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travatl
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Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 12:37 am

Delta Tests Innovative One-class Product in Houston and Kansas City
Monday November 10, 10:05 am ET
SkyMiles(R) members can earn 2,000 bonus miles


ATLANTA, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL - News) will be testing an innovative one-class service on selected flights between Atlanta and Houston and between Atlanta and Kansas City from November 11, 2003 to January 31, 2004. SkyMiles members who fly on test flights during this period may earn up to 2,000 bonus miles.
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The tests will be conducted on 12 flights between Atlanta and Houston Hobby Airport and 16 flights between Atlanta and Kansas City. The service enhancements are designed to provide extra comfort and convenience for business travelers.

"Business travelers spend a great deal of their time in the airport and on airplanes," said Patrice Miles, vice president of Consumer Marketing. "Our goal is to create a differentiated travel experience during the time they spend with Delta by providing them with small but important and convenient amenities."

At the boarding gate in Houston and Kansas City, passengers traveling on morning flights will receive complimentary Java City coffee and USA Today newspapers. Customers onboard all test flights will receive a wider selection of branded snacks including mini-Toblerone® chocolate bars, Cape Cod® pretzels and Goldfish® snack crackers. In-flight entertainment has also been expanded to include highly-rated television shows like Law & Order, West Wing, Jag, Monk and Trading Spaces. Additionally, between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. local time, passengers onboard will receive one complimentary cocktail, beer or wine.

Flying the one-class 737-800 on these routes makes Delta the only carrier to offer an entire aircraft with a 36-inch seat pitch in these markets. The aircraft also offers customers a comfortable cabin interior with all-leather seats, expanded legroom and Empower® outlets at every seat.

The product enhancement test using a one-class airplane is just one element in Delta's strategy to make travel easier at every touch point -- whether on the phone, at the airport or in the air.



Hmmm..... is this a new "business passenger's version" of Song?

Interesting.....

Travis

1 Interview. 24 years. 3 Airlines.
 
gigneil
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 12:42 am

This is DL trying to get the best use out of their Shuttle configured 738s.

DL has been playing radio ads in the DC area advertising this service as well... "a first class experience on every flight" with all leather seats and upgraded snacks.

They also were specifically not saying Shuttle... so I think they might be planning this service in DC. There are also signs at most Metrobus stops advertising it.

N
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 12:45 am

The ads you're seeing in the DC area are actually for the Shuttle.

As for this move by DL, I guess it depends on your perspective. If you are flying in coach, this is a nice move by DL. If you are a business passengers expecting an upgrade to First, you probably won't like this move.
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:31 am

The tests will be conducted on 12 flights between Atlanta and Houston Hobby Airport and 16 flights between Atlanta and Kansas City.

I don't think it's a coincidence that these test markets happen to be Southwest Airlines strongholds, either. If DL really wanted to test the Houston market, why choose HOU over IAH other than to see how they'd fare in WN's backyard?
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:31 am

I'm sure this is some sort of transition from Song testing the single-class waters. to perhaps Delta doing that on all domestic flights.. I'd give up the possibility of First or Business Class on domestic flights if there's more room and the availability of food for purchase and inflight entertainment....
Great Lakes, great life.
 
Guest

RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:38 am

These flights/cities are already served by the Shuttle aircraft on weekends, so why not market it as something different than regular DL service as the aircraft is different (legroom/seats/oneclass).

So basically they are taking the Shuttle product to other markets.
 
nwcoflyer
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:46 am

Is DL going to add a 5th livery for this product?  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
767Lover
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:54 am

Does anyone know how to get on one of these flights? I have reasons to go to MCI.
 
flyboyaz
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:09 am

Maybe they will add the B738 to the Song fleet?
Catch a ride on a smile!
 
Kohflot
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:11 am

MDW is another all-ex-Shuttle 738 market. I wonder why it's not included in the test.

This is a very interesting development.. and perhaps someone with a background in the financial side of things can answer these questions:

If this is Delta experimenting with a new one-class product for possible rollout system-wide, can they make money with every 732, 733, 738, 752, 762, domestic 763, 764, M90, and M88 configured with leather seats and 36" of pitch? Might a simplified cabin lead to a simplified fare structure?
Ask why..
 
