In general we’re seeing more and more fees in the airline industry. However, Delta is making a change which counters the industry trend — effective immediately, Delta has eliminated their direct ticketing fees, which apply if purchasing a ticket by phone or in person at an airport.
Previously Delta charged $25 and $35 for ticketing by phone and at an airport, respectively. Here’s the press release about the change, which has some amusing quotes:
Delta Air Lines will no longer charge a fee for customers who purchase their tickets over the phone through Reservation Sales or in person at airports and other ticket office locations.
“It is much simpler for our customers to not have to worry if they will pay a fee for ticketing with Delta,” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s incoming President.
In 2005, Delta instituted a Direct Ticketing Charge of $25 per ticket when purchased over the phone through Reservation Sales and $35 per ticket when purchased at airports and other ticket office locations. Charges varied for some locations outside of the United States. Delta does not charge a fee for customers who purchase tickets on delta.com or through the Fly Delta app.
“This – and every decision we make – is based on engaging with our customers and employees every day,” said Charisse Evans, Delta’s Vice President – Reservation Sales and Customer Care. “By listening, caring and connecting with our customers, we have their backs every time they fly with us. I am extremely proud of our dedicated colleagues who, along with the support of nearly 80,000 Delta employees worldwide, continue to raise the bar by exceeding our customers’ expectations.”
Eliminating the Direct Ticketing Charge is the latest example of the company’s commitment to assisting customers and responding to their feedback before, during and after their travel with Delta.
Okay, we have to give Delta credit for being remarkably consistent. They say one reason they eliminated these fees is because “it is much simpler for our customers to not have to worry if they will pay a fee for ticketing.” That’s the same logic that Delta used for eliminating award charts a bit over a year ago — “it’s much simpler for customers not to have to worry about how many miles an award will cost; instead they can just pay what they’re quoted.”
The other quotes in here are equally amazing:
“This – and every decision we make – is based on engaging with our customers and employees every day”
“By listening, caring and connecting with our customers, we have their backs every time they fly with us. I am extremely proud of our dedicated colleagues who, along with the support of nearly 80,000 Delta employees worldwide, continue to raise the bar by exceeding our customers’ expectations.”
In all honesty, kudos to Delta for eliminating their ticketing fees. At some point this is just the natural evolution of technology. I have a hard time imagining that many people voluntarily book tickets by phone anymore, but rather just when complexities are involved (website issues, etc.). The few old school customers who consistently book by phone are probably great customers, since they’re not doing online comparison shopping, and therefore may be paying higher fares on average.
When that’s the case, penalizing customers doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.
Hopefully other US carriers follow Delta’s lead (as they usually do).
What do you think Delta’s logic was for eliminating these fees?
(Tip of the hat to Points, Miles & Martinis)