What has DL Done For You?

Old Oct 30, 18, 12:03 pm
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What has DL Done For You?

I was thinking about it on a very long transpacific flight recently, what has DL done for you? Loyalty is a two way street (or at least it should be) I aks the question in a multi level thought process. What have GA/FA/etc (front line employees) done for you? (not the normal good IRROP help but if somebody in person or on the phone went out of their way for you? Has DL corporate done anything? (examples are sending you thank you notes, gifts for being X medallion level, calls to resolve issues, etc.)

Been some medallion (FO, GM, PM, DM) for the past 10+ years and honestly cant say the times I have been "wowed" or felt like my business meant anything (especially from corporate (not front line employees)) to the company have been numerous. I am aware they are a multi billion dollar company with a global presence but they still depend on repeat business.

Just curious of peoples thoughts (both longer term flyers and newer ones)
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Old Oct 30, 18, 12:04 pm
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Delta has gotten me from place A to B non-stop and mostly on time. Usually in a bit less comfort than their competitors.

As a hub captive it doesn't really matter what Delta "has done for you" (and they know it).

Last edited by 3Cforme; Oct 30, 18 at 1:03 pm
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Old Oct 30, 18, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by ethernal View Post

As a hub captive it doesn't really matter what Delta "has done for you" (and they know it).
I could not agree with that statement more (unfortunately)
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Old Oct 30, 18, 12:09 pm
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Delta moved a gate for me once and then held the flight until I boarded.

There have been countless other small things that really matter as well.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 12:11 pm
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This has come up a number of times. Delta has gotten me from A to B almost all of the time with the level of comfort I have paid for.

They have gone out of their way to take care of me when things went FUBAR on more than one occasion, and were very helpful in flying me across the world (on two separate occasions) for the sudden deaths of my parents. When I can I chose to fly with them or one of their partners. I am not slavish in my loyalty, but appreciate that they are a very good airline (IMVHO, of course).
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Old Oct 30, 18, 12:16 pm
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Originally Posted by vincentharris View Post
felt like my business meant anything (especially from corporate (not front line employees)) to the company have been numerous.
I am loyal to Amazon and have yet to get anything from their corporate department.

They deliver me to my destinations on time (usually early), a large majority of the time. They recover from IROPS well most of the time. They let me fly for "free" when I want to. They upgrade me most of the time. They don't have a hub at ORD.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 12:39 pm
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Flying JFK-FRA on my 50th birthday, Asked GA nicely to keep me in mind if there were any op-ups.
She called me up a few minutes before boarding started, and handed me my new boarding pass with a big smile.
Made me quite happy.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 12:48 pm
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Beyond what I paid for? I'm not a DL apologist (before someone says it). I pay for a service (transportation from point A to B) and Delta has provided that 100% of the time within reason. Beyond that and basic courtesy/professionalism of their employees (and this varies from person to person) I don't expect anything from DL or any other for-profit entity. Why do we need to be "wow'ed"? This is a common carrier in a relatively competitive industry. If I want to be wow'd I'd fly private, perhaps on my own jet and pay for things that would perhaps wow me. But then again, if you pay for something and you get it, would you be wow'd? Its the common courtesies and uncommon kindness that would (should?) wow us but then again, they are entirely person dependent. A large corporation cannot mandate or control those. So they do the next best thing, which is put in place standard operating procedures. And some corporations fail to ensure that their employees follow SOPs for various reasons. And I have not witnessed that on a noticeable scale at DL.

BTW, they do not depend on any one (or more) traveler's "repeat business" as the OP states. In a competitive market, the winner offers something of value to the maximum number of users/customers. If DL or any other corporation has figured that out, its because of their ability to compete in the market, not because of the largesse of customers. Would the OP continue flying DL if they sucked at providing a basic service that he/she paid for? Would she/he continue to give them "repeat business" if they weren't of value or even if they were at a hub that had reasonable alternatives?
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Last edited by zeebanker; Oct 30, 18 at 6:06 pm
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Old Oct 30, 18, 1:00 pm
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Generous Voucher

Not because of status, but I was seated in a window next to an extremely large man who should have purchased two seats, but of course decided to buy a Basic Economy fare and ended up in the Middle. He fell asleep almost immediately and had the loudest snore I've ever heard. His sweaty side boob rested on me for the first half of the flight. About an hour in, I got a crick in my neck, and asked him to get up to I could get out and use the restroom. "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!" he exclaimed. He stood up and revealed half of his sweaty butt crack in my face. I grabbed my things and moved to a middle seat farther back in the plane with the permission of the flight attendant.

