You will HATE Delta’s new IT enhancements, Delta SkyMiles Flash Sale & London giveaway. Plus a short flight drink update!

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No I can’t! Cuz the computer say NO!

Rookie Wednesday will be back next week as there are way too many Delta issues to catch up on for today. The first one is a major deal and IT IS BAD!

I would suggest you look at Rapid Travel Chai’s post today about the Delta phone agents IT upgrade I tweeted you an alert about yesterday. I have also been warning you for YEARS now as Delta keeps moving to a “Single Network Application – SNAPP” across just about everything Delta has that you are going to hate it and it will cause us more pain. Sad to say that is EXACTLY what is happening.

Remember, Delta is not trying to make IT better for us. They are trying to find ways to maximize profits and drive down the value of SkyMiles. Over two years ago, at a cocktail party before the Freddie Awards in Atlanta, I spoke to those in charge of SkyMiles and was explaining how broken the award page is on Delta.com. I shared that many times when you try to book 2 segments using a Delta LEVEL 1 award with a KLM LEVEL 1 award, i.e. both should simply price as one LEVEL 1 award ticket, it priced as two separate tickets. The answer was: “You have a problem paying for two tickets?” – I was flabbergasted and still am to this day. They are happy to overcharge us – know this! This is the IT goal of management.

Well now it seems the horrid Delta.dumb booking page that makes booking almost anything reasonable all but impossible is the same horrendously worthless system reps have on their screens as well. The value of SkyMiles just keeps dropping day by day with each and every IT enhancement. Earn and burn kids – earn and burn!

Please compare to hidden AWARD CHARTS!

Next up we have this month’s SkyMiles “Flash Sale” to and from NYC. It seems that the loading in of these discounted awards may have been the cause of the random reduced awards to Hawaii and Aruba. We will have to see if we can use this knowledge to look for more discounted awards each month as we already know Delta IT is not the strongest part of Delta and when you see cheap tickets on Delta.com book them because with no published award charts the price is the price is the price!

Next up you might as well register your SkyMiles number for a chance to win either Delta One or coach ticket to London. Even if you are not a soccer fan you can visit England free. Some are reporting they can not register but this should not be a targeted promo. Let me know if you can’t register as a data point in the comments below.

Remember when MEM mattered to Delta?

Lastly I have an update from Delta on the news I broke about the change in drinks on short flights. I have been told the following:

Delta is modifying its beverage service in Delta Comfort+ and Main Cabin on flights between 251-350 miles to ensure that our flight attendants have the opportunity to serve all of our customers when time is very limited inflight. Due to the short length of these flights, we found that many Main Cabin customers were not receiving snack or beverage service prior to flight attendants having to stow service items and prepare the aircraft for arrival. This feedback drove us to test options, including conducting extensive testing this summer, where we received positive feedback from both customers and flight attendants on this new service.

Additional information:
• The flights that will receive this service are between 251-350 miles. These are flights that in most cases have between 17-21 minutes of workable time to serve the entire cabin.
• Delta Comfort+ customers will now be offered a limited selection of alcoholic beverages, including Miller Lite, SweetWater 420, and Wente red and white wine, as well as a Dasani water bottle, Starbucks coffee and a choice of pretzels or Biscoff cookies; while Main Cabin customers will be offered a Dasani water bottle, Starbucks coffee and choice of pretzels or Biscoff cookies. First Class service will remain the same.
• To ensure customers are aware of this change in service inflight we have developed PAs onboard outlining the express service offerings.
• Delta’s flight attendants are also empowered to use situational flexibility and in all circumstances, if time allows, do their best to meet customer requests. Time permitting, customers will still be able to receive additional alcoholic options for free in Delta Comfort+ and for sale in the Main Cabin.
• At Delta, we are constantly actively listening to our customers and employees, gathering their feedback and testing new products on board to continuously improve the overall experience. Delta will continue to closely monitor customer satisfaction scores and flight attendant feedback for this new service change and make adjustments and improvements to service and product changes as a result of feedback.” – Delta representative (bold mind)

So Delta is  NOT removing Woodford, and other drinks, from the service carts – they are just not going to “tell you they have them” as an option on flights like from Memphis to Atlanta that are scheduled as 1 hour+ flights at 330 miles (don’t you miss being a HUB MEM?)! I expected some PR speak about this latest enhancement and to me “situational flexibility” screams that an FA can simply say “NO, I don’t have time”. We have clearly reached the point where marketing and sales has promised at the point of purchase more than can be provided in the air.

