Delta Q&A Meeting with Execs - NOTES

 

Old Jun 29, 09, 2:31 pm
  #106  
 
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I really cannot believe how many people are out for blood. If you were not at the event then you are NOT going to get all of the details that were available at the event. As Jeff and others said "We are not going to publicly comment on many things that we would like to due to legal and policy reasons." What they discussed with us was for our group. Flyer Talk is a public forum and is read by many, including the press. It would be wrong for us to release any references or inuindo given at the event.

I was surprised that some actually came to the event that don't even fly DL or NW. I am not surprised at human nature. Some came with an agenda, DL treated them with the utmost respect and spent several hundred dollars on each and every one of us who attended. If they go back and bad mouth, that is them. Most of us understand business and understand what they are doing. Is everyone going to be happy? No! But I am glad they charge a fee when someone changes or cancels an award ticket. We get the appropriate waivers and if anyone abuses that, they should pay. One thing that everyone should have gotten out of the event is this:

Delta reads every post on multiple blogs, websites, etc... and the ones that contain enough information and details to investigate, they investigate. The ones that are a rant "They have a good laugh at and toss."

The above also applies to mistakes, error fares, bonus work arounds, etc.
So if you don't want them to know.......... don't post it!

I don't think Josh would mind me quoting this:

"We will convert to a new system soon, but when we do it will be a state of the art system. A complete overhaul, not an upgrade or patch.

Last edited by Canarsie; Jun 29, 09 at 8:01 pm Reason: Removed veiled personal attack.
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Old Jun 29, 09, 6:28 pm
  #107  
 
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Late to this thread and don't have time to read the whole thing now, but a big thank you to OP for posting his notes.
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Old Jun 29, 09, 6:36 pm
  #108  
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Also mentioned- NW hasn't been expiring miles, so they have lots of inactive WP members. WP members will be divided into three groups:
  1. Active members and elites will receive lots of communication though different channels (e-mail, postal mail) about transition and change-over.
  2. Inactive members, no activity in a number of years, I don't think the number was clarified, (I'm guessing around 3 to 4 years) with more than 25k miles will receive a couple of communications.
  3. Inactive members with less than 25k miles won't receive communications.

The last group probably includes a couple million members who joined years ago, took one or two flights, and have forgotten they have an account. The cost/effort to reach out to that last group isn't deemed worthwhile. I think that last group still gets a couple years more till their accounts actually expire.
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Old Jun 29, 09, 6:36 pm
  #109  
 
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Originally Posted by mersk862 View Post
It did come up and it was mostly IT related. It works fine if you're doing something simple - an all-DL/NW itinerary, which is what 90%+ of all award tickets are. It's when you throw in the code-shares and partners that everything goes wacky. It's something they are aware of and they do want to fix it, but again it goes back to having an old system in Deltamatic.
Then I think change fees should be waived for complicated intl partner itins that cannot be booked on delta.com until the problem is fixed. The most loyal pax should not be charged fees because Deltamatic is antiquated IMO. Pax earn the miles (and SkyMiles partners buy the miles) in hopes to be able to use them as an award...not as an additional fee-collecting device for DL.

Ive already used my two fee waivers in adjusting a complicated international itinerary because partner inventory could not be researched online (nwa.com/jp, delta.com, etc) making it virtually impossible to piece together itineraries to places that DL does not fly. Try getting to any African city (besides CAI, DKR, ACC, LOS, JNB, or CPT) on delta.com or any Asian city besides ICN, PVG, NRT...it can be really tough and take a lot of time from agents and pax.
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Old Jun 29, 09, 8:26 pm
  #110  
 
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Originally Posted by EasternTraveler View Post
I really cannot believe how many people are out for blood. If you were not at the event then you are NOT going to get all of the details that were available at the event. As Jeff and others said "We are not going to publicly comment on many things that we would like to due to legal and policy reasons." What they discussed with us was for our group. Flyer Talk is a public forum and is read by many, including the press. It would be wrong for us to release any references or inuindo given at the event.
Honestly no offense intended in saying this, but I think you are overstating in a self-important sort of way the nature of the FT / Delta meeting. As someone who works in the intersection of public/private information with press and investors, I can assure you that Delta management assumed and probably intended for everything communicated at that event to become public. None of it was material or inside information in any significant sense -- otherwise you would have been required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Everything Jeff etc told you thus is public information, by definition. And by the way, try reading analyst reports -- analysts routinely attend meetings with top management and also routinely make assumptions based on body language and tone, and they report this in research notes that are widely available.

