Last week I was on a Delta jet every single day, Monday – Friday. This week I am again flying a number of segments. With that many regional and mainline flights I had a chance to ask a bunch of questions and observe how Delta was doing with their new “seats“. I say that in quotes because the seats themselves have NOT changed, just the leather covering them is or will be updated and the level of service in many sections has been enhanced.
As I talked about in a post a while back, Delta training had been nonexistent up to that point. I was, after that post, firmly chastised by someone at the mothership that the post made Delta look like they did not know what they were doing when it comes to training. Well, now we have the results of that training Delta has provided in the days leading up to the new “product“. Here is what I have seen as well been told by a BUNCH of readers:
What memo? Despite the fact that THIS info sheet is on top of every C+ snack basket, many flight attendants have missed the training memo (they get so many it is hard to keep up I was told). The results are as predicted.
No free drinks unless 900+ miles! It would seem many do not understand C+ seats get free alcoholic drinks (all they want) and some even are saying the free drinks are ONLY on the flights longer than 900 miles.
When to serve C+. The directions, if the FAs have seen the sheet, are very clear when and how. I have seen very inconsistent service. Some pass a basket once, some not at all (due to catering not putting it on-board so not really FAs fault). On some flights the “flight leader” is checking on C+ some flights not. Some flights they assign a coach FA to take that load.
Running out of EVERYTHING! This was a big one I was afraid of. Delta is going cheap on catering. Almost universally I am told Delta has NOT increased the amount of alcohol so back in coach you can expect they will have run out after C+ service. Oh, you better get two if you want two the first time they come around as advised before. Same thing goes for the snacks. You can take more than one and don’t expect there to be more if they bring it by another time.
Impact on 1st class. It is hard to judge the impact on 1st class but I did spend a great deal of time in 1st last week (I know #FirstWorldProblems). I had mixed results. The good crews did spend more time back in C+ but then were less visible in 1st class. Some flights I had the normal amazing service in 1st class but on one I had just about the WORST in two years of flying. No pre-flight drinks, over 1 hour before meal and drinks were served to me, C+ service was nonexistent and after dinner FA took a seat up in the galley for much of the rest of the flight.
Dedicated overhead space. I expected this to be more of a marketing spin than real implementation. The facts are somewhere in the middle. I have seen some crews CLOSE the bins so that only those in C+ can use them (folks tend to open them if sitting in that area). However, often times those in 1st class run out of room so C+ gets those bags. Then, at times, those on their way back to MAIN CABIN coach just pop bags into any open space (again as expected). If Delta is going to market this as Dedicated space the FAs should be told to police this rather than just be told to find space somewhere for those in C+. I guarantee you a “gate agent” will force a C+ flyer to check their bag if they are later arriving as all overhead space is GONE after zone 2 board (or sooner)! This is a major #FAIL of the “product” to me.
Regional jet crews. I asked them and many said they had seen the memo and were confused as to when and how to serve folks. When are drinks free? When should the basket be passed etc etc. Bottom line, as expected, regional crews are even MORE confused than the confused main line crews.
IAM union vote impact. I also asked if FAs thought that any of this extra work load would impact the IAM vote one way or the other. Almost all said NO and this really surprised me. However, the answer was the same from the good and bad crews so the good ones I think will be good no matter what Delta asks of them and the bad ones may not fully get all they should be doing.
You will start seeing in the airport and on the jets more and more “branding” of Delta ONE etc. as well as the sales push for this new “Onboard Experience“. Boy, it sure sounds great in the glossy advertising as well as in seat back monitors but Delta had better step up and fix what is broken in week one of the roll out. This is not to say Delta has not delivered for the most part, but if over time folks end up thinking of this in the same miserable light as the award calendar that is “hopelessly broken” it will not be valued in the long run (or worth the money to upgrade to). – René
Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.