(Image courtesy of wallpaperest.com)
What a lovely image. Floating about the clouds, enjoying a cold beverage, listening to some tunes from your mp3 player. That is how we all want to believe flying to be, but reality sets in once you board your plane. Flying has nearly become more of a luxury than a convenience with all of the changes airlines are making. Delta is a company that has more changes on the way.
Airline prices have been through the roof lately. A flight from O’Hare to San Francisco would cost one person, in economy, $434 one way if you were to leave on Dec. 10 and return on the 13 according to a price check I just ran on kayak.com. Round trip, this goes to $868. Add on typical fees and baggage check-in fees and this trip is easily a $900 flight – in the economy section. Couple this with cramped seats, a possible snack, half a cup of a beverage, and a groping from your favorite TSA agent and you have one heck of an expensive trip.
(Image courtesy of mpiweb.org)
Delta is looking to change their booking system to a five levels of service pricing. Choices would be basic economy, main cabin, Delta comfort+, DeltaOne, and First Class (Bloom, 2014). Their reasoning behind this is two-fold. On one hand, they seem to be re-branding themselves in a business that has many options and which most airlines are doing poorly. On the other hand, they claim to be doing this to provide choices to cater to every type of need.
Basic economy is a no frills book your flight with no change to tickets, no seat assignments, and no upgrading (Bloom, 2014). Main cabin allows one to book a seat, but you can move or upgrade (Bloom, 2014). Delta Comfort+ has four more inches of legroom than standard coach-class seats, priority boarding, complimentary alcoholic beverages, and “premium snacks” on longer flights (Bloom, 2014). First Class is what typical first class is. Finally, DeltaOne is the highest package, which offers the most comfort you could receive similar to how it is currently on international flights (Bloom, 2014).
(Image of Delta’s First Class courtesy of yahoo.com)
Effectively, Delta is gutting coach and creating a new pricing system. While they tout options, they are actually limiting options to people by offering the same amount of seats on a plane total, but less per option. This means they can compete with all other airlines and charge comparable prices. This gives them an opportunity to make more money per flight due to the tiered packages for seats, which this blogger is sure they would make you upgrade to if you, need to be on that flight and no seats remain in the package tier you desire.
Time will tell on whether this is a good choice or not for Delta Airlines. Being a six foot two person myself, I cannot imagine I will want to pay an arm and a leg for more legroom. What does everyone else think? Is this a wise decision on Delta’s part or will it hurt their brand image by trying to do too much in a single flight?
Bloom, L. (2014, December 9). Could Coach Get Any Worse? Delta Found a Way with New Class of Fares. Retrieved December 9, 2014, from https://www.yahoo.com/travel/could-coach-get-any-worse-delta-found-a-way-with-104781362557.html?hp=1