Both American and Delta offer what they refer to as “shuttle” service on the east coast, where select markets receive extra service. American offers this for flights between Boston, New York LGA, and Washington DCA, while Delta offers this for flights between New York LGA and Boston, Chicago, and Washington DCA. The intent is to offer additional service on highly competitive business routes.
On top of the east coast shuttle, since May of 2016 Delta has been offering shuttle service on select west coast flights. This has obviously been designed to give them a competitive advantage, since they’re just growing their Seattle hub. Specifically, Delta has shuttle flights in the following markets:
- Los Angeles and San Francisco
- Los Angeles and Seattle
- Seattle and San Francisco
What makes these shuttle flights special? Here’s what they currently offer:
- Check-in as close as 30 minutes prior to departure
- Dedicated check-in counters exclusively for Shuttle customers
- Gates located near security
- Complimentary newspapers
- Complimentary onboard snacks provided by Luvo, a California-based lifestyle food brand, offering great-tasting, good-for-you food
- Complimentary beverages in-flight, including craft beer and wine in all classes of service
As you can see, getting things like free alcoholic drinks and snacks on such a short flight is pretty awesome.
Unfortunately it would appear as if Delta hasn’t been getting much of an ROI on offering this. As of January 4, 2018, Delta will no longer offer shuttle service on any west coast flights. This doesn’t actually mean that any schedules are changing, but rather just that they inflight service is changing.
I’m not surprised to see this change, as I doubt they saw much of a revenue premium from this, and serving free drinks and snacks adds up with the number of flights they offer. The cost of flights up and down the coast has gone way down thanks to the amount of competition. I also have to say that I think Delta did a lousy job marketing their shuttle flights, as I had almost forgotten that they even offered these.
Are you surprised to see Delta discontinue their west coast shuttle flights?
(Tip of the hat to Points, Miles & Martinis)