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FlyPIJets
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:15 am

Maybe Delta's going to bring back the businessman's flights that UA had in the 1960's
Rex Kramer: Get that finger out of your ear! You don't know where that finger's been!
 
plugger
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:28 am

Delta has had all-coach 737-800s in the Sarasota market for some time now.
The seat pitch is not 36" however and the leather seats are just as narrow and hard as the clothe ones on other aircraft. Delta is trying to paint a sow's ear in gold flake and it won't fool anyone. Who cares if the FA's fling a larger bag of crappy pretzels at you? Delta is further degrading itself and attempting to hornswoggle the public at the same time. Business flyers? The new all-coach 737-800s are exactly like their Song product but without tv.
 
luv2fly
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:31 am

Plugger

You said it best "Who cares if the FA's fling a larger bag of crappy pretzels at you? Delta is further degrading itself and attempting to hornswoggle the public at the same time. Business flyers? The new all-coach 737-800s are exactly like their Song product but without tv."

I think DL is running scared after there 3rd quarter loses and are trying to be all things to all people, in other words grasping at straws.







[Edited 2003-11-10 18:34:54]
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
MCIB757
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:33 am

Other than MCI and Houston being WN strongholds, why else would DL pick those to cities. To me it seems like there trying to be like YX, which has a hub in MCI. Anyone else have other opinions?
Maybe ill have to take a trip down to ATL, hehe.

Tom
"God bless catastrophe..."
 
DeltaSFO
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:36 am

This is great reading.... Delta comes up with an idea for the idle DLS 738s and, predictably, the "experts" of airliners.net are shouting about Delta's impending demise and self destruction.

By the way Plugger, the all coach 738s do have 36 inch pitch throughout. Bring your tape measure next time.
It's a new day. Every moment matters. Now, more than ever.
 
Guest

RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:40 am

DeltaSFO,
Nobody predicted DL's "impending demise and self destruction." Some people just think it's ridiculous that DL issues a press release detailing their new "innovative" product that "enhances" the company's image.
 
aviaction
Posts: 253
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:50 am

From a marketing point of view, Delta is creating one disaster after the other. Not that long ago, they had one of the strongest and most trusted brands on the US airline market. However, instead of further enhancing "brand awareness and recognition" (offering a "uniform" product, where the customers exactly know what to expect) they dilute their brand until no common standard, no recognition is left. I wonder how long Mars would remain on the market, if one of their bars tasted like this, the next one like that.
German by nationality, European by heart!
 
MAH4546
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 3:06 am

I find it odd that Delta is just starting to adveritse this. They have been flying 738s in Shuttle configuration on ATL-HOU, and some other ATL routes, for about a year now. I'm guessing the new added services are what is new, however.
a.
 
Lindy
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 3:34 am

This is great reading.... Delta comes up with an idea for the idle DLS 738s and, predictably, the "experts" of airliners.net are shouting about Delta's impending demise and self destruction.

DeltaSFO, I was just thinkink about posting something like this myself.
They haven't yet start that service but "experts" of airliners.net already closed the case and wrote RIP on Delta's future plans.

Yeap, great reading  Smile

Rafal
BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
FrequentFlyKid
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 3:39 am

I flew an ex-shuttle 738 from on the ATL-HOU route and it's nothing special. Seat pitch was okay, but not "first class," like the add states. Upgraded snacks? Who cares. It's like Hydrox cookies versus Oreo cookies.
 
aviaction
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 4:11 am

DeltaSFO and Lindy: if Delta's diversification policy is such a perfect idea, how come that in the States those airlines fare best and grow fastest that offer anything but a diversified product? JetBlue, Frontier, Southwest offer a "brand" service, very clearly specified, the passenger knows what to expect, knows what he gets. This is what "brand" is all about.
German by nationality, European by heart!
 
Lindy
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Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 10:42 pm

RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 4:31 am

So Southwest is advertizing on national TV that they product suck?
Frontier? Over rated product. Their service suck too.
I never had a chance to try JetBlue so I can't say anything about them.

