I spent a great deal of time at the recent Chicago Seminars defending why I love Delta. The answer was really simple and I have already outlined that in a post. The airline itself treats frequent flyers really well. Sure, they are decimating the frequent flyer program next year and that is on top of a frequent flyer program that is right now one of the hardest to get value out of. I do, but it takes a bunch of work.
But on to other things. Delta has PROVEN they are ready to cut till it hurts. To cut till some get fed up and leave. To only care and change when flyers say THAT’S IT WE ARE DONE! Delta only cares about $$$. We know all this right? So what jumped out and put panic into my bones was this (from Seeking Alpha’s transcript of the recent quarterly profit report):
“Then just from an ancillary revenue standpoint, it’s been great performance here, a lot of it coming from Economy upsale and things like that. As we look into 2015, what kind of items can we think of as driving ancillary revenue growth?” – Savi Syth – Raymond James
“I think that we have a lot of new initiatives which we’ll be talking about in the marketplace over the next two to three months, probably give you an update at Investor Day. But we’re extremely excited about being able to allow customers to really customize their travel experience on Delta.” – Richard Anderson – CEO
Shudder! OM Gosh! Oh, you don’t see it? Allow me to turn CEO speak into Skymiles “enhancement” speak.
- “But we’re extremely excited” = We, Delta flyers, are going to have to pay a ton MORE for what we are NOT paying for now. Just what will that be? My fellow BA blogger MJ on Travel speculates that they will kill complementary medallion upgrades. Talk about a NIGHTMARE for business flyers. Have fun telling your boss you need to spend not just a little more than other airlines for your ticket but 2x or 4x more to get out of the lowest fare class “bucket”. I am sure that will go over very well as you discuss your next expense report!
- “being able to allow customers” = We, Delta flyers, will have even more of our perks as medallions cut from us. What else could they cut? Oh, and btw, don’t think I am “giving Delta ideas” here as they are clearly already out to decimate everywhere they can. How about no more EC seats for Silver. Or, how about no more HOOUs on lower fare class tickets like E-Class (My guess is we will not get HOOUs on E-Class since they are non-upgradeable next year).
- “customize their travel experience on Delta” = This is simple and works perfect with the first bit of the statement. Customize mean PAY MORE and for the travel experience means for what we now get for free. What could this be? You name it. I don’t think it will be silly things like “using the bathroom” but it could very well be things like carry on bag changes or boarding or even, yikes, earning MQMs or MQSs on cheap fare classes. This would really hurt so many business flyers but could be on the way.
How long are we going to have to wait to find out about these “new initiatives“? We were told “next two to three months” should be the first hammer to fall (keep in mind, he always has our back). After all, so much is on the way before the end of the year like the Delta Skyteam and partner award earnings charts and on and on.
Be VERY afraid my friends and unfortunately I do think we are going to see Delta “Keep Descending” until more flyers push back and say enough is enough! Happy Monday everyone? 🙁 – René
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