More On The Delta One Suite A350 Surcharge

Yesterday I wrote about how Delta is adding a surcharge of $250-500 one-way for flights in their new Delta One Suites, which will soon be available on their A350s. AusBT broke the story, which was discovered based on a notice sent out to travel agents in Korea. Initially we didn’t know if this would only be limited to their Detroit to Seoul Incheon route, how long it would last, etc.

While there are still some questions, we now have some more answers.

The Delta One Suite surcharge applies on all international A350 routes

This surcharge is already in place, and it looks like it doesn’t just apply on the Seoul Incheon route, but also on the Tokyo Narita and Beijing routes, which are the routes on which the new A350 has been announced so far. In looking at the fare rules for a full fare business class ticket between Detroit and Tokyo (or the other two city pairs), you’ll see this listed in the fare rules:

A SURCHARGE OF USD 250.00 WILL BE ADDED TO THE APPLICABLE FARE FOR TRAVEL IN AIRBUS INDUSTRIE A350-900 EQUIPMENT.

When you look at the fares, you’ll notice that routings taking you through Detroit (which feature the new plane) are $250-500 more expensive per direction:

This surcharge is added to the base fare, rather than separated out from it. In other words, you’ll just pay more for the privilege of flying this plane across the board, regardless of what kind of a business class fare you book.

Now I certainly could be mistaken, but I think the good news is that it’s unlikely this surcharge will be added on SkyMiles award tickets. I could be wrong, but since it’s added to the base fare, that seems unlikely.

Even so, don’t get too excited. Delta doesn’t publish award costs, and across the board we’re seeing that business class awards on the A350 price out higher than other awards. So while there might not be a cash co-pay, don’t be surprised to see business class awards on the A350 be consistently more expensive than other awards.

Is this really a new practice from Delta?

It actually isn’t. If you look at Delta’s fare between the mainland and Hawaii, you’ll notice that they have surcharges for travel on their aircraft featuring fully flat beds. For example, here’s the relevant part of the fare rules for a ticket between Tampa and Honolulu:

A SURCHARGE OF USD 100.00 PER FARE COMPONENT WILL BE ADDED TO THE APPLICABLE FARE FOR TRAVEL IN AIRBUS INDUSTRIE A330-300 EQUIPMENT. AND – A SURCHARGE OF USD 100.00 PER FARE COMPONENT WILL BE ADDED TO THE APPLICABLE FARE FOR TRAVEL IN BOEING 777-200LR EQUIPMENT. AND – A SURCHARGE OF USD 100.00 PER FARE COMPONENT WILL BE ADDED TO THE APPLICABLE FARE FOR TRAVEL IN BOEING 767-400 EQUIPMENT. AND – A SURCHARGE OF USD 100.00 PER FARE COMPONENT WILL BE ADDED TO THE APPLICABLE FARE FOR TRAVEL IN BOEING 777 EQUIPMENT. AND – A SURCHARGE OF USD 100.00 PER FARE COMPONENT WILL BE ADDED TO THE APPLICABLE FARE FOR TRAVEL IN BOEING 767-300 WINGLETS EQUIPMENT. AND – A SURCHARGE OF USD 150.00 PER FARE COMPONENT WILL BE ADDED TO THE APPLICABLE FARE FOR TRAVEL IN BOEING 747-400 PASSENGER EQUIPMENT. AND – A SURCHARGE OF USD 75.00 PER FARE COMPONENT WILL BE ADDED TO THE APPLICABLE FARE FOR TRAVEL IN BOEING 757-200 WINGLETS EQUIPMENT.

In other words, Delta flies both planes with domestic first class seats and fully flat beds between the mainland and Hawaii, and they charge a premium for flying in the better products.

The new Delta One suites

Is Delta’s A350 surcharge greedy & unreasonable?

Yes and no. I understand the concept of charging more for a better product. That’s to say that I totally get why there’s a surcharge for a flat bed product to Hawaii, since the seat takes up much more “real estate,” and that’s expensive. It’s costing the airline more to transport you in those seats.

