Whoever came up with OFCMB seats at Delta should get a P-I-N-K slip!

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ofcmb the new names for deltas old seats delta points blog

When I was in college for my Bachelor’s degree I triple majored in Marketing, Advertising and Business Management. This means I understand a bit how each works and the relationship each has with the other. The creative marketing and advertising folks try to “sell” management that their ideas are AMAZING and in turn management asks how any of what they intend to do will make the company more money (or cost them the least amount possible for that return). Simplistic, maybe, but a solid overview to me.

How does any of that apply to the post at hand and the OFCMB seats we soon will have when flying Delta? Well Delta had, with this rebranding choice, a real shot at fixing and making the seat choice simpler, better and much clearer to the flying “public”. Did they do this? Not even remotely and instead have made it worse than ever before. Those who came up with this mess should be “shown the exit row door” at Delta as far as I am concerned! See if you don’t agree with my ramblings as we break down the new seat names that start in two month on 1MARCH15.

  • ONE! One what? Only ONE seat will ever be found for you as an award ticket at low level? The ONE seat medallions will never get as a complimentary upgrade? ONE seat you will only find internationally? Humf! I understood the old BE or Business Elite name. It was (is) an elite seat and I get the familiarity to the old NWA World Business Class name and feel. What this seat should have been called is 1st class. It is the closest Delta will ever get to a “real” 1st class seat on other airlines around the world. When you think of a 1st class “hard product”, full flat and more, this product fits that description. FIRST would work.
  • FIRST! No it is not. You cannot call a big coach seat 1st class. You can call it business class as it is big enough to get business done. Delta could have taken the chance to call this seat what “everyone” else calls this outside of the corporate mothership, that is a business class seat. BUSINESS would work.
  • C+! When I was in school a C+ was a way for teacher to tell me you passed and stunk just a little less than those who only passed. Comfort Plus. What a dumb name. EC or Economy Comfort worked and was brilliant. It is just an economy seat but with a bit of comfort. EC was fun to say and we all have come to understand it. When it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Never mind. EC would work.
  • MAIN! Main what? Main part of the alphabet soup of fare classes (YBMLUTVX)? Where the main group of flyers will sit who fly Delta? Wait. I have an idea. How about – ECONOMY. Nah, that will never fly. No one calls those seats economy seats (do they)? Let’s just stick with that dumb idea and call them ECONOMY seats.
  • BASIC! This the only “one” seat new name I like. This one can stay. We all know what “BASIC” stands for and this fits. All the basic rights and dignities (if there are any in economy anymore) are out the window when you buy a basic seat. Upgrades, overhead space & choice – all gone – you just get the basics. OK, BASIC seat works.

So there you go. What Delta should have done is re-branded the  exact same seats they have on jets now  to the following and I will think of the seats when I fly this way:

  • First Class
  • Business Class
  • Economy Comfort Class
  • Economy Class
  • Basic Class

And this is also why a failed marketing and advertising idea can cost a company so much. If the target audience for the sales pitch does not buy it, and even laughs at and dismisses what you have created, you have completely failed at your job. You have not created an idea that resonates with the buyer, but one that confuses and frustrates the buyer. You have, rather than creating a unique brand, created an issue that will lead to customer complaints and service issues. #EpicFail

Don’t expect any of this to resonate with our Mothership as they are spending a HUGE amount of your $29 +1 $kyGrub upcharge fees with our Delta AMEX Reserve cards to enter the Skyclubs to pay  for this glorious re-branding as part of the AMAZING Skymils2015 program just 4 days away. Just get used to OFCMB seats and have fun trying to explain to your friends who fly other airlines what class of service you really are in and what the seat is like compared to theirs. – René
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Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express.
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24 comments

  1. I’m constantly trying to explain hotel statuses to my spouse and failing since they all have different terms. I finally decided to standardize them all and now he clearly understands when I tell him I have Oprah status at Hyatt and Mariott, Gayle status at Hilton, Stedman status at Starwood, and Nate Berkus status at IHG.

  2. Sorry – Rene – I’m a long time reader of your blog and DL follower. Can you spell out that acronym?

  3. BTW – a helpful post would be to note the transfer times from SPG / MR to DL points. I need to top off my account and hope to get one last stopover redemption before 12/31 COB.