"brand" = no service

Rafal
BWIADCA - Nikon D100
 
luv2fly
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 4:46 am

You know why I shop at Target, because when I go in the stores all are similar, the service is similar and the prices are the same, no matter what Target I shop at? Why did I stop shopping KMart even tho I grew up with them? Inconsistency across the board.

What happens when I get off my supposedly upgrade shuttle aircraft and go back to DL mainline, where is the extra leg room, the upgraded snacks, and what happens when I ask about them and get the blank look from Hilda who knows nothing about this test and answer me like I'm an idiot.....
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
aviaction
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 6:21 am

RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 4:47 am

No, that wasn't my point! Personally I wouldn't mind if the majority of airlines upgraded their service. Not at all. It is something to be wished for. And I think the new product is quite good - however, together with Song it makes Delta mainline product even look worse and less desirable.
German by nationality, European by heart!
 
aviaction
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 6:21 am

RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 4:52 am

Thanks, Luv2fly, you managed to find better words than I did. That's what I tried to explain, the consistency of the service. Well, you beat me to it.
German by nationality, European by heart!
 
2cn
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 4:58 am

FrequentFlyKid: Seat pitch was okay, but not "first class," like the add states.

it doesn't state first class anywhere in the press release, they aren't caling 36" of pitch first class (it is just two inches less than first class).
 
atcboy73
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 5:41 am

These are also both Air Tran markets.

How long, when will it happen, will it happen and if so who will pull first class out of the cabin?

Could this be Delta testing the waters to see what its customers think?
 
Tango-Bravo
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:00 am

After one gets past the typical smoke being blown by Delta, and the disingenuous spin on their one-class mainline experiment, and all of the "expertise" of airliners.net posters...

Could it be that Delta, in spite of itself, is actually doing the right thing for the right reason? (albeit on an experimental basis) Could it be that somewhere in their ivory towers they have made a de facto resolution that goes something like this:

Whereas the U.S. cartel airlines have "succeeded" in turning first class into a non-profit freeloaders paradise... and whereas what customers are willing to pay to fly in first class does not begin to equal the added costs of providing such service... and whereas there is no reason to believe this will change... and whereas our stated objective is to earn a fair return on our shareholders' investment... It is hereby resolved that every reasonable step will be taken to eliminate the loss-producing perk known as first class from our domestic flights.

Keep in mind, I'm merely posing the above as a possible motivation for Delta's one-class mainline announcement in two of their markets with aircraft already so configured. I thought it would be fun to state what may be their reasoning in a "no spin" version.

There is little doubt in my mind that Delta may be "testing the waters." Like most (or all) of the U.S. full service network airlines, Delta is no doubt well aware of the fact that first class on U.S. domestic flights has become a loss-leader perk on which there is no corresponding return to offset the losses incurred by the non-profit freeloaders paradise that the cabin at the front of the bus has become, due to the mindless largess of the marketing departments who have been allowed to become the proverbial tail that wags the dog at the U.S. legacy airlines.

 
worldtraveler
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:28 am

More significantly, give Delta credit for recognizing that the current level of service could use some upgrades. Given that JetBlue raised the bar for service considerably, Delta recognizes that they have a real opportunity to take the ex-Shuttle 738's and try them in new waters. There sure will be some inconsistency in the testing and transition phase but given that the product is better than the rest of the mainline product, you will either by pleasantly surprised if you didn't know about these particular aircraft or your expectations were met if you did know about them. Considering these are not JetBlue routes, the service is better than the competitors and they will undoubtedly determine whether it can move passengers to Delta. First class aside, perhaps this is the beginning of something that enhances the coach product across the board. Given that Delta and Delta Connection operate something like 800+ jets, I would expect a bit of experimentation before they sign up for a fleetwide reconfiguration. Here's hoping their tests are swimmingly positive.
 
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Aloha717200
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Wed Nov 12, 2003 5:07 am

I just heard about this on our local news today. Considering that SLC is THE international airport for the area, apparently it's news worthy of being the top story for the day.

Delta elminates first class on 16 jets. I actually think this will be successful. If they plan on changing out the seats, and making them leather, offering increased service and more legroom, I imagine that it'll balance out fairly nicely. Although you're putting more seats in the plane without first class, the additional legroom actually takes additional seats out of the plane, so the capacity of the aircraft actually remains relatively the same. You do lose that high fare ticket from first class, but you improve the economy product, which is where most people fly anyway. It boosts the experience.