However, I guess what rubs me the wrong way about this Delta surcharge is that the new A350 “suite” isn’t in any way more spacious than the old product. The A350 is more fuel efficient and has lower operating costs, and on top of that, it’s not at all a spacious product. This is a modified Vantage XL product, which is space efficient. As a matter of fact, I suspect it’s less spacious than the reverse herringbone seats they have on the routes so far.

To give an example, Delta will have 32 Delta One Suites on their A350s between doors one and two. Qatar Airways has a reverse herringbone product on their A350s, and they only have 24 seats between doors one and two. To be fair, though, Finnair fits 32 reverse herringbone seats between those two sets of doors. However, in neither case is Delta’s product more spacious.

So it’s one thing to add a surcharge when your cost for operating a product is up, but in this case this is a more efficient configuration than they had before, and it’s a much lower cost plane.


Qatar Airways’ A350 business class

We’ll have to let the market decide

Ultimately the market will decide whether Delta’s surcharge is reasonable or not. Is this product unique enough that people will go out of their way to fly it, and will even pay a premium for it? Maybe.

Delta wouldn’t be the first airline to add restrictions to booking their newest premium cabin product.

However, I guess what rubs me the wrong way about this is that a full fare business class passenger paying $10,000 for a ticket will be penalized an extra $250-500 for flying a new product. But maybe that’s too principled of a view to take towards this, and doesn’t necessarily reflect how consumers make decisions.

Bottom line

Maybe I was a bit harsh on Delta initially. I’m not sure. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how long this sticks around.

On the most basic level, I question how much a new product really increases demand. Sure, among us miles & points people this is exciting, but how many business travelers are going to change their plans to fly this new product?

If demand does actually increase when a new product is introduced, there are two ways to approach it — you can decrease the number of discounted business class fares you publish in the market, or you can add a surcharge. The surcharge just strikes me as a punitive way to handle this.

It’s one thing if the seat took up more space, but it doesn’t. Quite to the contrary, the aircraft is more fuel efficient, as the cost per flown mile per business class seat is going down with this plane, and not up.

I guess we’ll see whether this surcharge sticks around.

Where do you stand on this, now that we have more details?

Comments

  1. What happens if there is an operational equipment swap day of? Most people probably don’t know they paid the surcharge and DL probably won’t be issuing refunds for those.

  2. a surcharge between ghetto domestic first and a flat-bed to Hawaii is fully justifiable. a surcharge for a door is just a way to locate the biggest suckers within the pile.

  3. Remember when DL did away with free medallion upgrades on transcons after they installed beds, Tumi kits and Westin bedding? Better product, more money. BMWs cost more than Chevys. Nespresso costs more than Dunkin. Who cares what their costs are? Airlines don’t charge actual miles flown for mileage redemptions. We’re conflating so many issues here, just like I just did.

    Better product (door) means more money. I’d bet most people connect. So connect through a different city and avoid the fee: ATL/MSP vs. DTW.

  4. Delta lies lies lies. From fake propaganda videos to this propaganda product. Who needs a door on a 21″ wide seat. Ill take a reverse herringbone any day over that mess. The lies… they said publicly A350 is a product upgrade not a upgrade in cost. Awards. Those are worse160,000 miles each way. Lol. Delta one suites priced higher than SQ suites. Wow this airline thinks it’s shit don’t stink. Who flies on these A-Holes?

  5. @Neil : you can obtain that level of premium purely by managing fare bucket inventory already … unless you’re insinuating that DL doesn’t know how to manage fare buckets and can only get any yield padding by a manual surcharge ?

  6. I was curious and had a look at some of the business class fare rules from Air Canada for flights between Montreal and Vancouver. They add a surcharge of 300 $CAD for flights on widebodies.

