Though generally I think Ben and Tiffany are in the tank for American Airlines, even they begrudgingly acknowledge that Delta is doing a lot of things right. Delta may have an inferior frequent flyer program from a consumer perspective, but — as I’ve argued on this blog before — it’s a superior airline in nearly every other respect.
It’s hard to empirically argue this, but to me Delta has a certain style and sleekness that American and United lack. Ben makes fun of me day and night for that argument (“What do you need style for? Can style get you two tickets in Cathay Pacific first class?”), but I legitimately feel that Delta nails it with providing as stylish an experience as you can get on a domestic air carrier. I’ve finally gotten Ben to admit that SkyClubs are legit better than Admirals Clubs, United Clubs or Board Rooms.
Sure, it’s marketing. But it’s terrific marketing.