By now I would imagine just about everyone who has web access or a TV nearby has seen yesterday’s video in the post here on the blog of a woman literally being dragged off a Delta jet. I said it was “disturbing” and stand by that as clearly this is not a way anyone wants to depart a Delta jet. I truly hope the woman is OK and unlike events in the past it does not seem like Delta is going to ban her from flying, but I have no information on this either way.
Aside from this I wanted to touch on one of the apparent triggers for this unfortunate event which seemed to be over this issue of bag (or bin) space.
We all should know by now that United, who always seems to win the race to the bottom of the barrel, has stated that their new Basic Economy ticket does not allow you to bring even ONE BAG of any kind onboard. All you get is a purse or a laptop, but after that you pay on BASIC United fares.
I give all credit to Delta here when it comes to their Basic Economy “branded” fares. You will get the same great Delta service, full points earning ticket and you are still technically allowed to the standard on board luggage rules – that is, one bag that fits into the Delta Size Check unit and one personal item.
Now why do I say “technically allowed”? Well if you have ever boarded a full Delta flight you will have overheard the gate agent telling everyone that by ZONE 2 (there are many zones before zone 1 & 2 btw) boarding there is a great likelihood that all overhead space will be full and Delta will have to check your bag to your final destination. But here is the thing:
- They will gate check it for you – FREE OF CHARGE!
Yep. Even if you have the dirt cheapest ticket in the world i.e. a BASIC E class fare you still will NOT have to pay to check the bag at the gate. You may not like being forced to check your bag, but at least Delta should be commended for doing this at no charge and for, most times, alerting you before boarding begins that this is very likely to happen.
Also Delta makes it so simple to get around paying, not just your bag fee, but up to 9 with you by holding ANY of the “big 3” that is the Delta AMEX Gold, Platinum or high end Reserve card (either personal or business). Even if you only fly a few times a year it is worth holding any of the cards and get this – you DON’T have to buy the ticket with the card to get the perk – you just have to have the card (unlike other airlines). Some may gripe over the fee but there are SO many ways to get value and have the fee just about zeroed out each year!
Another idea that I am going to try is what you see above. You see there are a vast number of smaller bags that are specifically designed to fit under the seat in front of you. This means, under Delta’s rules, you can bring this and a purse or other small personal item and not be forced to check either one since they will fit even on a full and crowed jet. Smart right? I cannot wait to see how it works out for my travels.
The bottom line is the next great fight in the crazy congested fee filled world of travel is the overhead and possibly even the floor space in front of you. The airlines only have so many more things they can charge us for before they run out of space and ideas. It is up to you and I to find ways to avoid these fees and make the travel experience as good as it can be! – René