    For example:
    A SURCHARGE OF CAD 300.00 PER FARE COMPONENT WILL
    BE ADDED TO THE APPLICABLE FARE FOR TRAVEL IN
    BOEING 787-8 PAX EQUIPMENT FOR ANY SECTOR BETWEEN
    YVR AND YTO/YMQ.

    Is that a common practice among airlines?

    I’m not surprised to see a higher fare for a better product on the same route. I’m surprised however that it’s a fixed amount included in the fare rules. I would’ve thought it would only be reflected in the dynamic pricing of tickets and not in the actual fare rules.

    Interesting!

  7. Interesting that the one detail you missed was Tim Mapes interview a while back in the NY Times mentioning that DL would NOT charge extra for the A350 product.

  8. I think the market will decide ,which I’m fine with. Ultimately, if they consistently price higher than their competition and people still buy it, then they will count that as a win. If people choose other airlines based on price then they will have to start modifying their pricing. TBD.

  9. Greedy for sure.

    Based in the uk. I have no doubt and british airways will do the same when they finally take delivery of their 350s and new *cough* *laugh* club world cabin.

  10. Will all the BS taxes, e.g Passenger Civil Aviation Security Service Fee, Passenger Facility Charge etc are exempt from the surcharge like check in luggage fee, wifi etc? what the hell are “Passenger Facility Charge” or ” Flight Segment Tax” anyway?

  11. The problem here is that the seat actually looks very tight and other than the “door”, which I find somewhat gimmicky, I don’t consider this a leading business class product. Just look at the arm and shoulder space around the model in the photo!

  12. “And while the suites are designed to be a more premium product, customers won’t have to pay any more to fly in them than they do for a typical Delta One ticket on the same route. “This is a product upgrade, not a price upgrade,” Mr. Mapes said.”

  13. @ Henry Lax – don’t worry, Delta will find plenty of suckers lol. I’ve seen a few here already thinking this is actually a better product. The so called “improvement” of this product over Delta One doesn’t even remotely compare to the improvement of a BMW over a Chevy.

    @MG – I did some fact checking, and well if you weren’t spot on! Here it is almost a year old, quoting Tim Mapes near the end of the article, not even behind a paywall!

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/21/travel/on-delta-all-suite-business-class-flights.html

    “And while the suites are designed to be a more premium product, customers won’t have to pay any more to fly in them than they do for a typical Delta One ticket on the same route. “This is a product upgrade, not a price upgrade,” Mr. Mapes said.”

  14. I’ve flown IAD-SFO on UA when it was on a 777 (a positioning flight) so I got a flat-bed seat though in their dreaded 2-4-2 business class. This was last year, and I don’t _think_ they charged more compared to the other IAD-SFO flights on narrowbodies, but I didn’t look that closely. It was part of a international business class flight to China.

  15. Why would DL be using cost-based pricing? If I were DL, I would be asking whether consumers are willing to pay more to fly on the A350 (or, with respect to HI routes, on planes with flat beds). It seems DL has determined the answer to that question is “yes.” Time will tell whether they are right.

  16. For me it seems accepting this fee will be allowing Delta to add random fees in the future and possibly give a reason for other airlines to do so too.

  17. My home airport is ATL, but I’d be tempted to fly out of my way and add a connection through DTW to try the new product if the redemption price in SkyPesos was the same from ATL or DTW, even if I had to pay for a positioning flight. Not sure that I would pay more SkyPesos on the redemption simply for the pleasure of a door.

  18. I’m confused. I thought it’s way cheaper for Delta to operate their 763’s etc. bc they are fully paid for. It must cost them more to operate the A350. Seat configuration and fuel efficiency sometimes does not matter. Isn’t based on how the equipment is financed????

  19. I would guess that the majority of long haul business class customers are at best casual observers of what goes on in the industry. Delta knows full well that their going to get a lot of bad press whenever they do stuff like this but they also recognize that people who read travel and points sites are mostly just a vocal minority of their potential customers. Delta believes with a new product, new plane, and some clever marketing that people will pay the premium because they don’t know better. If they are entirely wrong about this, the surcharge will drop.

