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.
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
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