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Delta:America's new low fare/no frills airline?

Delta:America's new low fare/no frills airline?

 
Old Jul 10, 02, 11:21 am
  #1  
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Delta:America's new low fare/no frills airline?

From "The Ticket" newsletter:
"JUST A THOUGHT: Delta has long built its reputation among business travelers as a full service, mainline carrier. But now, its marketing and advertising seem bent on portraying the carrier as a low fare carrier. It’s recent aggressive ad campaign seems to be trying to convince us that Delta (and not AirTran) is the airline that offers “more low fare seats” than any other carrier in Atlanta. What do you think about this approach?"


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Old Jul 10, 02, 11:31 am
  #2  
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It seems to be the continuation of a trend that worries me greatly.

Bruce
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Old Jul 10, 02, 11:46 am
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While I think that there are some other possible explainations,evidence (T fares,selling FC seats,etc.)indicates an entire new marketing thrust for Delta.
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Old Jul 10, 02, 11:47 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by jabez:
From "The Ticket" newsletter:
"JUST A THOUGHT: Delta has long built its reputation among business travelers as a full service, mainline carrier. But now, its marketing and advertising seem bent on portraying the carrier as a low fare carrier. It’s recent aggressive ad campaign seems to be trying to convince us that Delta (and not AirTran) is the airline that offers “more low fare seats” than any other carrier in Atlanta. What do you think about this approach?"


</font>
I think that we are simply witnessing a response to Airtran's ability to attract economy-class customers through it's reputation as a low fare carrier. A lot of people in this area don't even imagine that they could get a decent fare on Delta when they start looking for low price tix out of ATL. I don't think Delta is trying to re-fashion it's corporate image, but the marketing department probably just wants to make sure it has all the bases covered, including low-fare passengers. They don't want to fly a bunch of planes with 20 empty rows in the back, you know.

yorock
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Old Jul 10, 02, 12:02 pm
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yorock,
You give a viable argument.I'm sure that Delta would agree with you. IMH (and often wrong)O,Delta is taking a different approach to its business flyers.I really believe that a year from now (if not sooner)it will be harder and harder to get an upgrade . Oh,the K class will still be upgradable,but at what price? Doesn't matter,we can enter the new "buy a FC seat lottery".Either way they get more money from the business travelers,yet offer a product far inferior to what use to be.
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Old Jul 10, 02, 12:03 pm
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yorock, you have an excellent point that people think the only place they can get a low-fare is through an advertised "low-fare" carrier. Southwest exploits this the most as they claim to be "the source for low-fares" yet in my experience I have always found a lower fare on a major (for 21 advanced purchase flights). My sister-in-law always flies AirTran IAD-ATL-MSY (for college) even though UA matches their fares and flies nonstop.

Eventually every airline is going to have to be able to make money at WN/FL/jetBlue fares. At least DL is trying to do so as well as steal pax from AirTran. But they shouldn't be abandoning business travelers at the same time.
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Old Jul 10, 02, 12:49 pm
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there is definently a market out there for a "premium" class product at a "higher price".. the impression I get from Delta is that all the marketing/catering people in that area opted for early retirement when the employee reductions took place...and there is a void at Delta in that area currently...as the economy comes back Delta will probably realize that an upgraded first cabin is worth putting amenities back in to and marketing it at a higher price or to extremely frequent travelers is worth the effort to achieve higher yields...
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Old Jul 10, 02, 3:57 pm
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I rarely fly Southwest because they don't fly where I need to go. However, I used to avoid them like the plague. Now they are becoming a mainstream airline (actually the other majors are skimping).
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Old Jul 10, 02, 4:30 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by robnsfla:
as the economy comes back Delta will probably realize that an upgraded first cabin is worth putting amenities back in to and marketing it at a higher price or to extremely frequent travelers is worth the effort to achieve higher yields...</font>
AMR appears to disagree with you, and in his latest address to AA's employees, it seems Carty is considering following DL's lead when it comes to amenities....


