There have been a few things I take credit for at least alerting Delta about, and then they have considered implementing the changes. For example, Diamonds boarding with 1st class was one of my ideas. Another one that now is official policy is what I talked to the Delta CEO about at the opening of the B Delta Sky Club in Atlanta – that is, the frustration of being #1 on the upgrade list, boarding, and then someone else getting “your” upgrade because you boarded the jet (YBYL that is “you board you lose” your upgrade spot).
There has been endless discussion on the blog about playing the game I call #TeamBoardLast – that is, you are the last body onboard (and last medallion of any rank) because as others board they officially drop off the upgrade list. If a seat in 1st class is still open at this point, you guessed it, the last elite at the door gets it. Now, maybe not so much. But only maybe!
Notice the wording on Delta.com I have highlighted. Delta is going a long way to really try to fix this issue by moving the upgrade time from 30 minutes before flight to 40 minutes. Good but not a perfect fix because they do say if you board they will “do our best” to come onboard and upgrade you. Sigh. In other words, it is up to the gate agents and if things go sideways or it is pushing the time to push back they will just put whoever is the last elite standing in the last 1st class seat. Problem not solved but maybe better? I will still play #TeamBoardLast now and then!
Next up this long weekend Delta is going to request more and more from flight attendants who already have a ton to do. Notice the alert sent to travel agents about how Delta is going to use the GST or “Guest Services Tool” a.k.a. the Skypro to find those fliers who Delta FAs should be sure to thank for their loyalty and especially so if they are back in the back of the jet in a middle seat 😉
OK, kidding aside. It is really fun and nice to get personal cards or even a thank you from Delta folks when you fly no matter where you are sitting. However, on a short-ish flight this will burn up time FAs could be doing other things like maybe returning to C+ and offering a second round of drinks or something like that. Also, as one FA pointed out to me, they have safety checks they must do and the more Delta asks of them the less time there is for other things.
I guess my overall feeling on this is I hope it does not become pointless and irritating like gate agents thanking us for our loyalty when we board. They are just quickly, roboticly saying thank you and all it does is slow down the boarding. I say dispense with forced appreciation that clearly is just ordered by the company. I guess maybe I am a bit jaded and it is perhaps a result of flying too much? What do you say – am I being too cynical on this point? – Rene