  20. I can’t help but think this is a gimmick to try and get more money out of corporate clients whose contracts likely provide a discount on base fare but allow the airline to add surcharges. Otherwise, they could simply file higher fares or play with inventory to accomplish the same thing. I was playing around yesterday and noticed that while DL and AA had published identical fares WAS-ICN, the surcharge made DL more expensive. Ultimately, corporate travel managers will decide whether or not DL can keep the surcharge.

    As Mark asked, since this is a surcharge based on equipment, if they swap equipment do you get a credit?

  21. @Lucky – While the suite may not take up more space might it have a higher total weight than their other seats?

  22. I’m curious about the refund of the surcharge due to IRROPS that requires an equipment swap. If they’re basing this surcharge on aircraft type in similar fashion to their Hawaii flights, then would that not be considered some form of bait-and-switch or a breach of the CoC? They’re charging pax for a service they didn’t provide. And I’d be interested to see if DL has refunded other passengers in the past. I’m guessing they did not. And could this be the precursor to a class action lawsuit? Do we have any lawyers up in here that can provide more details, especially if CoC verbiage tries to state the pax aren’t due a refund of aircraft-specific surcharges based on IRROPS.

  23. Methinks Delta should stop complaining about the ME3 stealing their business and actually offer a superior product for a higher price.

  24. If they can surcharge for the equipment at ticketing then that means they know what equipment they are using on the route. Why not just price the ticket accordingly? Why the smoke and mirrors with a surcharge?

    As others have asked if they do an equipment substitution will they refund the surcharge? Somehow I seriously doubt it.

    Side note if your buying online how do you know about the surcharge? Is it highlighted?

    @Lucky I think your initial read on this was correct. Its Delta behaving badly

  25. This post seems wrong on two levels: (1) airlines should only price their seats based on “cost,” and (2) “costs” for this product are lower because it takes up the same amount of space on the plane as the old product, and the new plane is more fuel efficient.

    Taking the second point first, lucky is ignoring the cost of the plane itself. Just because the plane is more fuel-efficient doesn’t mean it costs less to the airline. They have to actually buy the plane, and presumably Boeing and Airbus are charging more for their newer, more fuel-efficient models than they charge for the old, less fuel-efficient models. Plus, there are R&D costs for the new seats, and the cost of manufacturing the seats themselves–both of which could be higher. Space on the plane is just one kind of “cost.” There’s nothing here to suggest that the *total* costs of this product are lower; in fact, there’s ample reason to believe this could well be more expensive overall.

    As for the first point, the deregulation of airlines is generally considered an unqualified success for consumers as rates as a fraction now of what they were before deregulation, but one of the necessary elements to make that happen is letting airlines determine how to price their products. There is really no large business that prices things strictly on a “cost-plus” basis — and that would be horrible for consumers. If airlines were required to price their seats on a “cost-plus” basis, as lucky seems to prefer, discounted tickets in coach and premium cabins would be far more expensive than they are today—while business travelers on full-fare tickets would pay less. Allowing airlines to price based on demand has the twin benefits of increasing their profitability and making seats available for cost-conscious customers at lower prices (made up for charging customers who don’t care about the cost more).

    Hence, I agree with @Jason and @Andrew, let the market decide. We shouldn’t be having posts criticizing airlines for pricing decisions that are entirely transparent to the consumer and included in the advertised fare.

  26. @John, all well and good, except, Delta blatantly and explicitly stated that they would not be charging more for the new product.
    If this is about paying for the new aircraft (which, as far as I have seen, no airline has added surcharges on routes that are being fulfilled by recently purchased aircraft), then why aren’t the economy class seats having any kind of surcharge?