In fact, if I were Delta management I would have assumed that one of my competitor's employees would have signed up to attend the event for competitive research purposes. The meeting's largest purposes were probably as a focus group and as a means of disseminating information to an important larger community (the online FT group)... with the secondary benefit of making some VIP and loyal customers happy by giving them access and attention.
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Old Jun 29, 09, 8:54 pm
  #111  
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Originally Posted by EchoVictor View Post
Honestly no offense intended in saying this, but I think you are overstating in a self-important sort of way the nature of the FT / Delta meeting. As someone who works in the intersection of public/private information with press and investors, I can assure you that Delta management assumed and probably intended for everything communicated at that event to become public. None of it was material or inside information in any significant sense -- otherwise you would have been required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Everything Jeff etc told you thus is public information, by definition. And by the way, try reading analyst reports -- analysts routinely attend meetings with top management and also routinely make assumptions based on body language and tone, and they report this in research notes that are widely available.

In fact, if I were Delta management I would have assumed that one of my competitor's employees would have signed up to attend the event for competitive research purposes. The meeting's largest purposes were probably as a focus group and as a means of disseminating information to an important larger community (the online FT group)... with the secondary benefit of making some VIP and loyal customers happy by giving them access and attention.

+1 and Amen.
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Old Jun 29, 09, 9:00 pm
  #112  
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Originally Posted by EasternTraveler View Post
I really cannot believe how many people are out for blood. If you were not at the event then you are NOT going to get all of the details that were available at the event. As Jeff and others said "We are not going to publicly comment on many things that we would like to due to legal and policy reasons." What they discussed with us was for our group. Flyer Talk is a public forum and is read by many, including the press. It would be wrong for us to release any references or inuindo given at the event.

I was surprised that some actually came to the event that don't even fly DL or NW. I am not surprised at human nature. Some came with an agenda, DL treated them with the utmost respect and spent several hundred dollars on each and every one of us who attended. If they go back and bad mouth, that is them. Most of us understand business and understand what they are doing. Is everyone going to be happy? No! But I am glad they charge a fee when someone changes or cancels an award ticket. We get the appropriate waivers and if anyone abuses that, they should pay. One thing that everyone should have gotten out of the event is this:

Delta reads every post on multiple blogs, websites, etc... and the ones that contain enough information and details to investigate, they investigate. The ones that are a rant "They have a good laugh at and toss."

The above also applies to mistakes, error fares, bonus work arounds, etc.
So if you don't want them to know.......... don't post it!

I don't think Josh would mind me quoting this:

"We will convert to a new system soon, but when we do it will be a state of the art system. A complete overhaul, not an upgrade or patch.
I did not know flying NW or DL was a requirement. If you are saying it was then that changes the whole complexion of the event. Kind of creepy in a Borg-like way actually.

As for the public info: With all due respect, do you REALLY think they are telling just YOU? You are somebody who gives them money and they want to ensure you keep doing that. Don't get me wrong, it is a win/win but they are not disclosing confidential info to you, trust me in that....in-fact they want it to get out because it is great PR to have a customers who care enough to spend their time and money to try and save the FF program.
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Old Jun 29, 09, 9:20 pm
  #113  
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Originally Posted by jbatl View Post
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Late to this thread and don't have time to read the whole thing now, but a big thank you to OP for posting his notes.
You're welcome.
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Old Jun 29, 09, 9:21 pm
  #114  
 
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Originally Posted by EasternTraveler View Post
I really cannot believe how many people are out for blood. If you were not at the event then you are NOT going to get all of the details that were available at the event. As Jeff and others said "We are not going to publicly comment on many things that we would like to due to legal and policy reasons." What they discussed with us was for our group. Flyer Talk is a public forum and is read by many, including the press. It would be wrong for us to release any references or inuindo given at the event.
Honestly Eastern Traveller, with all due respect and sincerity, get a grip. This event was not a secret White House briefing with Chinese officials on North Korean policy. This was a public (invite only - however still considered a public) event sponsored by Delta to spread information throughout this forum. If you honestly believe that you were given secret information that they dont want passed out, or did not expect you guys to relay information on here, than you are either full of yourself or out of touch with reality (again, I'm not saying this out of spite or to be mean - but re-read what you said and consider what is going through the minds of most level headed people on here that read your response - I think you're posting was a little extreme). Delta knows this group is part of a PUBLIC widely read internet forum - they wouldnt hold a meeting with FT to discuss private information...they arent stupid.

