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Is Delta using COVID-19 as an excuse to give bad service and save money?

Is Delta using COVID-19 as an excuse to give bad service and save money?

Old Jun 14, 20, 7:34 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: TYS
Programs: Delta Diamond 2MM, AMEX Delta Reserve, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Lifetime Titanium Elite
Posts: 172
Is Delta using COVID-19 as an excuse to give bad service and save money?

Finishing up my first trip since March and I see a lot of differences that Delta is blaming on the virus, but appears mainly to save money.

My list

1) 9 hour hold times on the so-called ‘elite’ number.
2) Serving ziplock bags with bottled water and random snacks. They could still give out unopened alcohol miniatures and mixers,
3) They seem to be able to serve mixed drinks in the few SkyClubs that are open, but the food choices are basically the prepackaged stuff they have on planes, when they could have sealed prepared items like they use for First Class dinners.
4) Upgrade lists that apparently still include blocked seats, so they are basically worthless.
5) Short staffing airports so that gate agents don’t appear sometimes until after the scheduled boarding times.

I’m sure that there’s more, but that’s what I’ve experienced so far...
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Old Jun 14, 20, 7:54 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: miami, florida
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Originally Posted by EarlVolFan View Post
Finishing up my first trip since March and I see a lot of differences that Delta is blaming on the virus, but appears mainly to save money.

My list

1) 9 hour hold times on the so-called ‘elite’ number.
2) Serving ziplock bags with bottled water and random snacks. They could still give out unopened alcohol miniatures and mixers,
3) They seem to be able to serve mixed drinks in the few SkyClubs that are open, but the food choices are basically the prepackaged stuff they have on planes, when they could have sealed prepared items like they use for First Class dinners.
4) Upgrade lists that apparently still include blocked seats, so they are basically worthless.
5) Short staffing airports so that gate agents don’t appear sometimes until after the scheduled boarding times.

I’m sure that there’s more, but that’s what I’ve experienced so far...
Add in no lines to check/drop bags for elites.
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Old Jun 14, 20, 7:55 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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I'm going to say they aren't doing it intentionally. But it has to be a result of their attempt to survive. I'll admit it's so different. I'm flying AA a lot now out of TPA. I was able to book two trips to LAX on DL, but one of the returns has to be on WN. Just no lift available. I haven't attempted to call them yet.

Safe Travels
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Old Jun 14, 20, 8:01 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Originally Posted by TPAtoAnywhere View Post
I'm going to say they aren't doing it intentionally. But it has to be a result of their attempt to survive. I'll admit it's so different. I'm flying AA a lot now out of TPA. I was able to book two trips to LAX on DL, but one of the returns has to be on WN. Just no lift available. I haven't attempted to call them yet.

Safe Travels
My 3 upcoming trips out of ATL are on WN and AA as no DL flights offered/available.
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Old Jun 14, 20, 9:25 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
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I'd suggest this strategy is being done to lose less money at this critical time. And the cash burn is still huge, IIRC...$50 million per day, right? Yes, the FC food/drink and SC food could be improved, and maybe the burn is $51 million/day instead? Maybe Ed Bastian & Co are selling a "we're all in this together, nothing is off the table" as far as cuts go. Yes, flights still cost, but to me, if you're going somewhere, no need to pay for FC until you're on a 4h+ flight. Less than 4h, sitting in Main gets you leg room and (most cases) IFE. BYOB (not that I'm endorsing such a thing), et voila, you're almost flying like F, for half price or less. And don't forget, there are lease payments on a slew of aircraft in deserts and fields around the country, for all airlines.
When business flying rebounds (probably 2021, my own miserably educated guess), then we'll see more perks, due to higher cashflow into Delta's coffers. But some things will never come back. I'll miss Sky magazine.
I'm thinking once October 1 rolls around, we'll have a clear picture of very different outcomes for the summer strategies adopted by the Big 4. Which will have been the most sound and kept most staff employed beyond that date? I'm gonna bet on Delta.
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Old Jun 14, 20, 10:29 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
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Originally Posted by EarlVolFan View Post
Finishing up my first trip since March and I see a lot of differences that Delta is blaming on the virus, but appears mainly to save money.