    DL Platinum here going to DL nothing here next year…

  4. I will always continue to read your blog, Rene, but between these changes and my losing status in a few months (even worse that the two things are happeining close together, I hope to rarely fly Delta anymore. Which is sad. Since we book our corporate travel through a work site, I would like have a hard time ever booking anything outside of basic, and (no matter what the haters say), SW meets my needs just fine and they do it while having fun and always going above and beyond to make me happy. And they have very comfortable Economy/Basic/Whatever seats, too. I never got Delta upgrades anymore, anyway.

  5. Agree with you, Rene. Confusing for me, so will be ultra confusing to those who fly just a few times a year.

    I also agree with Elijah in that I hope not to be flying Delta when I have a choice. SWA does a fantastic job domestically. I see myself throwing most of my travel to USAirways/AA now. Burned most of our Delta miles already.

  6. Rene – here is my take on the seat class abbreviations:

    Obese seats – where we big guys really should be sitting.
    Fat seats – where we can barely fit, but since there is no more food on the plane, we won’t spread into our neighbor’s space.
    Crap seats – where we will feel just as lousy when we deplane as when we boarded.
    Mutilated seats – where we actually are worse off for the flight. experience.
    Bullcrap seats – you call these seats? Toadstools maybe.

  7. Hey Renee, your readers have proven to be a very intelligent group. Case in point: MJ’s standardization. And I think Glenn pretty much nailed it. Maybe mostly for Delta but, unfortunately, for most everyone else too. Sure, there are different names for each airline – and differences in the actual seats regardless of category from plane to plane – but almost all of them can be placed perfectly in Glenn’s scheme. Even more unfortunately, the Crap seats seem to be gaining popularity with the airlines…regardless of category…

  8. After my latest 7-day 80,000 Mileage Run I took the time to speak with as many Delta employees as I could. I love getting insight from the front-line troops.

    The day the announcement came out regarding these fare class (name) changes every single employee expressed frustration to me. They felt that many changes were simply a marketing gimmick, and didn’t reflect any true value to the customers/passengers.

    However, at the same time (and I am truly sad to hear this…as it expresses the TRUE mentality of most Delta employees) almost every employee stated that “We have faith in the company and what they’re doing. We’re making money and we have more flyers than ever, so “they” have a plan and it’s working.”

    That’s the slap in the face to all of us loyal Delta flyers…it’s working for them. Slap a label on it, call it anything you want…they’re still buying the bull that Delta is dishing out!

  9. None of this of good news but I’m not sure how it affects us low life, “steerage” fliers. Gone is every glimmer of hope that we may someday fly “up front”. Now, if the mothership wants to toss us a bone, we maybe, just maybe, get to select our seats gratis before we arrive at the airport! My Delta Amex Gold is the only thread holding us close to Delta Airlines.

  10. @Bob L,

    Not sure which market you are in or your travel habits, however….you might want to look at Alaska Airlines with their enhanced Frequent Flyer program-

    – Beginning next year Alaska Mileage Plan will offer its top-tier MVP Gold 75K members a lofty 125 percent bonus on miles flown (butts in the seat) for travel on Alaska and ALL ITS PARTNERS, up from the current 100 percent bonus.

    MVP Gold 75K members will continue to earn an additional 50,000 miles added to their accounts for each year they re-qualify. Factoring both of these bonuses, an MVP Gold 75K member who flies 75,000 miles on Alaska Airlines will earn at least 218,750 award miles!

  11. Honestly, I really don’t think it’s THAT confusing. While I do agree that, in a perfect world, it would be better to call DeltaOne “First” and call what is now First “Business,” we live in a world in which definitions of those terms already existed and continue to exist in their prior forms on partner airlines. DeltaOne is actually very much in line with the ‘Business’ class on most of the major international long-haul carriers. Delta itself was also using the name “BusinessElite” before the change, so most Delta fliers often just called it “business class.” To then change the domestic seat (which everyone previously called “First”) “business class” and call the long-haul one (which everyone previously called “Business”) “First class” would have been much more confusing.

    I would assume the “One” in “Delta One” is supposed to conjure up images of “First” without actually using the name that was already associated with something else.

    Also, the seat isn’t just called “Main”, it’s called “Main Cabin”, so the “Main what?” argument in the article doesn’t really make sense. It’s the main cabin. It says that in the name. The term “main cabin” has been used interchangeably with “economy cabin” or “coach cabin” for literally decades (as opposed to “premium cabin” which means First or Business.)

  12. @Ross – So you agree you think DeltaONE is 1st class when it is not 1st class. Plus, Delta 1st class is NOT 1st class. That is clear! 🙁
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    Next, if you look at other OFCMB posts, you will see even Delta’s CEO calls it economy like everyone else not MAIN CABIN. 😉

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