It's completely your perogative if you dont want to share what was said or relay some of your inferences - but you are doing so because you are chosing not to share - not because this information is classified or because it is not meant to be shared (because that, in all likelihood, is not the case).

I was surprised that some actually came to the event that don't even fly DL or NW. I am not surprised at human nature. Some came with an agenda, DL treated them with the utmost respect and spent several hundred dollars on each and every one of us who attended. If they go back and bad mouth, that is them.
This almost infers that people should not offer criticism just because delta spent $$$ on them for this event. Isnt that essentially bribery? And if this is the way you feel - how objective are you really if you plan on being swayed because a company pays for a good meal?


Most of us understand business and understand what they are doing. Is everyone going to be happy? No!
But thats the problem - most of us do understand business and see gaping holes where Delta is clearly mis-informed and going down the wrong path. Their new "fees for everything" structure is going to kill the "new delta" faster than ever. Some fees are justified - others are not and are simply being done out of greed and their return on charges these fees will be at a much higher expense. And many of us are tired of being told that the merger is a positive thing for most/all customers - because in actuality, its not! For Delta, yes it is. But as it stands, we've seen no fare decreases nor any new services that have arised as a result of the merger (since pre-merger, Delta and NWA were already code-sharing and working together already). Instead, NWA customers have seen their fares increase, fees increase, watched their miles become slightly more worthless with the award ticket fees, seen the food/bevereage selection drop significantly, seen decreases in customer service levels, etc. Delta has yet to provide any proof that this merger has been postive for most customers as of yet. Parading FA's around with their "fabulous new uniforms" hardly justifies calling the merger a success.
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Old Jun 29, 09, 9:30 pm
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Old Jun 29, 09, 9:31 pm
  #116  
 
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Old Jun 29, 09, 9:35 pm
  #117  
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Originally Posted by Surge2009 View Post
But as it stands, we've seen no fare decreases nor any new services that have arised as a result of the merger (since pre-merger, Delta and NWA were already code-sharing and working together already). Instead, NWA customers have seen their fares increase
Much as I personally like fare reductions, they aren't necessarily good for the customers. Off season during the past two years I've been averaging $450 to $650 for LUT r/t ORD-Italy. My first trip there, 35 years ago, I paid about $500. At the time gas cost about 35/gallon, and the minimum wage was $1.60/hour. There is no rational way they can be selling tix for the same price as they did in the early 1970's.

If prices were 15% higher, (and customers hadn't been Pavlov'ed into paying such dirt cheap prices) the airlines would be more viable, and they could provide more of the services that everyone is whining about asking for.
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Old Jun 29, 09, 10:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Gargoyle View Post
Much as I personally like fare reductions, they aren't necessarily good for the customers. Off season during the past two years I've been averaging $450 to $650 for LUT r/t ORD-Italy. My first trip there, 35 years ago, I paid about $500. At the time gas cost about 35/gallon, and the minimum wage was $1.60/hour. There is no rational way they can be selling tix for the same price as they did in the early 1970's.

If prices were 15% higher, (and customers hadn't been Pavlov'ed into paying such dirt cheap prices) the airlines would be more viable, and they could provide more of the services that everyone is whining about asking for.
I disagree to a point. Companies these days are far more fiscally efficient than they were 35 years ago, and many operating costs (beyond fuel) have dropped significantly. I remember reading somewhere a few months ago that had mentioned that the advent of the computer age (the 80's and on) have allowed larger companies tens of millions of dollars of savings that were inaccessible to them prior to that.

Going back to specifically talking about current NWA/DL flight prices - the merger was touted as a way to save millions of dollars through operating efficiencies. If this was the case, then these savings should've been passed down to their customers to better compete against other airlines and truely offer the customers "the best of the merger". However, we have yet to see that, and have only seen quite the opposite. I want DL/NWA to be profitable and succesfull (as this only helps out the economy at large), but they need to do so without hurting their customer base - which is something that DL has never been able to figure out. If the "new" Delta can not leverage those savings efficiently to pass some of it down to their customers, I have strong doubts on the long term success or life of the "new delta" before they end up where they were two years ago again.
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Old Jun 29, 09, 10:25 pm
  #119  
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Originally Posted by Gargoyle View Post
[*]Inactive members with less than 25k miles won't receive communications.[/LIST]
The last group probably includes a couple million members who joined years ago, took one or two flights, and have forgotten they have an account. The cost/effort to reach out to that last group isn't deemed worthwhile. I think that last group still gets a couple years more till their accounts actually expire.
And I consider this a big problem. If someone has miles in their account, why not send out one letter, or some emails. They send out so much advertising crap already, what's the problem with one more?