This is good because although I love Delta, they really are not much more than a bus with wings at the moment. Hopefully if this works their image with the public will be higher.

At least this is what our local news described. The leather seats and all. They also mentioned increased inflight entertainment. Does that mean PTV's?

Best of luck to Delta on this venture. It's almost as if they're rebranding themselves.
 
Guest

RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Wed Nov 12, 2003 5:11 am

Delta elminates first class on 16 jets.

Actually they're just using existing Shuttle aircraft, which are already in this configuration, if I'm not mistaken.

At least this is what our local news described. The leather seats and all. They also mentioned increased inflight entertainment. Does that mean PTV's?

No, they are showing recently run NBC shows like West Wing and Law & Order on the existing overhead screens.


Delta already runs Shuttle aircraft to HOU and MCI. All they are doing is upgrading the service on these aircraft. These planes flying these routes is nothing new.
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Wed Nov 12, 2003 5:12 am

I've never been a big Delta fan, but this is the kind of thing I've thought the major carriers should do anyway. If First Class is such a financial drag, then do away with it and give EVERYBODY a little more room. I'll be watching this with great interest!
Great Lakes, great life.
 
mikeymike
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Wed Nov 12, 2003 5:13 am

The new all coach product is just the shuttle aircraft in different markets. The people who say it is not 36" of pitch on those 737-800's obviously do not know what they are talking about. It is in fact 36" of pitch because the aircraft have not been reconfigured.
 
AA54Heavy
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Wed Nov 12, 2003 5:44 am

Perhaps I've missed the boat on this one, but why is there such a surplus of Delta Shuttle aircraft, is it just because of the economic downturn and their reduction of shuttle flights in the northeast?
Roger that, turning to our "other" left
 
ord
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Wed Nov 12, 2003 6:39 am

The 737-800s fitted with one-class leather seats and extra legroom are no longer used on Shuttle routes. They have been switched to mainline but were never reconfigured. 737-300s were reconfigured in one-class and replaced the 737-800s on the Shuttle routes.
 
jrlander
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Wed Nov 12, 2003 7:38 am

I can see Delta converting some of its domestic fleet to this set-up if these tests are successful. However, I cannot see them converting 767's flown on domestic flights, especially for coast-to-coast flying. There the demand for first class should still exist.

However, I can see them offering a upgraded coach class even on routes with first class.

This really seems to be a good way of testing some new ideas. I can't imagine that if they do reconfigure planes, that they will look just like the Shuttle aircraft. They may 34" pitch vs. 36" pitch. I would also expect them to put the Song IFE in if it will make a difference. But here they are using planes which are a bit nicer of a product to test some innovations. I hope they have some success.
 
bucky707
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Wed Nov 12, 2003 7:49 am

Delta is not testing a new product. No matter how they try to spin it, basically it comes down to this. They took a bunch of -800s off the shuttle, and don't want to take the time or spend the money to convert them to the standard mainline configuration.
 
TLHFLA
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Wed Nov 12, 2003 9:45 am

I wonder if they will remove the Shuttle title from the exterior of the ex-Shuttle planes. The ex-Shuttle 738's flying in/out of TLH still have the Delta Shuttle title painted on them.
Bill in ATL
 
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Aloha717200
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RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:10 am

"Delta Shuttle" is a sticker. It can be taken off easily. No painting required.  Smile
 
Guest

RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Wed Nov 12, 2003 11:24 pm

Me thinks my notion of improved pitch if they are doing away with First doesn't look so far fetched today...

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy

[Edited 2003-11-12 15:25:59]
 
ord
Posts: 1408
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 1999 10:34 pm

RE: Delta's New One Class Non-Song Product

Wed Nov 12, 2003 11:56 pm

"Delta is not testing a new product. No matter how they try to spin it, basically it comes down to this. They took a bunch of -800s off the shuttle, and don't want to take the time or spend the money to convert them to the standard mainline configuration."

Regardless of how the planes got there, if Delta monitors what people think, surveys them and determines next steps based on passenger feedback, that is a test.

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