I was afraid something bad would happen.
Something worse than all the other evils that have already happened.
But maybe I didn’t think it would be as bad as this.
Yes, of course we are talking about airlines and specifically Delta.
A few days ago I wondered what the hell was going on at Delta Central† The once reliable airline started behaving as if it had taken way too many snacks at the airport.
Flights were cancelled, pilots were public protest and customers were left in the deplorable condition of their favorite airline.
Now, in what I imagine was a howl of sheer despair, the airline has made a little announcement† A silent kind of announcement. The kind of announcement that told customers, “This is going to be bad. Really bad.”
It didn’t exactly say that, of course. Instead, it presented the announcement as a special, terrifyingly generous offer.
The headline was macabre in its straightforward absurdity: “Delta gives customers the option to change flights before the July 4 trip.”
A more accurate attempt would have been: “Delta tells customers it’s made such a mess that there’s little hope of getting you there.”
The generous offer, in case you got past the headline of Delta, was that passengers could reschedule flights booked for July 1 through 4 to another time. And maybe until another year.
Delta wants you to change your plans for this weekend — yes, the weekend when you were really looking forward to seeing your family, your friends, or a city other than your own for the first time in years — that it lets you not only make changes for free, but also without difference in rates. As long as you fly between the same two cities.
It’s even a boon for Basic Economy passengers with this special offer. Those who have already booked, though.
I’m concerned this isn’t as generous as it sounds. Flights for the weekend of July 4 are likely to be more expensive than most other times of the year. This may not be a profitable switch for you. It’s more that Delta wants you to lend it a hand, shrouded in fear that if you still choose to fly, your plane might not.
Or, in Delta’s words, “Some operational challenges are expected this holiday weekend.”
You can choose to translate this as: “We don’t think we have enough pilots and we’re afraid a lot of people will call in sick with COVID. Or not with COVID. Or even nothing at all, but simply because they see our incompetence so much.” Fed up.”
This, for tech enthusiasts, is the equivalent of Apple telling you you might get your new MacBook Pro next month, or next year.
Delta has long aspired to an Apple-esque status, a brand separate from all its rivals.
Still, the airline’s recent actions have left an unpleasant odor around the airline.
Perhaps Delta made things worse with this sentence: “Delta is expected to carry customer volumes from Friday, July 1 through Monday, July 4, not seen since before the pandemic, as people long to connect with the world.”
The airline, along with its competitors, took billions in government money – its passengers’ own money – precisely to be prepared for the return of the trip. After that, many of the most experienced people were able to retire early. What a money-saving beep that was.
And now Delta says it never expected it to be? I fear some passengers will give rude answers.
Or maybe they learn that Delta offers some passengers $10,000 to board a later flight†
That’s a special offer.
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