  27. @Emirates Flyer — I don’t see any mention in lucky’s post or your comment of Delta promising that it would not raise prices in connection with this product. Airline pricing is always dynamic, so it seems unlikely to me that they promised prices would not go up. But even if they did say that at some point and changed their mind months (or years?) later, so what? There could be changed circumstances. Without more specificity as to what they supposedly said, I don’t think we can criticize them just because their policy changed over time.

    My point is not that the *purpose* of the surcharge is to pay for new aircraft, nor even that that it’s justification. My point is that (a) they can charge more for seats that people demand more, whether that seats costs them more money or not (many businesses do not price things based solely on “cost”), and (b) it’s entirely speculative to assume (as lucky does) that the “costs” of this product are lower, since there’s R&D costs for the seat, the cost of manufacturing the seat itself, and the fact that the new airplane may cost more to buy or lease.

    Even if we were looking at this on a “cost plus” basis (which I don’t think we should) the R&D costs for the new business class seat, and the cost of manufacturing the business class seat itself, are not applicable to economy class — so some or all of the additional costs could be unique to the business class cabin and the new seat offered in that cabin.

  28. @Marc, Air Canada’s surcharge is because of the flat bed pods. They call it “Transcontinental Business Class” (or something) to differentiate it from the 2×2 ~37-38″ pitch seats on their narrowbody fleet (“North America Business Class”) on the same routes. AFAIK, the CAD 300 surcharge doesn’t apply for eUpgrades, and it definitely doesn’t apply if you’re on a long-haul business class ticket (Asia, Europe, South America, etc.).

    Personally, I think it does make sense for AC to have a surcharge since the flat bed product is clearly superior to domestic J seats, but CAD 300 is a bit much, IMHO.

    As for DL, I think the surcharge is ridiculous, since the alternative flights all have direct aisle access flat bed seats. $250-500 for a door is insane.

  29. thinking we will pay for the “upgraded” seat, vote with your pocket, dont buy the hype. let airlines sucks in their costs, when revenues down, stocks down, board unhappy, big airline will have to cut out their so-called “enhancements”. we flat dont want your enhancements.

  30. Wait a minute. Just what “entitles” an airline to a “surcharge?” A surcharge is simply a way of adding additional cost to something, however the company/airline justifies it.
    We get suffocated with surcharges and blather that make a purchase more confusing and ever less transparent.
    Oh these have happened in other areas of commerce (e.g. dealer preparation charges, “handling” in addition to S&H), but with airlines surcharges are reaching the level of complete duplicity, deceit and obfuscation.
    Without consumer protection — and it has largely been stripped away — airlines are able to charge whatever the traffic will bear, “entitled or not.” Unless customers protest and repudiate these tricks and connivances, airlines are completely within their ability to do whatever they want.
    I’m no great fan of Southwest boarding procedures, but at least they are clear and decent on policies and baggage. I feel confident my purchase bill will not arrive with “resort charges” or extra fees for failing to check baggage at the time of purchase.
    Surcharges usually come with nasty surprises. Changes and failures to provide service by the airlines are “permissable.” Any deviation by the customer is penalized. No thanks.

  31. @MG — The NY Times article which paraphrases Delta is a year old at this point. We have no information about how Delta reconciles that article from a year ago with the present surcharge situation. Maybe the NY Times reporter misunderstood the nuances of what Delta said. Maybe Delta originally intended not to impose surcharges but reassessed the situation at some point over the past year, and that led to the change. Given that you’re pointing to something that’s a year old, I don’t think we can leap to the assumption that “[t]his is a case of DL straight up lying.” A lot can change in a year.

    In any case, even assuming that Delta had misstated the situation when they were interviewed more than a year ago, at most, that would suggest to me that their PR operation needs to improve accuracy. That does not undermine the legitimacy of the surcharges themselves, since no one disagrees that the *full* cost of a Delta One flight, including surcharges, is clearly disclosed to customers before they book the ticket. Any customer who read the NY Times article would clearly have been told, before they purchased a business class ticket on Delta, exactly how much the Delta flight would cost (and they could easily see on any online booking tool how Delta’s price compared to competitors). If a customer went ahead and booked on Delta, presumably they made a judgment that, for whatever reason, the higher price Delta is charging is worth it to them. So I don’t think anyone can legitimately claim to have been bamboozled by a newspaper article that’s now a year old. It’s up to Delta and its paying customers to determine the price at which each of them is willing to sell or buy an airplane ticket — if Delta’s customers don’t like the surcharges, they can vote with their wallets.

