Tag Archives: Delta

Delta Increases Same-Day Travel Fees

same-day-travel-fees-delta

Delta has increased the same-day travel fees for tickets issued on March 15, 2017 and moving forward. This is an increase from $50 to $75 USD, affecting non-SkyMiles members, general SkyMiles members, and Silver Medallion members.

Diamond, Platinum and Gold Medallion members will continue to have the same-day travel fees waived, but only if they are not on a restricted fare and their requested flight is eligible. All other rules and restrictions related to Same Day Travel  remain unchanged.

What are same day travel fees?

As a business traveler, you’ve probably been in this situation before. Your day of meetings ends early and you change your flight rather than wait. Or impending weather is coming in and you quickly rearrange travel to avoid it. Fortunately, most airlines understand this is a routine part of the frequent traveler lifestyle.

  • Most same-day changes are valid with travel within the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • These same-day flight changes can be requested within 24 hours prior to the departure time of the original flight, however it can be limited by the available flights leaving.
  • If you have a flexible fare (usually a refundable ticket), you are eligible for same-day travel.
  • If traveling in a premium cabin fare of comfort class, same-day tickets are available, but only if a seat is available on the alternative flight.
  • Basic Economy fares are not eligible for same-day confirmed travel changes.

Christopherson Business Travel is a travel management company for businesses. Tired of staying on top of industry policies, employee itineraries or hotel attachment? We’ve relieved hundreds of companies from travel management overload. With our proprietary technology and dedicated account managers, your travel program is in good hands. Learn how we do it.

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Delta Partially Returning Complimentary Meals

Delta-airlines

Delta does it again.  While most airlines are cutting out snacks and even beverages from their service, Delta announced they are reinstating complimentary meals.  Starting with economy class, Delta began offering free meals late last year for a trial period. Testing out ways to improve customer satisfaction, most fliers were surprised to see the once commonplace amenity again.

Beginning in March, they will offer meals on long-haul domestic flights between JFK and Los Angeles and San Francisco. Later this Spring, complimentary meal service will be added to 10 other major domestic markets including: Boston to San Francisco; Los Angeles and Seattle; Washington National to Los Angeles; JFK to San Diego, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon; and Seattle to Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Raleigh-Durham.

Are in-flight amenities, like complimentary meals returning?

After merges and cutbacks, complimentary meals and even drinks from airlines seemed to be a thing of the past. Now, in an effort to improve customer satisfaction, airlines are returning to these staples. Some have even surpassed the traditional in-flight meal to offer higher value products.

  • United, Delta and American have dramatically improved their airport lounge catering services, offering healthier and fresher options
  • United’s Polaris Class offers locally sourced and seasonal fare
  • Delta’s Intercontinental One Suite also provides a five course meal based on seasonality.
  • JetBlue and American are vying for best in-flight products and service among the legacy carriers.

Delta was the first airline to bring Wi-Fi to domestic flights.  Then in-seat power outlets.  Now meals.  What will be next?  Massage chairs in first class?  Spa services? Massage therapists available after the meal?  One can only dream…

Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company. With more than 60 years of experience, we provide travel solutions with our custom technology and dedicated account management. Contact us to learn how we do it.

A Great Delta Flight Experience With Rough Beginnings

Delta-airlines

We’ve all had those flights—when everything goes wrong. That’s exactly what happened on my recent trip on Delta, but it surprisingly ended on a high note.  Finishing a presentation in South Bend, IN with my co-worker last week; we were connecting through Atlanta on our way home to Salt Lake City, UT. A typical route for any seasoned business traveler, I boarded the plane expecting the usual. Little did I know the delays, complications and cancellations that were waiting for me. Over the course of the next few hours we would move from one plane, to another, and then to the third and final flight to finally get to Atlanta, only to miss my connection to Salt Lake City. Fortunately, I became better acquainted with some delightful fellow travelers and experienced Delta’s amazing employees and new technology in action.

