We see from the Delta
PR news hub site that Delta will soon offer a shot for medallions to sit in a “real” 1st class seat that is, on a Delta PVT jet. Bloomberg apparently had a scoop on the news and shared a bunch more details than the Delta PR page. Here is what fascinates me about this.
First off, since we all spend our time flying PVT jets (no, not really), we all know that one of the big problems with them is positioning (kinda think like Delta Mileage Run). Positioning a jet to where it needs to be to take someone either one-way or round trip can cost a ton. Delta revenue management folks have found a way to eke out some money out of these “empty” legs if elites are willing to pay for the experience to fly a very small jet vs. a Delta jet. A brilliant, if nothing else, PR move. But is it worth it? The Bloomberg article said:
“Delta Private Jets had hoped to launch the upgrades in early June but quickly found a need to tweak the initial $800 flat fee and to brief corporate travel managers about the initiative.”
Yeah, say a jet is available from Chicago’s Midway to Atlanta for a $300-$800 up-charage. If I look at booking a one way flight, tomorrow, on Delta in 1st class there are seats for just $257. Now I get that it is much “cooler” and faster to show up just before your flight, walk right up to the jet, take off, and not have to enter the main terminal at landing either. Maybe for the lower $300 fee, that is, paying the price of two 1st class tickets, it is worth it.
OK, so that is a cost vs. value. Would I do it? Oh sure – one time – to say I have done it. After that, I would rather have all the things I like in travel the “normal way” that is, access to SkyClub and other lounges. Access to Delta reps when things go wrong with my flights. The shot at a nice bump voucher when a flight is oversold and on and on and on.
Lastly, not that it really matters all that much since $kyRubles are worth so little nowadays, you don’t get anything extra for flying on the PVT jet under this new scheme. Like everything else Delta you get points per the fare class you paid (coach or 1st class) – not what you fly.
Delta PVT jets, years ago, was a great deal for those who are big spenders with Delta. You could, back in the day, spend as little as $17,000 a year and get the perks of membership including “FREE” Delta Diamond Medallion status you can keep or gift to anyone you want. Now it takes spending twice that and out of reach for most.
Bottom line, this has been a media free for all for Delta and I do like the fact that unlike the OFCMB that tries to convince people that Delta has anything but business class and coach seats this DOES allow them to advertise a “real” 1st class seat on a very tiny jet. 😉
Next up from the Delta PR site we have the news that Delta is investing in one of the most foreign subsidized airlines in China. I hope the ME3 don’t find out about this or the talking point could be “a-w-k-w-a-r-d“! I expect my fellow blogger Gary Leff may have some things to say about this one and I can not wait.
Then lastly in this media frenzy of news in Delta land is that we are going to see a brand spank’in new LGA. Uh, Yea? I try to avoid ALL the NYC airports because, much like Chicago, things are just about NEVER on time, ever. The other Delta HUBs tend, for the most part, to work just about perfect day in and day out. I do like that there is an AMEX Centurion lounge at LGA and if the new LGA can have a larger Centurion with a SPA like the one in MIA or DFW then I can see a reason for them doing all this work and expense and hassle. If not, meh.
What do you think of all this Delta news? Excited, amused or confused? You tell me! – René
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