And, if they are going to alter the expiration date on any accounts, they need to have this communicated clearly to all members. DL has expired many miles this year after sending out expiration dates of 12/09, they nuked the miles in January/09. Very slimey.
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Old Jun 29, 09, 10:34 pm
  #120  
 
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Originally Posted by Surge2009 View Post
Honestly Eastern Traveller, with all due respect and sincerity, get a grip. This event was not a secret White House briefing with Chinese officials on North Korean policy. This was a public (invite only - however still considered a public) event sponsored by Delta to spread information throughout this forum. If you honestly believe that you were given secret information that they dont want passed out, or did not expect you guys to relay information on here, than you are either full of yourself or out of touch with reality (again, I'm not saying this out of spite or to be mean - but re-read what you said and consider what is going through the minds of most level headed people on here that read your response - I think you're posting was a little extreme). Delta knows this group is part of a PUBLIC widely read internet forum - they wouldnt hold a meeting with FT to discuss private information...they arent stupid.

It's completely your perogative if you dont want to share what was said or relay some of your inferences - but you are doing so because you are chosing not to share - not because this information is classified or because it is not meant to be shared (because that, in all likelihood, is not the case).



This almost infers that people should not offer criticism just because delta spent $$$ on them for this event. Isnt that essentially bribery? And if this is the way you feel - how objective are you really if you plan on being swayed because a company pays for a good meal?




But thats the problem - most of us do understand business and see gaping holes where Delta is clearly mis-informed and going down the wrong path. Their new "fees for everything" structure is going to kill the "new delta" faster than ever. Some fees are justified - others are not and are simply being done out of greed and their return on charges these fees will be at a much higher expense. And many of us are tired of being told that the merger is a positive thing for most/all customers - because in actuality, its not! For Delta, yes it is. But as it stands, we've seen no fare decreases nor any new services that have arised as a result of the merger (since pre-merger, Delta and NWA were already code-sharing and working together already). Instead, NWA customers have seen their fares increase, fees increase, watched their miles become slightly more worthless with the award ticket fees, seen the food/bevereage selection drop significantly, seen decreases in customer service levels, etc. Delta has yet to provide any proof that this merger has been postive for most customers as of yet. Parading FA's around with their "fabulous new uniforms" hardly justifies calling the merger a success.
+1.

Also, I do not see what the issue is with people sharing the things that they learned at the DO, as I have not heard anything that we did not already know before the event...... Has anyone really learned anything NEW? Most of the comentary is simply reiiteration of things that have already been discussed and justification as to why things were taken away, or why we should be hit with more fees. The funny thing is that a lot of people were complaining about these fees and changes prior and now some seem to be kissing DL's butt now.

DL is in the business of making money... Anyone who thinks otherwise is crazy and needs to have their head examined. Because DL is a business, they have a right to do as they see fit to turn a profit. On the other hand, they must take into account what their customers want and are willing to pay for.

I am happy to hear that comp upgrades will continue. This is a good thing and is probably the one reason that I stick with DL over going to UA or AA. I would consider CO, but I am seeing on FT that upgrades are harder and harder to come by. In addition, I could go with US, but the F product is not quite the same as DL. However, that is not to say that the DL F product could not use some enhancement.. BRING BACK HOT MEALS ON <1500 MILES.

I really could care less about the change fees on awards. I treat award tickets like other purchased tickets.. I do not gobble up cheap awards just to hord them in case I MIGHT want to use them. I only seek awards when I am ready to plan my trip. I rarely make changes to these once booked so the fees do not infringe on me.

It is obvious that anyone who asks for a redeposit of miles after the plane departs should pay. This is lost revenue for the company. Redeposits pror (within a given time frame) could be up for discussion.

I would like to see comp upgrades for plats on int'l flights as I think it is silly to see the BE seats go empty when there are loyal customers in tow....

The unveiling of the infamous 4th tier should be interesting. Hopefully the hype is comparable to the reality. I am looking positively at this, but from what I have seen being a NW PE going into the SM program, I do have some reason to be hesitant.
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