4) Upgrade lists that apparently still include blocked seats, so they are basically worthless.
i don't see how this is a cost saving mechanism. I do think it is aligned with their strategy to reduce passenger density, which seems to be popular with the majority of the traveling public. I was talking with a GA and the reason they have the full number as the number of available is they can put a traveling pair together. The GA wanted to upgrade me (I was #2 and #3 ) because they could put 2 in F and free up 2 seats in C+ (they were oversold in C+). The GA asked the red coat, who opted to downgrade the overbooked C+ to Main.

So, they don't know if F will be at 50% capacity or a bit higher until they start boarding.


FWIW, based on my experience, my upgrade percentage seems to be down by about 30%.
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No_Name is offline  
Old Jun 14, 20, 11:15 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 677
The food and drink issue is reasonable to complain about.

The blocked seats are not a cost-saving mechanism. In fact, they are GREATLY increasing costs (by having to fly empty seats around). That is a very pro-customer, pro-public health move.
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Old Jun 14, 20, 11:50 am
  #8  
formerly jackvogt
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Delta has proven to be on the very cautious side when it comes to serving passengers during this virus. I did fly Southwest and was not served anything for a 4.5 hr flight to LA. My flight on Delta I was given a bag with Cheez-Its, Biscoff and a water bottle.
I think they are trying to cut costs in any way possible which makes total sense to me.

Why does having status entitle you to first class when that would mean "breaking" the social distancing measures they have been taking? Plus, it's not like they are doing a meal service anyways. Most of your complains seem a little tone deaf to what's going on in the industry right now. Many companies are in survival mode. Hopefully they realize this can't continue ones the virus is not as serious.

I think every airline is using this virus as an excuse to let their service drop in quality. Don't attack me for saying this, but I think the blocking seats are unnecessary. Cutting tons of flights I realize was a cost saving effort, but they are losing out on business because I can no longer rely on Delta's schedule to get me where I need to go in a timely manor.
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Old Jun 14, 20, 12:53 pm
  #9  
 
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Hasn't every economic downturn been used as "an excuse" by the airlines to reduce service and save money?
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Old Jun 14, 20, 1:01 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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I don't have a beef with the prepackaged snack/water bags. It keeps things simple at a time when flying is reduced to a necessity. Any sort of individual ordering adds a lot more contact between passengers and FAs. In my experience, gate agents and the app have been doing a great job warning passengers that only water and snacks will be served.
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Old Jun 14, 20, 1:23 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
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Hey, Do you happen to know if the ticket counter is open at the Atlanta airport? I need to make some corrections to a booking that can't be done online and various other things where I need to deal with a live person. I have been trying to reach someone for a week.
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Old Jun 14, 20, 1:35 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by chrispyw1111 View Post
Hey, Do you happen to know if the ticket counter is open at the Atlanta airport? I need to make some corrections to a booking that can't be done online and various other things where I need to deal with a live person. I have been trying to reach someone for a week.
Call DL in Singapore. They answer quickly and highly professional and competent staff.
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Old Jun 14, 20, 1:42 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
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Okay, I will try that. Thank you so much!
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Old Jun 14, 20, 2:34 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: miami, florida
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Only a 28 minute hold time on DL USA now as a PM. I am shocked. They seem to be forwarding US calls now to international DL reps which is a lot better than waiting for hours on hold.

Last edited by sydneyracquelle; Jun 14, 20 at 3:46 pm
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Old Jun 14, 20, 2:58 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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EVERYBODY is using Covid for EVERYTHING to excuse poor service and doing NOTHING

Can't even get my cable fixed though lockdowns were over for me weeks ago

At least DL gives water.....A friend of mine flew UA last week and got nothing

Lost year apparently
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