Delta flight faces initial setbacks

The hiccups started when we spent the first 20 minutes on the plane waiting for a working deicing machine. Once we took-off, 15 minutes in to the flight our pilot announced we would be returning to South Bend due to a rudder problem.  Fortunately, our pilot was amazing.  He was informative, positive, and very concerned about his responsibility as our pilot. A few minutes prior to landing he then reassured us that protocol required fire engines and an ambulance to be waiting upon landing.  One passenger nearby was seriously upset about the possible negative outcomes.

We landed, moved everyone to another plane, and sat in the same seating.  The crew on board and the gate folks at South Bend were amazing—calm, informative, and respectful of all travelers.  They also announced that any connections leaving before 9pm would likely be missed, so travelers should reschedule. We pulled away from the gate and our pilot, who I affectionately dubbed ‘Captain America’, very calmly came out of the cockpit and used the loudspeaker in front of us. In a comforting and personal way, he announced that a sensor light needed to be repaired before we could take off.  Encouragingly, he said it would only take 10 minutes.  Personnel were already on their way to repair it, and then we would be off again, hopefully making good time to catch our connections.

Well, the passenger who lost it earlier, immediately hit her flight attendant button. Saying she had a bad feeling, she asked to be removed from the plane and would reschedule to fly tomorrow. The flight attendant, who remained kind and understanding, checked with the pilot and she was able to deplane.  After waiting more than 10 minutes, my co-worker and I both looked at each other— something must be up, again!  Captain America very apologetically stated that the crew was not able to make the repair. We would need to change to yet another plane!  Thankfully, there were additional Delta planes available in South Bend.  Feeling wary from sitting on two planes already, my surrounding fellow travelers and I quietly thought about rescheduling. Most of us realized though, that we had a better chance of getting home early tomorrow morning if we ended up in Atlanta, rather than South Bend.  We grudgingly accepted the bad news.

Delta professionally alleviated a very stressful situation

It was only a few years ago that this same situation would have required hours of standing in long lines. To my surprise upon landing, a notification from the Delta app popped up on my smartphone. With an acknowledgement stating how much Delta appreciated my patience and understanding, it included a list of 4 hotels from which I could choose to spend the night.  I also realized that after boarding plane number two, an email was sent explaining an additional amount of miles had been added to my Delta FFY account!

At 11:30 pm, standing in line at the service counter, feeling very tired and irritated, I thought to myself this is where I’m going to get a little ticked off!!  Amazingly the one and only service counter person directed us all to go to the machines provided off to the side. Instructing us to place our boarding pass code on the scanner to obtain our hotel voucher and boarding pass for our re-accommodated flight for the next day.  That was it! Off we went to catch the 24-hour shuttle to our Westin hotel.

Delta is truly providing great service their customers, even in the worst of situations. Though I was inconvenienced, my stress level was minimal, due to Delta continually striving to climb high in their customer service!  From their kind employees, to their app notifications, and their customer service kiosks, I felt taken care of every step of the way. Kudos to DELTA.

 

Staying Powered While Traveling

Business-travel-managementWe all know the importance of staying connected to the office and home while we’re on the road.  Emails, phone calls and texts don’t stop just because we’re on a business trip.  I had the good fortune to be traveling a couple of weeks ago when Delta experienced their power outage.  Surrounded by chaos, it was almost funny seeing clusters of people tethered to the power stations at the airport.  Eventually though, I became one of the people with a low battery. With cord was plugged into each and every power receptacle, I couldn’t find one open plug.  I traveled down the terminal in hopes of finding a vacant plug, but to no avail.

Finally boarded my Delta flight and there, eight inches from my armrest, was my very own power outlet!  This small feature offered by airlines can make a complete difference in a business travelers’ productivity.  I personally resolved that I had no excuse for lack of productivity while flying ever again.

Charging devices on Delta flights

As Delta planes are being developed or remodeled, electrical charging stations are being added.

  • Standard power outlets are available in all rows of Economy, which includes Economy Comfort, on all Boeing 717 and 737-900ER aircraft.
  • Standard power outlets are also available at rows 10-12 on most 737-700 and MD90 aircrafts.
  • USB power is also available at all seats on 737-700, 737-800, 737-900ER, 757-200 (with personal entertainment) 767-300 aircraft and at all First Class seats on most MD90 aircraft.

