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What Delta Changes Would you Like to See Made Permanent (after COVID is gone)?

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Clearly these are tough times for Delta and all the airlines as well as the travel industry as a whole. Both Chris and I have both been blogging about what we think it will take to get things moving in the right direction again.

Screen shot from Delta News Hub

Right now Delta is, at least for tickets purchases by the end of August, waiving change fees. Wise move. I had booked a number of trips this summer (award tickets because I get free changes as a Diamond) and had to keep pushing the travel dates later and later and now have canceled them all. For me it is not worth the risk of flying this year even with Delta so focused on trying to convince me that they are doing all they can to make travel sorta safe-ish.

But that brings me to my post topic today, that is, just what changes that Delta is making or has made would you like to see made permanent even after COVID is gone? Here is what I am thinking:

Change fees. We all hate them. Some airlines do not charge them. I really want Delta to make change fees go away. Yes, I get they love the “free” money from us but it does not make me want to always book Delta. Maybe offer to exchange any ticket for a voucher? There are many ways to do this with both sides winning!

Enhanced cleaning. Before COVID Delta jets were often just nasty. Turn and burn vs. really cleaning was the norm. I am sure for a while, after COVID is just about gone, Delta will keep the cleaning to the forefront – I hope they keep it up from now on.

Blocked middle seats. No way this will last once COVID is gone (nor should it). I think, for now, it is a brilliant move by Delta to set them apart from the rest of the airlines. Having said that, I think Delta should NOW start pushing the idea that they will sell you an extra seat if you want it i.e. just like any of the many other up-sells they offer, make an extra seat a simple click!

Extending BOGO GU RU cert and other cert expiration dates. Since we can not fly safely right now Delta was smart to extend the expiration of just about everything from the lowly Delta drink coupons to more important things like the Amex BOGO certs or my already redeemed Regional Upgrade certs. There is no reason Delta cannot change the rules to keep all these kinds of things good for two years by default vs. just one year. This would be a customer-friendly move!

Those are the recent changes I can think of that are much in part to the pandemic. If I have missed any you would like to see extended let me know. Now, what about things to bring back (the sooner the better)?

Million miler gifts. These are suspended for now. This is one of the many moves Delta has made to stop the outgoing money flow when they have so little coming in (other than gifts from the government that is). It would stink to cross million miler now and get no recognition from Delta. I hope this comes back one day.

Delta gift cards for Skymiles at $0.009 per point value. Not that just under 1 cent value for a SkyMile is something to get excited about but locking in value of a loyal flyer who dies is and this was a quick way to do that and spend the gift cards later by the family.

Meals (and all the meal service). I have for many years bragged up Delta as one of the best when it comes to good meals up in the air. I hope they bring back all they had and even more and that includes the Sky Clubs.

Well, that is my list of wants and “don’t wants” if you will. I think most of them are reasonable requests that I hope Delta considers. What do you think? Am I out of line with any of these? Do you think Delta will just switch back to the old normal once they can? Anything I have missed? Let me know! – René

 

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

8 Comments

  1. When they do bring middle seats back, remove one row of seats to give more room between rows. They could sell this as a differentiation from the other airlines.

  2. Spot on. The seating arrangements will not last and we all know that…fair enough. Enhanced cleaning? No brainer. How could anyone NOT want that to continue? Totally agree on Change Fees…keep that permanent. Great marketing move.

    As for food in the Sky Club? Let’s be honest…the Sky Club food (pre-COVID) was never going to be confused with fine dining. How about a nice selection of pre-made, pre-wrapped salads, sandwiches, fruit, snacks etc. ? I would be fine with that…

  3. 1) for some businesses airlines such as AA are allowing name changes at no charge. If employee A is sick and can’t make a planned-well-in-advance meeting employee B has to pay full fare for a last minute ticket. 2) vouchers for flights that have decreased in price. Before a flight had to decrease by more than $200. Now any reduction provides a voucher.

    • Jane Kramer Reply

      Wine and beer is ok for the time being. At least there is something!

  4. FNT Delta Diamond Reply

    1) Increase first-class cabin. People have shown they are willing to buy first-class outright or buy-up with cash or miles.

    2) Improve the quality of food and wine in domestic first-class. Give people a reason to pay the premium. In the last 2 years the quality of first-class meals declined really, really bad.

    3) Allow regional upgrade certificates to be used to upgrade into premium-economy to Iceland and Shannon, Ireland, where there is no business-class, or allow complimentary upgrades into premium-economy to Iceland and Shannon, Ireland.

    4) Create an incentive to buy the middle-seat.

  5. I really hope they keep up the new cleaning esp the UV light and aerosols. Bring back food and alcohol soon.. And take the time to look at making food selections better in the Clubs…

  6. Bring back the MyDelta and My Wallet screens on the website. Current system is making it difficult to find and see credits, certificates and the like, especially when I’ve cancelled all my flights and it’s taking months for refunds and/or credits to be issued! Time to call again.

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