and take advantage of other benefits like SkyMiles and discounts on in-flight meals and beverages. Cards eligible include:

Conditions apply.

Join Sky Club

Delta boarding order, recapped

This primer will explain how Delta boards its flights and who goes first. It also explains how to improve your position.

While some methods are more expensive than others, credit cards can still be an attractive option for those who want to take advantage of the many benefits that these cards offer.


What is the number of boarding groups on Delta Air Lines flights?

Delta has 9 different boarding groups, not counting preboarding. They range from group 1 (reserved for Delta One passengers and those in first class) to group 9, which is reserved for economy travelers.

Delta Boards in what order?

Delta One and first-class passengers are the next in line. The Diamond Medallion Zone is the second group of boarding zones and it is only for Diamond level elite members.

The Delta Premium Select Group 3 is available for all transpacific and transatlantic flights, and includes passengers traveling in this flight class and those with strollers and car seats.

The next group is Delta Comfort+, followed by Platinum Medallions in Group 5. This group is also known as Sky Priority. Main Cabin 1, 2, and 3 are the last four groups, with basic economy at the back.

What is the Main 1 Boarding on Delta Airlines?

Main Cabin 1 will be the sixth boarding zone on Delta. This boarding group is open to all SkyTeam Elite Members, Flying Blue Silver Members, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Silver and Delta Silver Medallion Elite Members.

Among the other passengers who may have their Main Cabin 1 assigned to them are Delta Corporate Travelers and certain Delta cardholders with AmEx co-brands, as well as SkyMiles select members.

Keep your Rewards High

It’s essential to choose a credit card for travel that puts your priorities first. Our picks of the top travel credit cards for 2023 include those that are best for: