Have you seen Delta’s new seat branding page on Delta.com? Some interesting rankings!

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delta-com-page-describing-all-the-segmented-service-class-on-a-delta-jet

From Delta.com seat branding page

For those who are new to Delta they, right now, only have two seats on all jets no matter what they are telling the general flying public. They have either a business class seat or a coach seat. They may call the seats all kinds of “branded” names to WoW travelers but once they fly them they may or may not be really thrilled with what they received either in seat size or leg room or even the perks. Travelers may have expected food or some level of service that the length of flight did not qualify for under Delta rules. The spin of seat names is truly impressive when you take a look.

Then again, over the next year or so, Delta will in reality have “real” 3 class service – that is, a Premium Economy or Delta Premium (DP)seat (because they sure cannot just call it PE like everyone else) that unlike Comfort+ or what we call C+ that is the exact same seat as the rest of coach, is bigger than other coach seats. It may not be as large a premium as the competitors’ (or partners’) DP seats, but still a better seat than standard coach.

But did you notice something that instantly stood out to me about the seat order? In addition to beginning the list with the “Onboard Experience“, Delta has placed the new DP seat in a higher order than the domestic 1st class seat. That is really interesting psychology inside the mind of Delta branding.

Maybe I am one who really thinks branding domestic business class as 1st class is just silly. Not that new Delta domestic 1st class is not a very nice quality domestic product, but clearly it is NOTHING like a real 1st class seat you would see on many other international airlines. Calling something 1st when it is not to me cheapens what is in fact a solid and competitive business class product. In other words if Delta called it business I could be bragging what a great business class seat it is vs. griping it is not at all 1st class.

But it is also very interesting to me how much Delta is going to push the PE seat. This order of branding on Delta.com to me tips the hand of Delta marketing and what we can expect next year. This is going to be a big revenue point for Delta on international fights. While we know Delta is going to allow coach>Delta One (D1) global upgrade certs I am guessing there will be much greater space for those who are buying PE seats to score those D1 seats over those who are hoping for the jump all the way up front. Just a guess on my part but a solid one I think when you know REV management like we do.

The other big question is will there be C+ seats on Delta international jets. I am guessing NO as it will confuse buyers between DP and C+ and some may buy C+ expecting DP and become furious to have the same seat as the rest of coach. I could be wrong, but if I am it will be a nightmare for Delta customer service.

  • Our aka flyers codes for Delta seat branding 🙂
  • D1S = Delta One business class suites seats
  • D1 = Delta One business class seats
  • DP = Delta Premium Economy seats
  • 1st = Delta domestic business class seats
  • C+ = Delta Comfort+ seats same as coach but a tiny bit more leg room
  • C- = Coach seats

Then there is Delta One Suites or D1S. For now (and don’t read anything into these words) D1S is being treated the exact same as D1 as far as product sales and GU cert upgrades. Again, if you look at the above long list, if Delta decides to yet again one day differentiate this product from all the others they are creating and even longer list of separation of 3 seats as D1S is not that different from D1 – it just includes a small door. Bottom line from all of this is Delta wants to do all it can to differentiate mentally for us many of the exact same or essentially the same seats as unique experience vs. a truly different product.

I cannot wait to see how this set branding games works out. You? – René

 

7 comments

  1. I think marketing it as Delta Premium is smart, because the eventual end game will likely be domestic first class being rebranded as DP. The seat is essentially the same and the service levels will be relatively similar. It will reduce the number of classes by one as well and allow common fare letters.

    The downside for flyers is that it will allow Delta to claim simplicity in upgrading: “Coach always upgrades into Delta Premium; Delta Premium always upgrades into Delta One.”

  2. Regarding your question in this post’s title: Yes, I’ve seen their new seat branding page stuff quite a while ago. But I gotta admit that I didn’t think much about the order of those seat types.
    Well, one could see it different ways. One might argue that it is simply that D1 and DP are somewhat exclusively international seat types (well, just somewhat, when thinking of transcon routes …). So maybe (just maybe) Delta simply listed international seat (cabin) types first, then the domestic ones (where, of course, C+ and main cabin fall under both categories).
    If international planes with DP will feature C+ seats? Good question, it is not fully clear yet it seems. Though the wording when DP was finally announced seems to suggest that you are right. If a plane features DP then it won’t feature C+. Though the wording about how the upgrade certificates will work is a bit different, if I recall it correctly.
    Anyway, my personal opinion is that travelers shouldn’t be confused when a plane featured Main Cabin, C+, DP and D1.
    If someone is able to read simple texts then this someone should know what is what. All that you know you not just know by flying but also by reading, right?
    But maybe we are a bit different from many other people … so just take the above as just my personal opinion 😉

    And right, D1S is not really a different category, it is D1, nothing else. One could say, it’s just a somewhat different type of seat … like a 777 has herringbone seating in D1, an A330 has reverse herringbone, and a 767 has staggered seating. All different … but still the “same”: D1.
    And now we have those seats with doors.

    So all in all, it is indeed interesting that DP is listed before 1st, but it might be just a “coincidence” 😉

    Oh, and yeah, GU certs officially can be used to upgrade from Main Cabin to D1, but I think you’re right. It sure will be easier to perform a one-class upgrade. Of course I don’t know it … but this way Delta could make two passengers “somewhat” happy by moving DP customer to D1 and MC customer to DP (the seat that was just vacated, if you will). Otherwise …. one customer (the one from MC) would have been made … well … not somewhat … but really happy 😉

  3. @Ben, now that is also a quite interesting point. Haven’t thought about that possibility. Don’t know how likely that is but could be.

  4. @Ben I think one thing getting in the way with rebranding domestic F as Delta Premium is that an international Delta Premium ticket will probably book into Comfort+ for domestic connections, not First. To avoid confusion they may want to keep those products separately named.

  5. @DWT That’s right. So that makes it highly unlikely to rebrand First Class to Delta Premium. But still, an interesting thought 😉

  6. ILL GIVE U ONE BETTER MY HUSBAND GET A CIFT EVER JAN… BUT THIS COMING JAN 2017 HE SUBJECTED TO SEAT IN ONLY IN THE MAIN CABIN.. BUT HE WONT FIT.. HIS LEGS R 36 INCHES AND THE MAIN CABIN IS ONLY 31, SO WHAT TO DO WITH 5 INCHES OF HIS LEGS.. I SAID TO THEM (DELTA) WHAT R WE GOING TO WITH THEM AMPULTATE THEM .. THEY SAID NO SO THEY STILL HAVE COME UP WITH AN ANSWER.. O THEY SAID WHY DON’T I LOWER BACK TO THE GOLD. FROM PLATIUM OR UPGRADE TO THE RESERIVE. FOR $450 .A YR.. I SAID NO TO BOTH.. THEY LOWER IS NOT BETTER BENIFITIS. AND THE OTHER WAS MORE MONEY BY 250. MORE AND IT DOES NOT WORK IN HIS FAVOR.. WE DON’T FLY THAT MUCH EXPT 1 OR 2 TIMES A YR THE MOST.. WHAT A JOKE THEY PUT ON US AND OTHERS IN THE SAME BOAT… THEY THINK IS CUTE TO PUT A VERY TALL MAN INTO A SEAT THAT IS NOT SIZED FOR HIM.. AND HAS EXTRA LEFT OVER LEG SPACE.. AND NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO UP GRADE, EVEN IF WE PAY OR USE MILES.. THATS THE JOKE .. IM SO [upset] THEY COME UP WITH THESE DUMB IDEAS AND EXPECT OTHERS TO ENDOR THEM.. THEY SHOULD BE IN OUR SHOES AND FELL IT BUT MUCH HARDER..

  7. @Phyllis – Well, thanks for you comment. A few ideas. First did anyone ever tell you typing all in CAPS is considered YELLING? Next, tall folks or those who like leg room like me find ways way sit up front or in exit row or in a seat that has room. It takes some work but well worth it. Don’t blame Delta if you don’t take the time to learn the system. Either learn what it take or simply buy 1st class. Either way works fine! 🙂

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