  32. Thats probably the millionth time you use that same Qatar Airways business class all white seats picture in your articles.

  33. @ cassandra — I respect your viewpoint, but I disagree with you on several points. I think your comments may be based on a misunderstanding of what @lucky means when he says “surcharge”:

    “We get suffocated with surcharges and blather that make a purchase more confusing and ever less transparent.” Under federal regulations, airline-imposed “surcharges” have to be included in the price that is reported to customers at the point in sale and in all advertisements. Airlines chose to break out certain costs as “surcharges” in the fare rules available to industry professionals, but consumers simply receive the bottom-line price (unless they care to go read the fine print and see how the bottom-line price is derived, which they are free to do). So I don’t think there’s a real argument that there’s a lack of transparency around carrier-imposed surcharges. You would have a stronger argument if you were complaining about, say, Spirit Airlines, which arguably has artificially low fares because they don’t include a number of things that the consumer would expect to have included — only after the ticket is purchased do many customers realize their purchase doesn’t include even a carry-on bag, or water during the flight, or other basic necessities that consumers expect. Disclosure around fees for ancillary services is a problem. But what Delta is doing here is completely transparent to the consumer: Everyone who books a Delta ticket is clearly told, before they book, the *total* price including surcharges. There’s nothing confusing about it, and consumers can easily compare prices (including surcharges) on Google Flights, Kayak, Expedia, etc.

    “Without consumer protection — and it has largely been stripped away — airlines are able to charge whatever the traffic will bear, ‘entitled or not.’ Unless customers protest and repudiate these tricks and connivances, airlines are completely within their ability to do whatever they want.” Before the Reagan administration, the U.S. government regulated airline prices, purportedly to “protect” consumers. In reality, as happens with virtually every industry, the regulators protect the industry that they are supposed to regulate — and prices were many times what they are today, in inflation-adjusted terms. That was in some sense the “golden age of flying.” Airlines were not allowed to compete on price, so instead, they competed by hiring the most attractive flight attendants, offering the best service, etc. While this may sound nice on some level (setting aside the sexist attitudes that pervaded that era), a basic coach seat on a domestic flight cost the equivalent of thousands of dollars today. Only the rich could afford to fly at all. Consumers are much better off with today’s unregulated market. The reality is that most consumers are much happier to save the thousands they would have paid under the U.S. government regulated system — and if you really want to pay thousands of dollars for basic domestic flights, you can now fly in first class (even first class on a halfway decent airline like Virgin) for much less than it used to cost to fly coach.

    “I’m no great fan of Southwest boarding procedures, but at least they are clear and decent on policies and baggage. I feel confident my purchase bill will not arrive with ‘resort charges’ or extra fees for failing to check baggage at the time of purchase. Surcharges usually come with nasty surprises.” As noted above, I think this is a legitimate concern with respect to airlines that do not include services that consumers expect to be included in the fare they pay up front. But that’s not what we’re talking about with Delta’s new premium cabin. This “surcharge” is included in the fare that consumers are quoted and in the amount they pay at the point they purchase their ticket. There are no surprises later.

  34. @John, you know what, never mind lol. Paraphrase my @ss, it’s a direct quote, clear as daylight. He said outright that it was a “product upgrade”, not a price upgrade. Not that it was much of an “upgrade”, less passenger space from an old seat design that merely had a cheap plastic door slapped on it lol.
    So we are voting with our wallets and encouraging everyone not to get the new seats until Delta drops this ridiculous surcharge lol.
    But please, continue to shill for Delta, I and I am sure others here find it most amusing.