I sent Delta an twitter message saying that I was disappointed I had to switch out of a seat that I had paid to select, expecting a few miles or something, but they sent me a $200 voucher which I was more than happy with.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 1:03 pm
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Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
Delta has gotten me from place A to B non-stop and mostly on time. Usually in a bit less comfort than their competitors.

As a hub captive it doesn't really matter what Delta "has done for you" (and they know it).
Do you think they discriminate in services between, say, somebody originating in Atlanta vs. connecting in Atlanta? I've lived in DL/NW hubs (yes, plural) for most of the past 30 years and never observed it.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 1:03 pm
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In terms of "above the call?" or in terms of "above the competition?"

Above the call: they graciously waived all the change fees and did not reprice the ticket when i had to immediately fly back home as a parent was having emergency surgery. It was a work trip, it was not insured, and this would have cost about $700.

Above the competition: superior IT for tracking luggage is first to mind. I have no fear checking luggage on Delta that it's going to get lost forever. Sure, i won't check a bag on a tight connection if I'm on my outbound leg, but I generally know that my bag has made its connection before we even push back from the gate.

I was Platinum in 2017, Gold in 2018, and as of 12/10/18 I'll be back to Platinum. I'm also BA Silver after four years as Executive Platinum, and I've had some kind of WN status almost every year since RR2 came out almost a decade ago. I'm a commodity to them, they're mostly a competitive utility to me in the way that Verizon is.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 1:11 pm
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Got me to my destination ontime with my bag at a very high rate which I am sure UA and AA could not have pulled off - I have not even had to spend the night in ATL in over 2 years (a couple of close calls recently!)

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My only complaints are international J redemptions and the crazy RUC/GUC insanity
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Old Oct 30, 18, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
Do you think they discriminate in services between, say, somebody originating in Atlanta vs. connecting in Atlanta? I've lived in DL/NW hubs (yes, plural) for most of the past 30 years and never observed it.
I won't get into the pricing power issue since that is dictated by market forces and not loyalty programs, but Delta does do the following to discriminate against hub versus non-hub customers:
  • Delta generally sells connecting itineraries as higher fare classes at lower prices than nonstops. For example, Delta may sell a Q fare non-stop for $1200 but then sell a cheaper (e.g., $800) connecting ticket at a higher fare class (e.g., H or M). This means that the hub captive is lower on the upgrade list than a connecting passenger despite having paid far more for fewer flights (I get that non-stops drive a price premium, but I believe it is unfair that it is both a price premium and also a lower fare class).
  • It is generally believed that Delta 360 requirements at outstations are lower
  • It is easier to make status at outstations (more MQMs, more segments) - although this has been neutralized slightly by the MQD requirement (people at non-hubs generally get cheaper fares). As a comparison, a fully MQD-based model would benefit hub captives.
  • Delta extends its revenue management not just to regular tickets but also to award tickets meaning that connecting traffic gets lower award redemption rates than non-stop flights. This is unique to Delta (although I imagine United and AA will be fast followers here).
  • The SkyClub Diamond benefit is far more useful to those that have connections than those who do not
  • While this is one someone can argue about (both causes and whether it is true or not), in my experience Delta understaffs its hub airports for check-in, priority security, etc relative to outstations (20 minute wait at Atlanta versus no wait at other airports)
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Old Oct 30, 18, 1:56 pm
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Delta has decided to not cram 10-across in the 777 economy cabin, has decided to keep IFE in the mainline fleet, and makes sure there are power ports in FC. That has earned them my business, and for now my loyalty until I get more miles with them to see how it pans out.
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Old Oct 30, 18, 1:57 pm
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I've flown them all in the last few years. Service is about the same on all airlines, even the cheapo ones. What Delta brings to the table (especially when I fly through MSP, DTW or ATL) is their near infinite resources. They almost always have an extra plane, and can usually route me through somewhere to get to where I'm going.
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