I learned that the power strength from these power units isn’t as strong as a traditional power outlet – usually only around 75 watts.  In some cases, the high speed processors in new super-fast laptops cannot operate with the lower level of power.  And there may not be enough strength to operate and charge the battery at the same time.  In fact, some airlines specifically state that battery charging is not allowed and ask you to remove your rechargeable battery from your device.

Flying with Delta during their power outage, surprising made me appreciate the continual upgrades they provide on their flights. From now on, I will never take my personal power outlet for granted. And maybe add a portable battery charger to my packing list too.

Delta One Suite

I am constantly amazed by how Delta Air Lines continues to wow travelers. Even after widespread power outages causing cancelled and delayed flights last week, Delta announced their new international business class service, Delta One suite.

Delta One Suite business travelersInternational Business Class

Delta claims they are the first carrier to offer an all-suite business cabin. This sophisticated business class will consist of ultra wide seats, increased storage, an 18-inch entertainment system and much more. I am most amazed by the increased privacy with individual sliding doors. Not only can you fly comfortably in a fully-reclining seat, but your full-height sliding door will make you feel like you’re falling asleep in the privacy of your own home.

When To Expect Updates

Delta has said the pricing for the new suites will not change from the current Delta One pricing. These suites are expected to be available in Fall 2017, starting with the Airbus A350 fleet. They will then add suites to their Boeing 777 fleet. Already established features of luxury will continue, such as chef-curated meals, wine pairings, Westin Heavenly in-flight bedding, amenity kits, and in-flight lounge wear.

Tim Mapes, Delta’s Senior Vice President said. “Delta continually listens to customers and responds with products that deliver what they want. . . Added comfort and privacy are important to business travelers, and that drove the design of the all-new Delta One suite.” This philosophy is one reason why they are one of my favorite airlines to fly with. (Their cookies might be another reason.) They have a knack for defining traveler pain points and then delivering the best solution available. For example, their new checked baggage system replaces the traditional baggage sorting system with RFID scanner technology. Soon you will be able to determine the exact location of your luggage through their Delta App! Free in-flight entertainment is another feature they have customized over their competitors.

Overall, Delta’s new Delta One suite follows suit with their brand, providing luxury and comfort from the moment you walk on board. Whether you are a business traveler or traveling for leisure, don’t miss out on an opportunity to try out Delta’s latest comforts.

 

Delta Airlines To Increase Presence At London-Heathrow Airport

According to latest reports, Delta Airlines will soon acquire Singapore Airline’s 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic and will gain a larger presence at London Heathrow Airport. The joint alliance means Delta and Virgin Atlantic combined will become the second largest operator between the U.S. and the U.K. with 25% of the market. British Airways and American Airlines combined have a 60% market share. The carriers are confident the Department of Transportation will approve this joint venture by the end of 2013.

Both carriers expect their brands to benefit by the proposed joint venture. Virgin Atlantic already is top choice for many U.S. travelers to the UK. And will benefit greatly from Delta’s strong domestic route network. Delta is already considered a popular airline choice for Europe-bound business travelers, they’ve just lacked sufficient airlift into London.

The newly announced alliance is great news for Christopherson’s corporate accounts, particularly for business travelers in the Salt Lake City market and surrounding Rocky Mountain region. Travelers of both carriers will soon have greater access to a broader network, reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, and improved connectivity to London Heathrow from both New York’s LaGuardia and JFK airports.

Christopherson congratulates Delta Airlines on their new venture and we look forward to offering this new service to our corporate and leisure clients.

Business Travelers Achieve Delta Silver Medallion with SkyBonus

Looking to achieve a Delta Silver Medallion for 2013?

First, check to see if your company is enrolled in the Delta SkyBonus program, which provides small to medium-sized companies with a way to earn points based on your company’s travel spend with Delta. SkyBonus points can then be redeemed for more than 45 different rewards like tickets, upgrades, Sky Club lounge access, and even a Delta Silver Medallion. It’s the only way to be appointed a Delta Silver Medallion without having to achieve 30 qualification segments or flying 25,000 Medallion Qualification Miles during a calendar year.

