Things Delta Air Lines should fix and could if they wanted to! Did your pet peeve make my list?

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Got glue? Let’s fix this!

Delta the company, that is the executives, clearly is focused on driving every bit of incremental revenue out of paying passengers – and rightly so! But in the quest to accomplish this and pushing everything to the maximum limit has caused some things to suffer. Some of theses were “paved with good intentions” only to fall back to reality. Let’s look at a rather long list (in no particular order of importance) of things Delta really should fix if they want to keep folks happy and spending on Delta vs. other airlines.

  • Allow Flight Attendants to on-board upgrade elite’s. I really thought the efforts by the Delta CEO to try to end visits from SHENA were going to pay off. I, maybe naively, considered the days of #TeamBoardLast to soon be at an end. Sadly it seems many gate agents simply don’t care to come on-board and upgrade elites (as was suggested in the directive) and many still do not process upgrades until T30 (it should be at T40). The fix for this would be allowing flight attendants to take on the job when a seat is empty in 1st class. Use the GST and see who was #1 on the list and offer them the seat.
  • Comfort+ or C+ visits from lead flight attendant. When C+ rolled out the direction was that the lead FA was to visit C+ as time allowed. I almost never see that happen other than a visit to pick up trash. If Delta is going to market C+ as something more than coach (cuz the seat sure is nothing more than coach) then more attention needs to be focused on C+.
  • Pre-order 1st class meals. Delta reps promised this was on the way YEARS ago now. For crying out loud if AA can do it – Delta can do it. Just make this happen.
  • Open up guaranteed space for Global Upgrade certs. Don’t kid yourself that this is not a choice (by the all powerful REV MGT team). Delta is offering GUs as a perk so if there is an open seat for sale in business class we should be able to use our GU certs to book it. End of story!
  • Gift MQMs not just status for million milers. Most of us should know that if you reach at least 1 Million Miler you are gifted Silver status even if you do not fly. You have no MQD requirement either but it is ONLY the status that is gifted each year. Want Gold, you must fly it all. I would like to see MQMs and MQD credit gifted not just the status. Incentivize me to fly more once my flying days slow down.
  • Bring back more Level 1 award space for Medallion and Amex Reserve card holders. They had this in the past – why not again. Sure it was a super “hush hush” perk but it was real. I am fine with not putting it in print but give us the benefit once again.
  • Allow us to combine vouchers. I am OK if you set a reasonable limit Delta – maybe 3? After all you allow 3 gift cards to be used on one ticket. Maybe make the other vouchers combine on one ticket max 3. (PS on this one, if you ask and push reps they will sometimes let you use 2 on one ticket).
  • SkyMiles award holds for 24 hours. Again, Delta did this in the past. I know we can cancel free of charge and have 24 hours to do so after we ticket but an award hold is simpler and clearer. Hold and if you do not want to ticket it just goes away.
  • Add a buy at this price timer. There are few things as frustrating as going to buy a ticket on Delta.com and the price jumps when you go to hit buy now. It would not be that hard to lock in the price for say 5 minutes once you start to book and then if you do not finish and the price goes up it is your fault.
  • Fix the Delta / Amex Bogo married segments issue. There can be so many times two legs both show the same fare class to allow you to use your BOGO cert but the Delta CPUs when you combine them kicks it out. Yes, you can call and have it manually done but it is a pain. If both segments have the correct fare class it should simply work!
  • Allow segments to rollover. I know there are so many who earn status on segments. If MQMs can rollover why not segments? I get not allowing MQD spend to rollover but why no segments. I don’t get it.
  • Fix the blocked seat map bug! This one I hear could just maybe be in the works. It is just insane that this bug has been ongoing for months and months now. Someone in Delta IT has to be smart enough to again let us see all the seats open without doing a dummy booking (and fix the Delta reps CPUs at the same time so they too can see the seat maps).

There are my dozen “pet peeves” if you will. All of them are fixable. Heck, other than allowing Diamonds guaranteed GU space, none of them really should cost Delta anything other than the time to fix the issues.

