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DL considering increasing F capacity to 75% (survey email)

DL considering increasing F capacity to 75% (survey email)

Old Aug 5, 20, 1:12 pm
  #1  
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DL considering increasing F capacity to 75% (survey email)

I just received a survey invitation email from DL asking things like:
  • which cabin(s) have you flown in since Jan 1 (with options from D1 down to Basic)
  • ... same but since Apr 1
  • in 2019 were your F flights mostly paid/upgraded/50-50
  • if DL went from 50% capacity to 75% in F...
  • ... how would you feel about DL's commitment to safety/passenger experience
  • ... would that make you more/likely/same to buy F compared to pre-COVID
  • ... how likely would you be to accept an F upgrade if you might be seated next to someone you don't know

And a couple others I don't remember now.
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Old Aug 5, 20, 1:22 pm
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Big oof. After a few months of successfully rebranding Delta as the airline that guarantees social distancing, I think this would be the wrong move. 75% is no better than 50% - this is something you either commit to doing right or not at all.

Definitely makes me more hesitant to consider buying paid F if they follow through on this and are willing to upgrade an elite into an empty seat next to a paid customer while promising distancing.

(I’d support a relaxed cap to allow filling both sides of the aisle on CRJ/ERJ aircraft, and I think it’s okay to fill suites aircraft, but I don’t think that’s what’s being evaluated here.)

Hopefully this is just a routine survey to evaluate their plans and not a change they are already committed to.
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Old Aug 5, 20, 1:36 pm
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Face it, if you want an airline to stay flying, they will be back at 100% capacity as soon as they can. They are testing the water to see how soon that will be. The business model is not set up for 50%, unless you plan on paying 100% more for each ticket. There is some demand now, they may be trying to make that exact decision, raise prices to cover the 50% loading, or keep the price down, and increase filled seats.
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Old Aug 5, 20, 1:49 pm
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I won't pay for FC. Much better chance having a full row next to me open in MC/C+
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Old Aug 5, 20, 1:55 pm
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Originally Posted by BenA View Post
Big oof. After a few months of successfully rebranding Delta as the airline that guarantees social distancing, I think this would be the wrong move. 75% is no better than 50% - this is something you either commit to doing right or not at all.

Definitely makes me more hesitant to consider buying paid F if they follow through on this and are willing to upgrade an elite into an empty seat next to a paid customer while promising distancing.
What on earth does paid vs upgrade have to do with safety/ health/ social distancing? Are you saying that if you paid for F and there was another paid F beside you that is ok but an upgrade isn't? That can't be what you mean but you are clearly making a distinction? Are you saying elites are more contagious?
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Old Aug 5, 20, 2:01 pm
  #6  
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Some issues here with this... I won't pay for F and be stuck sitting next to someone with the current (limited) service level. Better off staying in C+ with the middle seat blocked than pay or take the upgrade.

Now, what they should do is adjust the algorithm a bit so that 2 pax traveling together in F don't count as taking up 4 seats. This leaves them with empty seat pairs, which they could either sell to or upgrade an additional pax. If the F cabin happens to only have pax traveling in pairs, then they should be able to fill it up to 100%.
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Old Aug 5, 20, 2:41 pm
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Gotta bring back full service in F if you want to even get some bites on that line they tossing.
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Old Aug 5, 20, 2:43 pm
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Originally Posted by defrosted View Post
What on earth does paid vs upgrade have to do with safety/ health/ social distancing? Are you saying that if you paid for F and there was another paid F beside you that is ok but an upgrade isn't? That can't be what you mean but you are clearly making a distinction? Are you saying elites are more contagious?
No. I’m saying that the extra personal space of being guaranteed an entire row to yourself when the cabin is capped to 50% is an added service that’s worth the price of F, over being in a Y row with a passenger in both the window and aisle seat.

As soon as Delta exceeds the 50% capacity - be it for paid or upgraded passengers - you’d be actually better off back in Y, because the distance between you and your neighbor is actually worse in a full F row than in a distanced Y row.

The paid factor comes in to play because I’m currently willing to pay for F, but if they implemented a 75-100% full policy, I would no longer be willing to. In fact, I would start declining F upgrades to stay in economy and would maybe even consider booking Basic instead.