And while your company continues to earn Delta SkyBonus points, you, as the traveler, will continue to earn miles with your Delta SkyMiles program. It’s a complete win/win solution!

For more information in enrolling in this Delta Rewards program, please contact an Account Manager at Christopherson Businesss Travel today!

 

Delta Wi-Fi: Above It All, Stay Connected

From business travelers to teenagers to blogging moms, all your online needs can now be taken care of in the sky.

Delta Airlines now offers in-flight Wi-Fi Access on more than 3,000 domestic flights daily. Depending on your needs, packages are available for purchase and offer everything from a one-time access lasting 24 hours to yearly memberships.

Delta has been the industry leader in offering this service to their guests and if you are wondering if your flight will have Wi-Fi access you can check the Delta website under My Trips. According to the Delta website, Wi-Fi is not yet available on international flights, but is available within the Continental U.S. and Alaska (although you may experience interruptions to your service in Alaska).

Air France and KLM Modify Various Joint Baggage Policies

An update from Delta regarding baggage policies on Air France and KLM:

(April 12, 2012) – Effective for tickets issued on/after April 16, 2012, Air France and KLM are modifying their joint baggage policy. The changes will further align the Air France and KLM baggage policies with Delta’s baggage policies. Some changes are in compliance with DOT EAPP requirements.

Golf Bags: Effective for tickets issued on/after April 16, 2012, a golf bag will be counted as a “normal” piece of baggage as part of the free baggage allowance. Flying Blue Golf Club members will continue to be able to check-in a golf bag for free as an additional piece of baggage not counted as part of the free allowance.

Bicycles: Effective for tickets issued on/after April 16, 2012, a bicycle will be counted as a “specialty” item which is charged as an additional item over the free baggage allowance. Specialty items are charged regardless of whether or not the customer has any checked bags. Charges for excess weight apply for bicycles weighing more than 23 kg (50 lbs).

Surfboards: Effective for tickets issued on/after April 16, 2012, surfboards between 107 cm and 200 cm in length (between 42 in and 78 in) will be counted as a “specialty” item which is charged as an additional item over the free baggage allowance. Specialty items are charged regardless of whether or not the customer has any checked bags. Charges for excess weight apply for surfboards weighing more than 23 kg (50 lbs). Surfboards less than 107 cm (42 in) in length will continue to be counted as a “normal” piece of baggage counted as part of the free allowance.

Charges for Specialty items: In compliance with DOT EAPP requirements, the charge for transporting specialty items will be USD 150 departing from the USA and EUR 105 departing from Europe.

Currency change: To comply with DOT EAPP requirements, for tickets issued on/after April 16, 2012, the fees for excess baggage in African markets using the XAF or XOF as local currency will be based on the USD equivalent instead of the EUR equivalent

The 2-piece exception in Economy class: The 2-piece exception allowing economy class travelers traveling between the USA and Canada, and certain destinations in Central and Western Africa to travel with two free pieces of baggage (instead of the standard allowance of one piece) has been extended for travel to/from N’djamena, Chad (NDJ) and Malabo, Equatorial Guinea (SSG), effective for travel on/after April 16, 2012.

For complete Air France baggage information, visit airfrance.com.

For complete KLM baggage information, visit klm.com.

For complete Delta baggage information, please visit delta.com.

J.D. Powers and Associates Travel Ratings

Every year J.D. Powers and Associates surveys thousands of people, including thousands of travelers, hoping to make life easier for consumers. As an Account Manager for Christopherson Business Travel who works closely with travelers and travel managers, I feel that the results of this survey can be very valuable as decisions are made that can significantly affect how pleasant a travel experience can be.  These results will not only assist corporate road warriors and business travelers, but those who travel for leisure  can certainly benefit from the results of this survey as they research car rental companies, hotels and airlines.  To read about consumer satisfaction among major travel industry vendors click here.