Saturday, February 21, 2015

Travelore News: Delta Spins PR By Promising Your Checked Bag Will Arrive In 20 Minutes, But There Are Caveats...

Baggage carousel, photo by  Kenneth Lu via Flickr

Baggage carousel, photo by Kenneth Lu
via Flickr
The PR room at Delta Airlines must be a challenging place to work these days. Considering the seemingly constant flow of bad press, most recently coming from CEO Richard Anderson’s on-air implication of competing Gulf carriers being complicit in the 9/11 attacks. A semi-apology was issued afterwards by the company.
Hoping to spin press in a more positive direction, Delta has taken a page from Alaska Airlines, by adopting its “baggage service guarantee,” which states
“If your baggage is not at baggage claim within 20 minutes of your plane’s arrival at the gate, we’ll offer you a $25 Discount Code for use on a future Alaska Airlines flight, or 2,500 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ Bonus Miles.”
Delta’s version, called “Bags On Time,” offers a less useful version, and with a litany of downright comical caveats in the fine print that quickly diminish the service, now being tested until March 31st.
Firstly, Passengers need to fill out a form on the Delta website three days ahead of their flight to register for it (and of course, there’s no way anyone is going to forget to do that). In addition, it’s only applicable for domestic flights (including Puerto Rico) and SkyMiles members in “good standing;” lost, mishandled, and damaged bags are excluded; oversized, overweight baggage, and special items are not eligible; passengers can only request the service once per trip, regardless of how many checked bags or whether the trip is a one-way or return; and of course, “Delta Air Lines reserves the right to suspend this baggage service guarantee at any time and without prior notice.”
The punchline, however, is reserved for the awarded 2,500 bonus SkyMiles (AKA Skypesos), which have become increasingly worthless as Delta has cemented its standing as America’s worst mileage program.
Nonetheless, it’s nice to see Delta thinking of passengers for once as something more than units to fill a fuselage.
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