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Old Jul 11, 02, 8:42 am
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I can never understand the logic of the bean counters on Virgina Avenue. In their quest to raise revenue they made a decision to eliminate corporate discounts on the regular highly discounted fares effective in late August. Now many corporations are removing DL from their preferred airline provider lists and DL will lose revenue not only from the "low cost non refundable fares" but also from "high last minute full fares" and international travel too. Sure looks like they are driving their once loyal bread and butter business pax to other carriers for the wrong reasons.
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Old Jul 11, 02, 9:17 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by WHY2K:
I can never understand the logic of the bean counters on Virgina Avenue. In their quest to raise revenue they made a decision to eliminate corporate discounts on the regular highly discounted fares effective in late August. Now many corporations are removing DL from their preferred airline provider lists and DL will lose revenue not only from the "low cost non refundable fares" but also from "high last minute full fares" and international travel too. Sure looks like they are driving their once loyal bread and butter business pax to other carriers for the wrong reasons.</font>
In the 3 years I've been with my company DL has never been on the 'approved program airline' list. I'm told by corporate travel it's because they won't negotiate fares the way AA, UA, et. al. will. Note I have no real inside info ... just what I was told iver the phone. So DL won't play ball there, but doesn't want to be a 1st class product.

No vision is evident to me, and alas that is bad news long-term.

I too think there is a market for a premium product. But don't expect DL to offer it.

Rmember Legend Ailines? AA killed them off by dropping prices to the point lower than where Legend could make money. At some point, people will choose (or be forced to do so by their company) the lower price.

Ex: I'll sit in steerage on a $200 ticket before I'd pay $800 for a seat up front - DL's F isn't 4 times better! I fly YX to Wisconin if I can't get a confirmed seat in F on DL. YX's 'premium' coach (2 by 2 F seats in the whole plane, a real meal [fresh baked cookies on the really short, even commutter, flights], wine or champagne) has never been more the $50 more than a DL seat, and is usually less.

But if DL started offering seats at half or a third the YX price ... how low do you think YX could go before they had to bow out ... or cut amenities. I'd be on DL if that $400 o/w YX fare was $100 on DL. Everyone / company has their own cost-benefit formula they use.

And since people are mostly cheap (c'mon you know you look for the gas station that's a dime a gallon cheaper - you save 2 whole dollars that way ) ... it seams the 'premium product' carriers can only survive at the behest of the majors, i.e.: if they don't threaten them too much. YX is in Wisconsin. DL doesn't give a rats a$$ about Wisconin. But AA cared deeply about Dallas ... and killed Legend. Anyone notice how quickly AA fares went back up after Legend went under? Where was the DOJ on that one?

As discussed many time before, DL is not concerned about their most loyal customers ... maybe they really do want to be the next AirTran or Southwest. Even more frightening is the thought that maybe that's the only way to survive. I don't think so ... but then I have nothing to loose if I'm wrong.
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Old Jul 11, 02, 9:34 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by theDeltaFlyer:
In the 3 years I've been with my company DL has never been on the 'approved program airline' list. I'm told by corporate travel it's because they won't negotiate fares the way AA, UA, et. al. will. </font>
My previous employer was a large consulting firm with lots of travel. Being in BOS, there is no dominant carrier and lots of competition among the majors. It seemed that AA and UA offered more corporate discounts through our travel dept. The only overtures I recall from DL concerned the shuttle and BE discounts to LAX when they first appeared.
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Old Jul 11, 02, 10:35 am
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I benefit from a large corporate discount on the Shuttle and smaller corporate discounts -- for now, anyway -- on other Delta flights. If those go away, I can assure you that my company will switch primary carriers. We already switched to United for trans-Pacific flights. Of course, Delta pulled out of that market.

Bruce
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Old Jul 11, 02, 12:13 pm
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I don't think this signifies much of a change.

DL has always tried to prevent an erosion of its customer base to Airtran and similar airlines. This is why it will generally match those carrier's fares in the markets in which they compete, which is basically all of airtran's markets and some of DL's.

I think DL is wisely trying to stem business customers from defecting to airtran based on price, since DL attempts to match airtran. Whether this is actually the case is unclear--I know that DL offers the same price 21 days out, but closer in I believe DL's prices are higher but I'm not sure.

Its generally a poor idea to compete on price, because you shrink the pie for everyone. IMHO, DL should tout its better schedule of more flights to more destinations, since this is what business travelers need.
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Old Jul 11, 02, 1:25 pm
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i've generally found delta's BOS-ATL prices to be the same as airtran's all the way up to zero days. they're capacity controlled, of course.

Airtran's lowest fares tend to be heavily capacity controlled, and as a result, it's often cheaper to fly delta on 2-3 weeks advance. i suspect delta is very much looking forward to using T class to match airtran's lowest fares on nonstop routes.....

Edited to add: my experience with delta having better availability at low fares seems to agree with the delta advertising referenced by the original poster.


[This message has been edited by Seat1A (edited 07-11-2002).]
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