By Tony D'Astolfo
I read with interest an article about Delta offering to issue annual credits up to $250,000 to their corporate accounts if their on-time performance lags their two biggest rivals, American and United.
True, Delta is dealing from strength here, as their performance currently ranks well ahead of both UA and AA – and has for some time – and they’ve added enough caveats to make this a less risky proposition. But these things aside, I applaud them for taking a stance.
When you have an advantage, you use it. Today, Delta has the advantage. I’m sure there will be some who will point out the caveats and dismiss the program as nothing more than an attention-grabbing gimmick – and maybe it is a little gimmicky, but so what?
The fact is that Delta’s performance is better, and if this program helps call that out, it’s already a success without being launched. And if it is a gimmick, then let’s see the other guys match, because anything that focuses the industry on better performance is ok in my book.
There are already laws on the books that punish airlines for excessive delays, and there are companies, two of which presented at The Travel Innovation Summit at Phocuswright Europe (AirHelp and refund.me), that will help you get your just due. However, delays still occur at an unacceptable rate to most travelers, so for an airline to step up like this without being forced to do so is laudable.
Who knows, maybe AA and UA will match and fuel a race to the top that will create an unprecedented level of on-time performance in the industry. Does anybody have a problem with that?