Also remember when it comes to Strive For Five bonus money bad ratings on the jet impacts every FA i.e. no one gets the bonus cash. My guess is so many in C+ wanting 1st class-like drinks has impacted the ability to service the rest of coach. Delta sure is not going to add an extra FA to flights to make up for this time related service issue. No, instead they will degrade the C+ experience in the air (but not in the marketing text). Think about that when you are offered to “buy up” on a branded fare on a short flight next time! 😉

Folks we are living in a strange twilight zone time in Deltaland. I think we are at a tipping point for so much and will be blogging about that next week. Fly safe everyone! – René

 

 

20 comments

  1. Nothing like doing stuff half baked. They should just stop drink service on flights under an hour. It would be so relaxing and nice to not put up with moving carts in the aisles and FAs rushing around only to rush around to pick up trash. I know many will disagree but its more relaxing to fly a spirit flight than a short delta flight because of this.

  2. @DDiamond – I bet they have time before landing to mention the latest great SkyMiles offer you can get and an FA will pass through the cabin to hand out applications. 😉

  3. Had to make 2 international flights changes yesterday — Didn’t know about the new system roll out but was told by both agents right away.

    The font size shrunk and they could not adjust it! Took extra long for them to piece together the flight segments I was seeing as the first option on Delta.com. They were told that the system change was supposed to show them what I was seeing…

    Ended up with a error on a flight segment, difference of an hour, so I can live with it. Didn’t want to call back to inquire about getting it changed as I really don’t want to go through all that again.

    Both agents were great and had decades of experience at Delta, so were able to flip to other ways to get what we needed done, rather than accept what the screen initially showed them.

    Have an award flight I need to cancel as well but will wait until they iron out the bugs a bit more…

  4. Great snipe about Memphis. 10 years ago 15MM+ passengers through MEM now 3MM+. But kind of nice too as a MEM flier.

  5. Rene, my partner just got the “no” for a bloody mary yesterday in Comfort+ from MEM to ATL. Ordinarily, not a big deal on such short flights, but you should see the average fare on this flight and how many diamonds are trouncing to comfort+ without an upgrade. Add on the nearly universal 20 min tarmac hold in MEM due to ATL air traffic and this short flight can push well over 1.5 hours. While I understand Delta’s reasoning for this policy, it is simply not going to come across well on some routes.

  6. I’ve never understood why Southwest can do a full beverage service (and sometimes will do a refill if you ask) on a DTW/MDW flight but Delta can’t at least serve C+.

    They should put a disclaimed on their website when you go to book a short flight that there is no beverage service when they try to upsell you to C+ and advertise complimentary drinks.

  7. A Silver Medallion and a Chelsa fan and can’t register for the London/Chelsa promotion! “Sorry, you are not eligible for this promotion.” Really? Nothing in the stipulations says that. I meet all qualifications.

  8. A drink in C+? Ha!

    Last week ATL-MYR I couldn’t even get a club soda in C+. It was water or coffee. And, the plane was at 60% capacity.

  9. could not access the soccer promo to sign up! Nice to have it sent to me though, not

  10. Was not eligible to register yesterday, wrote them and why target me and then reject me from promotions. Today I could get in and register for the promotion. Who know if it was my note to them or technical glitch.

    Glad Woodford will be there for us on flights.

    And agree their cart service is questionable at best vs the market average level service.

  11. Diamond Million Miler … and I don’t “qualify” for the soccer promo even though it was sent to me… oh well … thanks for nothing Delta.

  12. Go Chelsea! Even as a fake HVC Delta allowed me to enter the sweepstakes. If I’m lucky enough to win I’m going to ask if I can exchange my seats for blocked seat map immunity.
    Total aggregate approximate retail value:
    Delta One Winners: $7,000
    Main Cabin Winners: $3,000
    Blocked Seat Map Immunity: PRICELESS
    I’ll share the immunity with you René!

  13. More and more Delta is being run at the convenience of the employees.
    Period.
    Everything flows from that.
    When you fill the front cabin with NR instead of every Medallion they have in the back, tells you their priorities.
    I’ve now been on a couple of international flights in which they suspend drink service for light chop, only to resume it an hour after no turbulence at all.

  14. @Richard – Well.. the simple fix is add one more FA. Delta could do this and I think they should. They are, IMO, asking too much of crews right now to save a buck!

  15. I received the personalized emaIL for the London trip. Was,declared ineligible so I wrote to Delta asking why personalize an invite to me and then tell me I can’t join! No answer yet.

  16. My husband flies these short flights constantly and says the beverage cart water only service has been going on the last several weeks. I flew with him this week sdf-atl-tpa. Both flights were water (no ice, thus warm water, at that) or coffee only in c+ and beyond and it “cost” me 67500 miles, round trip. The FA seemed to be struggling carrying the water bottle and cups but they got the service done. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if this time next year there will be no beverage service on these short flights.

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