You tell me. Have I missed any glaring issues that drive you crazy that Delta should address or fix? You tell me in the comments below. – René

 

 

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23 comments

  1. René. Delta has a lockdown on their customers. There is simply no competition. We will surely see constant reduction in benefits , not addition. No where on your list up there’s is the absolute worst part about Delta. The value of the SkyMile. Delta has the most expensive fares and is guaranteed to give you the worst possible return. The devaluations are rampant and possible hurt their bottom line as no one with 1/10 of a brain would use a Skymiles credit card to earn RDM. And it’s ridiculous they invest in giving away Diamond status when they should be protecting it, then they should use that money saves to improve the value of their SkyMile. Delta’s BiGGEST fault is the nearly worthless SkyMile. United has the trampled and destroyed

  2. Snack and beverage service in the main cabin on short flights. I routinely fly between LAX or BUR and LAS. I’ve taken Delta, American and Southwest. AA and SW both get peanuts, pretzels, and beverages served during the brief 45 minute flight. Delta, though, uses those short flights for two or three stews to serve 12 pax in F. Or a couple stand around in the galley and BS. It’s always cringe-worthy to hear the unitiated go “What?!” when the “no service provided in the main cabin” announcement is made.

    As for upgrades, I’ve seen the T-40 policy initiated ONCE in about 50 flights. And on my last DL flight, the person who was upgraded to the one remaining F seat didn’t show. They called his name on onboard and when there was no response, I got all excited because I was next on the upgrade list. The GA said to a stew, “ready to go!” And then they gave a dead-heading stew the biz class seat that should have been mine.

    SHENA will always be alive and well at Delta.

  3. Good list, most are on mine too. My pet peeve is the GUCs. I’m consolidating my flights on Delta this year and will be hitting Diamond in a month. If I can’t effectively use the GUCs (within reason, I’m flexible) then I’m switching my loyalty elsewhere in 2018. For me, that’s the main reason to hit Diamond.

  4. I would absolutely love the rollover segments. I fly mostly short legs and it’s all domestic so I don’t get the miles. Been stuck at Silver forever because of this. Always meet the spend for at least Gold.

  5. “Allow Flight Attendants to on-board upgrade elite’s” Ok, maybe we fly from and to different places but being based on a Delta hub I don’t recall any flight in the last 5 years that I was in and had a 1st class seat empty. Every single seat is taken and people are always upgraded before they board the plane.

  6. Open up space for RU’s. I’ve been waitlisted for an empty cabin for over 2 months. I’m guessing they won’t open them up until after the medallion window.

  7. I agree with Chris, SHENA will always be a thing. Fact is, when GAs and FAs are held accountable for getting flights out on-time, they would rather get the door shut than spend those last few minutes upgrading Medallions who are already seated in Y. If the door doesn’t close on-time, they have to explain to their supervisors why the flight was delayed, and it’s a red mark on their record regardless.

    Not sure what more you want out of C+, it is what it is. FAs choose cabin assignments/duties based on seniority, and the leads usually prefer to work F because F pax are less cranky (duh). I could see maybe having one of the FAs swing through to offer a second round of drinks on all flights longer than 2 hours.

    Pre-ordering F meals should be do-able. I also liked your suggestion to management last year that they bring back 2-3 day stopovers on award tickets. It’d be nice to sneak in some time in Amsterdam or Paris, before continuing on to another European destination – like Bourdain’s old show “The Layover”.

    Blocked seat maps are a feature, not a bug. 😉

  8. – The multi-city or complicated itinerary search would be nice to fix with both award and cash tickets — I’ve been able to book complicated itineraries via ITA->BookWithMatrix->Delta.com, even though Delta.com won’t directly find those or will error-out.

    – In addition to extra low-level award seats for Medallions/Reserve, it would be nice if at least they got rid of the 7/14/21-day effective close-in fee for those groups.

    – GUC/RUC visibility on delta.com (and ideally expertflyer) like United allows instead of having to keep asking twitter or phone.

  9. Last week on my MSP-AUS flight the FC Flight attendant did serve snacks and picked up trash from the Ec+ seats as well as FC. But since I was in the first row BEHIND Ec+ I felt foolish thinking I would get a choice from the basket … fortunately I did not reach out and embarrass myself. Oh but wait, the was no room to reach forward in basic economy! (my reward for having a mechanical issue on the previous flight.)

  10. Stop DOWNgrading DDMs 10-15 minutes before departure, especially when we are already SEATED in first class. It’s absurd. Have a serious cutoff time, and USE it.

  11. You stated “Gift MQMs not just status for million milers”. You are 100% correct. I have Million Miler status on AA. I rarely fly AA and one of the reasons is that I would have to fly 50k miles to get any additional benefit. AA has many more Million Milers as they used to allow credit card purchases to count toward the goal. Perhaps, just perhaps, Delta could give a Million Miler a choice: Silver Status each year OR 15k MQM. I’ll bet the vast majority would choose the 15k MQM.

  12. I just posted a question about booking nonstop flights using miles in first class. Even at the most expensive mileage cost I’m finding tons of nonstop flights with first class availability paying with cash, but all showing up as sold out if trying to book with miles. Has delta seriously restricted all first class nonstop bookings via miles even at the high/standard award cost?!?! If so since when or is this a glitch on the website? What’s the point of earning miles anymore if you can’t use them to book the flight you want in first class even at the most expensive mileage cost which is set by delta at whatever they deem appropriate? This is draconian and counterintuitive if they truly are restricting certain flights they want (nonstops and first class = the most convenient) even if they are charging the most expensive mileage costs unless I’m missing something here?

  13. Since the inception of C+ I have never had a lead FA come back. However, I have had three flights over they oast two weeks where they have!

    Maybe there was a renewed push from Delta on this?

  14. @Hayden – potentially depends on the number of DMs seated in C+ on a given flight. There is supposedly a push from DL mgmt to try and provide a bit of extra recognition to upper tier Medallions who didn’t get upgraded to F.

  15. How’s about fixing SkyBonus? The five employee rule is lame; my company with fewer than five employees spends well over $5k each year.

    Not to mention, trying to use the upgrade certs is an exercise in frustration. There’s never any space available — even on flights that show completely empty F cabins on ExpertFlyer.

  16. My main issue is the hidden seat maps. Having to make dummy bookings to assess upgrade availability for hundreds of flights is a silly waste of time. I don’t believe for a minute it’s a bug. For seven months I have been voicing my displeasure through tweets, phone calls, and Delta surveys all to no avail. A bug could have been fixed in a few days. It’s a hell of a way to treat loyal flyers.

  17. I agree…..fix the RUC and GUC usage……..that is absurd when you give them to us as a “benefit” but hold out and won’t release them for immediate use. When its 2 or 3 weeks out and the cabin is COMPLETELY open and your holding them there is no excuse……I understand being stingy but come on Delta Revenue Management……reward those of us who fly you week after week.

  18. Make GUs and RUs useable online. I recall Delta promising that this functionality was coming for the prior try of upgrade certs (I forget what they were called). Even if a lot of these bookings would still be standby for the upgrades, it would save the time of calling the Medallion line. Seems like the only reason Delta doesn’t do this is because they don’t want medallions to see which flights actually have GU and RU space.

  19. Love your ideas on MM status getting MQM. I am close to retirement and that would give me a shot at Gold after my work travel decreases. An incentive to stay with Delta. Silver is pretty much nothing.

  20. Delta has really ruined complimentary upgrades, what used to be their bread and butter. The only way they will change is if enough of us start using other airlines and they feel it in the pocket book. I have started to move some of the 5 million dollars my business spends with Delta each year to other airlines and working to give my employees incentives to fly other airlines when possible.. I have complained and they say upgrades are not guaranteed, so i tell them now that my business isn’t guaranteed and i will fly other airlines as much as possible. As well they will have to spend money advertising to get my business now.

     

  21. Delta has really ruined complimentary upgrades, what used to be their bread and butter. The only way they will change is if enough of us start using other airlines and they feel it in the pocket book. I have started to move some of the 5 million dollars my business spends with Delta each year to other airlines and working to give my employees incentives to fly other airlines when possible.. I have complained and they say upgrades are not guaranteed, so i tell them now that my business isn’t guaranteed and i will fly other airlines as much as possible. As well they will have to spend money advertising to get my business now.

     

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