It will take some time for all of the changes, 1.0 and 2.0, that Delta announced the past few months to wash out and see just how many frequent Delta flyers stick with the airline and how many say enough is enough and cancel their Delta Amex cards when the yearly fee bills (you have 30 days to get it back btw). While I have been somewhat brutal in my posts recently in regard to the airline I think Delta has a real chance to win a number of folks back – but it will take some work – maybe a LOT of work. See what you think.
First there are two groups to focus on, those who matched other airlines and those who are simply booking whatever is best for them. Executing on my suggestions will be critical to win them both over. The first group will rarely be flying Delta so when they do it matters that the experience is the “premium” the airline keeps drumming on about over and over and over. The second group will likely fly Delta more and a reliable and consistent experience matters to get them back to the unquestioned loyalty they once had.
Skymiles. Let’s go there right off the bat. Delta has pegged, for now, the value of a Delta point at 1 cent. We all know this. This is just ridiculous when you can get any number of cash back cards at twice that value and so many airlines offer much higher value for their points. Here is an ultra simple fix that would be BOLD and instantly make the currency have great value to many again. Delta needs to go FULL revenue based awards and peg a SkyPenny at 2 cents. So for example a trip to Europe from wherever is say $5000 round trip in Delta One then the Skymiles price for an award ticket would be 250,000. Still not amazing value but this would be so simple and you are then just searching for price and getting value from your points. If you then join this with the Amex card 15% offer you are at least nearing real value for your Delta points.
GUC and RUC certs (Global and Regional Upgrade). Make them guaranteed and get the stupid revenue management team out of the equation. That is, if a seat is open for sale then we can use a cert. It really is that simple and should be this simple. Imagine the few times either of the groups go to spend what they look at as their last elite perks and they clear no fuss no muss – then geee maybe we need to rethink the choice to dump loyalty.
Amex card BOGOs. Like the above – same thing. In this case if there are two seats open for sale then let us use them. If they are guaranteed then everyone sees the value of holding cards year after year for this perk alone (well ok the $2500 MQD credit per Delta Amex card is a nice perk too but this would cement the value of holding the cards).
Service onboard. It is time for Delta flight attendants to “show up for work” that is, to provide a premium experience for everyone onboard. This is a big ask for the few who are not, like so many at Delta, showing the “Delta Difference”. I really think most of the Delta flight attendants do work very hard to impress but the problem is those who do not are costing the airline big time! They need to educate their fellow FAs what needs to happen to win folks back.
Delta still is much better than other airlines in a number of ways. For example, even with it’s faults the Fly Delta App is light years ahead of others (looking at you AA). Having no change fees builds trust and flexibility. Free Wifi is still a leg up over most airlines. Consistent product and in-seat entertainment (on mainline jets) is another big win. I could go on but I think I have made my point that Delta is a better airline than many others but not “the best” they once were.
Would I be shocked to see Delta do all of the above (or at least most of the above). Probably. But just maybe they can pull it off. Heck, Delta folks reading this, if you want my help I am ready to step up and be on call to help you if you want it! – 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.