  35. No, I think there is no misunderstanding. Instead I think you are writing a defense of the status quo, not a particularly admirable state, in my estimation. This ” breaking out” certain costs is really only a way of justifying a higher price. It is obfuscatory whoever does it.
    Second, while I cannot pull an economist and a statistician out my pocket to you on costs, my strong sense is that fares are NOT lower as a percentage of income than in a different era. I always wonder what people are talking about when they talk about keeping fares low, “adjusted for inflation,” and so on. No, it simply is NOT true that “While this may sound nice on some level (setting aside the sexist attitudes that pervaded that era), a basic coach seat on a domestic flight cost the equivalent of thousands of dollars today. Only the rich could afford to fly at all. Prices were many times what they are today, in inflation-adjusted terms. ”

    Nonsense. Those prices were middle-class affordable when there was a middle class. I know. I was middle class and I flew regularly from 1955 on — partly because there were suddenly fewer and fewer trains.

    And now? Fares are not low, except in certain exceptional markets. For those of us who are not flying between New York and Los Angeles or Chicago and Cancun, almost no competition exists. The fares are take it or leave it. And, usually the expensive flights involve considerable discomfort and inconvenience, e.g. flights leaving at 5:05AM, flying for 3 hours, whiling away 4-5 hours in Atlanta or Salt Lake City or both, and arriving at the destination at 8:10PM. Even at that we are punished for not booking 3 months in advance. Frankly most of us are stuck with what we can get. Remember flyover country? Well, we often pay far more to get from Denver to Dallas than folks on the coasts pay to go from one to the other.

    Any bargains to be had are leaving the US, not domestically.

    Finally, the surcharge(s) are included in a complex format where — ohmigod — the buyer must beware. Must she ever! In short, buying an airline ticket is almost as complex as buying a house. Of course, if a flier finds the format forbidding and worrisome, he can always pay $25. to have an employee of the airline assist in decoding the complexity. Read a bushel of the reviews of airlines if you think the buying public should not or does not find the process tortuous.

    Finally, surcharges leave the flier with a nasty feeling of being duped even though you say “There are no surprises later.”

    My last Business Class flight on British Airways was loaded with as many extra charges (sur or otherwise) as Ryanair. Then when I went to choose my seat, I was greeted with an extra surcharge for the privilege. No surprises later, indeed.

    This whole process of breaking things out and adding charges is about as meaningful as my monthly internet bill and about as as covert. And remember, the booking public is left not just with one fare to decipher, but comparing choices without the standardized metrics of pre-Reagan days. Am I going to get stuck in one of American’s seats with a 28 inch pitch? No thanks, but how do I guarantee not, even for ready money? Look at Delta’s confusingly named new choices (even without a surcharge.) When everything comes down to inches and being cramped but then is ‘bundled’ with a welcome aboard glass of water or cheap champagne as a benefit, we have another layer of confusion and deception.

    No, surcharges are only a small part of the ugly shell game the airlines play everyday.
    Let’s set aside the notion of competing on the physical attractiveness of FAs, dated, irrelevant and silly even then, I thought. But competing on quality of service. That was a pleasure.
    More important was airlines competed on convenient schedules or even different schedules. There was choice. Now, there is very little choice and jungles of deception and contrivances to hack through.

    May I ask, do you work for Delta?

  36. Mention of the Vantage XL prompted me to check out Thompson Aero’s website – and now I’m asking, why is no one / I haven’t heard rumblings of anyone planning to use their cozy suite product. what’s the catch? It looks perfect as a next gen economy product. http://www.thompsonaero.com/cozysuite

  37. Finnair has galley after the second doors, Qatar before the doors.

    I can’t see the difference between their seat so I assume the difference in measures is just due to the cushion etc.

    When airlines like Delta ask premium for a normal product and sell crap for the normal price I can’t help to wonder don’t they know what rest of the world is doing or simply just don’t care.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *