With the countdown clock to #DOS, or Destruction of Skymiles, ticking ever closer (see clock right side of the blog) it is very easy to be hard on Delta. But Delta does a bunch right or no one would fly them. Well maybe that is not completely true as if you are a HUB captive and want to go from A-B many times Delta is the only game in town so even if they were “bad” folks would still fly them. But on to something more positive today.
From my perspective this is what Delta does a very good to well above average job on and should be commended for (and a reason to choose the airline as your preferred carrier for 2015). Anyone who has to fly often, to me, these are the things you are looking for in an airline. Take a look.
- Very much on-time. I know everyone can toss up some example where your flight was off (and that could go for any of these examples) but Delta REALLY is good at this. This year has been impressive and I can not tell you any of my 100+ segments that I missed the flight due to a late arrival that was not weather or mechanical related.
- They always complete a flight. Again, they do cancel now and then, but I have seen at the Atlanta Delta OCC and in first hand experience they just about always fly even if it means a big delay. I appreciate this and their research shows most of “us” like it too.
- Consistent product. You know what to expect with Delta. They don’t have radically different products and have a consistent feel. The only caveat here is the new seats often have fantastic Panasonic video screens. That will, with time, also be consistent on most jets that are not short hop flights.
- Consistent service. Delta people have this down pat. They smile. They welcome you. They are there to take care of you. There has not been one time I have complained to Delta about the Delta people and only once in two years have I in a not so nice tone said to an FA “I guess this crew is not “Striving for Five today“. Expect good service flying Delta.
- Consistently good food. As I have talked about in my rookie post about food, Delta food is just good. No joke. I like most of it and some of it really is VERY good. The only complaint I have is the “snack basket” in 1st class. It is a great disappointment.
- Consistently breaks the rules for elites. Delta, like all airlines, have a TON of rules. Most are designed to extract a fee from you if you want to do anything other than fly what you purchased. Delta is very good about bending these rules for elites. Sometimes you have to ask “nice” or ask again, but they often agree in the end.
- Great wifi availability. There are few times or jets that are not GoGo equipped. We can talk about the speed of GoGo, but aside from that having reliable access flight after flight is a big deal and soon you expect the same on the international fleet as well.
- Luggage service. Expect your bag to arrive with you. If you are an elite, expect it to be one of the first off the belts. They have, over the years, done such a good job with this part of the travel experience. The only thing I can complain about is Delta is a bit hard on bags but so are all airlines.
- Schedule change flexibility. This is one of the best things about Delta. When things go wrong with schedules they WANT to help you. They WANT to fix it. They want to make you happy and not charge you a fee. This builds confidence when you are booking / buying tickets.
- Flexibility with weather issues. Just like the scheduled change, if weather pops up, Delta is very happy to work with you on changes. If you get stuck in the middle of something you may be in a hard way as they tend to NOT oversell flights to get you home; many times you have to wait for an open seat. The key thing here is change BEFORE the event fee FREE.
- Regional and Global upgrade certificates. This was brand new this year and I have found them, while not SUPER simple to use, compared to the old ones they are amazing. If you are flexible, and book far enough out, you should be able to apply them right away. Last minute it is great to move to the top of the food chain for upgrade.
I really could keep going on and on but as you can see, Delta is a very well run airline. They do a bunch RIGHT and take care of you pre and during travel. Expect a bunch good as a frequent flyer. Now as to the frequent flyer program… (let’s just not go there for now 😉 )! – René
PS – I will have limited time to answer questions for the next few days on the blog and via e-mail!