Home Airlines Revenue Management Be Damned! Delta Is Betting On Giving Customers What They Want

Revenue Management Be Damned! Delta Is Betting On Giving Customers What They Want

by joeheg

When travel reductions due to the coronavirus pandemic hit their worst, planes were flying with less than a 10% passenger load. The few passengers on board wanted to distance from others, so the multiple empty seats made this easy to do. Over the past few months, airlines have been doing what they’ve needed to do to stay afloat, including bringing the market back to equilibrium by decreasing flights. Eventually that means planes are going to start filling up again. Face it, there’s no money to be made in flying empty planes around.

You know what’s worse than a plane with one passenger on it getting posted on Instagram? A fully packed plane going viral on Twitter.

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This isn’t all flights, of course. Many are still flying with empty seats but there are always going to be routes that are more popular than others. When you’ve decreased flights from three flights a day to three days a week, flights are going to start to fill up.

Not wanting to face a PR nightmare like United, Delta stated they will increase the number of flights to keep load factors down.

Delta has publicly said that it will limit first class seating capacity at 50% and main cabin at 60% through June 30, and earlier announced that it was resuming some flights next month.

“We announced a policy on seating capacity through June 30. Nothing has been decided beyond that but we are continuing to monitor the situation and make adjustments as necessary,” Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter said.

While Delta isn’t announcing the changes to its domestic flight schedules, they are making constant changes to their international flights, increasing and decreasing them as the market dictates.

I’m sure Delta would like to fly their planes to capacity. It appears that the upper management has decided that it’s to their advantage to be the airline that makes sure you can have an empty middle seat, no matter the lost revenue. Delta was already viewed as having one of the best operations before the coronavirus outbreak. It looks like they’re trying to cement that perception in the traveling public’s subconscious.

Still, Bastian said on a quarterly investor call that fewer airplanes in the skies could be an “opportunity for us to focus more on a more premium experience.”

Hopefully this will also mark the end of the unfortunate wording on Delta’s napkins.

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#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

Feature Photo courtesy of Andy’s Travel Blog


Gene May 26, 2020 - 1:27 pm

Delta’s pricing is outrageous right now (at least on the few routes I have priced). I’ll take my chances and go with the low prices on AA in F right now

Dr. J May 27, 2020 - 1:18 am

I’ll support the airline as they prioritize customer over revenue.

Christian May 27, 2020 - 1:41 am

Flights right now are a chicken-or-the-egg situation where airlines want passengers in order to fly while passengers are reluctant to fly if they feel their flight stands a good chance of being cancelled. IMO the way to address this situation is for airlines to offer guaranteed flights as a portion of their operated flights. As a passenger I would at least consider flying on a more crowded plane if I *knew* with absolute certainty that the airline would not cancel my flight.

Justin Paul May 31, 2020 - 1:09 pm

Even before COVID, flights were never guaranteed. I was on many a cancelled flight due to various issues, maintenance, ATC, crew, weather, etc. On the flights I have flown with DAL on recently, I found them to be equally priced to their competition (PSC-RNO) $272.60 on DL, $273 on AS for main cabin. Not outrageously priced.


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