Service Hall of Shame — Delta Air Lines

I have flown well over 3 million miles with Delta, retaining Sky Priority status when my Platinum and Diamond credentials aged out. I supposedly still receive exemplary service.

I recently flew from my home in Washington, DC to Orlando for a business meeting. I sat in 30E to Atlanta, then 32B to Orlando, and 35F on the return. About the worst seats you can get for $760. Delays on each of the three flights were an hour or so.

Gate agents for all three flights, especially Peter in Orlando, were not at all interested in my questions or concerns.  For the last flight, I attribute the chilly belligerence to hordes of massive strollers, some double deckers, with children clutching large stuffed animals.

Why can Delta charge premium prices for clearly inferior service? I think it is because we put up with it. We even bail them out financially when they encounter rough spots, as they did during the pandemic.  They apparently feel their livelihoods are entitled.

We could be much more proactive, boycotting American, Delta, and United until they lower prices and improve service. Of course, the government might continue to pay salaries for those not working.  They might nationalize the airlines to assure continued service.

At an extreme, people could protest by minimizing consumption of everything. The government might respond with incentives such as tax holidays.  This might lead to lawsuits that would make their way to the Supreme Court over a several years.

I know this sounds ridiculous, but it begs the question of who is in charge. Do market consumers determine priorities, as well as demand and receive good service?  Or, does corporate America orient their priorities around controlling costs to maximize revenues, profits, and executive bonuses?  Who is serving who?

Corporate priorities cause us to have the highest OECD costs of healthcare and education, combined with poorest performance. People are making lots of money while patients and students suffer. Delta’s enormous profits and executive bonuses are their dominant objectives, not satisfied customers, despite their kind words on this.

I hasten to note that I have offered many blog posts over the years on the airline industry, none of them complimentary. I am old enough to remember when air travel was a pleasure.  Now, they deserve a whole wing of the Service Hall of Shame.

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