In 1934, Delta Air Lines carried its first passengers along a mail route between Fort. Worth, Texas, and Charleston, South Carolina. Since then, it has become one of the largest airlines in the world by a number of metrics. In 2019, before the pandemic, it carried more than 200 million passengers.
Serving so many people and getting them to their destination safely and on time is a complex operation with a lot of moving parts. One of the things that makes things so complicated is that people travel for so many different reasons.
Some people travel for work and are primarily concerned with convenient schedules and the benefits that come with frequent travel. On the other hand, these business travelers have very different needs and wants than a family going on vacation. On the one hand, the person who travels for work most often travels alone. A family of five heading to Florida for spring break is a party of five. Chances are they would like to sit together.
As someone who recently booked a trip to Alaska for a family of six this summer, I can attest that it’s often a bigger challenge than you might think. Just because you can select your seats online doesn’t mean there will be the right number together.
Now, however, Delta has such a simple solution that I can’t believe no airline has done this before. As reported by The dot guyDelta is now blocking certain lines on flights that can only be selected by groups of more than three travelers.
Delta says it uses an algorithm to determine how many lines to block on a given flight. For example, routes popular with families will see more reserved rows than those that are more popular with business travellers. As things change, even on a given flight, Delta may adjust the number of seats available for group selection.
In a statement, Delta confirmed the decision and explained why it thinks blocking rows for groups and families is a good idea:
Being a customer-centric brand means we’re constantly working to deliver the best experiences across travel. Taking a dynamic approach with our seat map displays is one way to achieve this by offering preferred seating choices in all cabins – at the time of booking or at the gate when working with an agent – to customers traveling alone or in a group.
Airlines have long allowed people to choose their seats online. Of course, when and how much you have to pay to choose a seat in advance depends on the airline and the type of ticket you buy. If you purchase an economy ticket in a lower fare class, your options for selecting your seat are more likely to be limited.
Sometimes your only option is to show up at the airport and hope someone will voluntarily change your seat when they realize sitting next to your seven-year-old might not be the best fit. way to spend the afternoon. That’s way more stress than anyone needs, especially when you’re heading into what’s supposed to be an enjoyable vacation.
On the other hand, Delta’s solution is based on a simple idea: to make it easier for people traveling in groups to sit together. More importantly, Delta added the feature in an effort to “deliver optimal experiences.”
I like this because what defines an “optimal experience” for a given traveler depends on a series of variables. It depends on their needs and situation.
It’s worth mentioning because sometimes the best way to solve your customer’s problem is to realize that they don’t all have the same problem. This is not only true for airlines. This is true for all businesses. Not all of your customers are the same, and the best experience for each will be different. To pretend that they are, or that they are, begs to be disappointed.