It also comes into play because many people have already bought F under the presumption that the current rules would continue, and those passengers will be rightly angry if Delta changes plans midstream. This is true for both paid and upgraded passengers, but it’s particularly egregious if it’s being done to resume complimentary upgrades.
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Old Aug 5, 20, 2:55 pm
  #9  
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75% in F works on CR9s/E75s where they can block the C seats (that's actually 67%, but the point remains)

that said, concur w rylan that there ought to be a simple way to override the 50% default if two people on the same PNR want to sit next to each other in F (which also includes A/B pairs on mainline equipment, or center pairs in D1), and in such a case they can effectively cap F at 75% by blocking the opposite aisle
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Old Aug 5, 20, 3:07 pm
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Originally Posted by BenA View Post
No. I’m saying that the extra personal space of being guaranteed an entire row to yourself when the cabin is capped to 50% is an added service that’s worth the price of F, over being in a Y row with a passenger in both the window and aisle seat.

As soon as Delta exceeds the 50% capacity - be it for paid or upgraded passengers - you’d be actually better off back in Y, because the distance between you and your neighbor is actually worse in a full F row than in a distanced Y row.

The paid factor comes in to play because I’m currently willing to pay for F, but if they implemented a 75-100% full policy, I would no longer be willing to. In fact, I would start declining F upgrades to stay in economy and would maybe even consider booking Basic instead.

It also comes into play because many people have already bought F under the presumption that the current rules would continue, and those passengers will be rightly angry if Delta changes plans midstream. This is true for both paid and upgraded passengers, but it’s particularly egregious if it’s being done to resume complimentary upgrades.
That makes perfect sense, and I agree up to the part about it being particularly egregious if it is a complimentary upgrade. Either it is safe or it isn't, who is sitting there and why is irrelevant. Suggesting that is less egregious to relax social distancing because someone forks over cash is an awful thing to say as if paying for the seat somehow makes it safer?

I see your point that if someone bought the ticket expecting social distancing and then when the flight comes they find that isn't the case. But being more ok with it if they paid to be there means it has little to do with social distancing and more about more room [for comfort] in which case the argument goes out the window.

My point is if you want social distancing, increasing capacity is just as egregious regardless of why they are doing it.
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Old Aug 5, 20, 3:15 pm
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Originally Posted by autdi View Post
The business model is not set up for 50%, unless you plan on paying 100% more for each ticket.
Really? I wonder how many seats our $50 billion would buy.....

And BTW, the business model is not set up for 100%, it is set up for mid 80s LF.

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Old Aug 5, 20, 3:22 pm
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Sounds good to me. But either way... it's the same 0% chance of me contributing to FCM.
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Old Aug 5, 20, 3:27 pm
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Originally Posted by autdi View Post
Face it, if you want an airline to stay flying, they will be back at 100% capacity as soon as they can. They are testing the water to see how soon that will be. The business model is not set up for 50%, unless you plan on paying 100% more for each ticket. There is some demand now, they may be trying to make that exact decision, raise prices to cover the 50% loading, or keep the price down, and increase filled seats.
I disagree on the business model because there are plenty of diamonds getting complimentary upgrades to First Class although it is certainly route dependent. Is it 50%? Probably not, but business travel is still down, and I feel that is where much of the F cabin comes from.
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Old Aug 5, 20, 3:44 pm
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Originally Posted by defrosted View Post
That makes perfect sense, and I agree up to the part about it being particularly egregious if it is a complimentary upgrade. Either it is safe or it isn't, who is sitting there and why is irrelevant. Suggesting that is less egregious to relax social distancing because someone forks over cash is an awful thing to say as if paying for the seat somehow makes it safer?

I see your point that if someone bought the ticket expecting social distancing and then when the flight comes they find that isn't the case. But being more ok with it if they paid to be there means it has little to do with social distancing and more about more room [for comfort] in which case the argument goes out the window.

My point is if you want social distancing, increasing capacity is just as egregious regardless of why they are doing it.
I agree with everything you’re saying and think it’s fair criticism of my thoughts. The egregious part to me comes from the other end - it’s that Delta would be breaking the promise they made to existing F passengers, and I guess my initial gut reaction is that it “feels” worse if they are compromising your safety just to restore an optional elite benefit and not even getting any additional revenue for it.

Although that doesn’t really stand up to even a cursory examination, because upgrading Y passengers frees up coach seats they can then go ahead and sell, so it affects revenue too.

It’s really just optics, and I think front line employees will have to cope with a fair amount of “you mean I paid to get my own row for distancing and now you’re going to upgrade someone into it?!” frustration, even though that’s not objectively any worse than “you mean now you’re going to sell that seat?”; it feels to the F passenger like their purchase is valued less by the company than a random elite’s loyalty, even if the underlying rationale is purely economic.
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Old Aug 5, 20, 3:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
I disagree on the business model because there are plenty of diamonds getting complimentary upgrades to First Class although it is certainly route dependent. Is it 50%? Probably not, but business travel is still down, and I feel that is where much of the F cabin comes from.
I think the capacity comment is in relation to the aircraft not just first class. And even if not upgrades to first allows more seats in the back.
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