Delta Airlines

Fly Delta for the iPad.

As more and more companies try to invent ways of being a more relevant brand experience for their customer base, many are looking to lifestyle branding as a solution. 10 years ago Delta Airlines would have leveraged itself as a “services” brand highlighting things like the least amount of delays, on time record, more cities than any other airline, etc. With the launch of the new iPad Fly Delta app, it seems fairly apparent they want to be seen as a lifestyle brand by connecting with you, the savvy travel before, during, and after your trip.

The new app not only helps you book your flight and check in, it also makes suggestions for entertainment, dining, and shopping. It connects all of the top social networks and makes intelligent recommendations for you based on your posts, checkins, and what your friends are saying and doing. The app itself looks pretty good, although I’m not sure it will change that many peoples brand perception of Delta.

One big question is, how do you use it on the flight if your plane doesn’t have WiFi?

Touch the Future of Travel. Razor Fish and Delta Airlines.

This is probably something I’ll never personally experience since I rarely fly first class, or gain access to the VIP lounge at any venue. None the less the technology in combination with environment is solid way of promoting Delta airlines.

Razor Fish has developed a highly interactive experience for Delta at the newly renovated Madison Square Garden in New York. “Touch the Future of Travel” utilizes touch screen monitors, and interactive travel applications to help those lucky enough to be in the VIP lounge discover new destinations, with curated content from around the globe.

The touch screens encourage users to interact by adding phrases, photos, and comments, which trigger travel recommendations for the future.  When you are finished browsing, all of the recommendations can be transferred to your smart phone by simply scanning a QR code that appears on screen. Along with seamless connectivity to your phone, Razor Fish built in Social Networking features that allow you to share your experience with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare.

While I might not ever experience this in person, what is shown in the video looks like a solid example of using technology to create an extended experience that keeps the Delta brand relevant to their target customer base. It also helps to extend brand reach across multiple social channels beyond the VIP venue at Madison Square Garden. It’ll be interesting to see if Delta installs this same kind of lounge at other venues around the world in the future.


The Delta Disaster. Traveling Home From France.

After 10 days in France we flew home from Nice. I was going to write a big old thing about the experience, but I decided that since I had a detailed time line of events that I had kept on  my iPhone. I would just post it instead. The whole event is almost comical  in it’s overarching stupidity. From Delta policies, to Deltas interaction with it’s hotel partners.

I want to say, we got lucky. They sent us to the Doubletree by JFK in New York. Other people on the flight got sent to some off brand hotel that was apparently very bad. Rooms with no sheets, pillows, or towels. So it could have been much worse for us.

All of this took place between 7:00 AM Sunday Morning, and 10:45 today

8:00 AM We have a 45 minute delay in Nice waiting for the flight  crew to arrive. The Delta terminal has the Air Conditioning turned off. The temperature is over 80 with no air circulation. According to the nice man from Nice airport building services, it is up to Delta to turn on the air conditioning and Delta does not want to. Out by the main terminal, the temp is about 70. Unfortunately we can’t hang out there since we have already checked in.

10:30 AM We are finally leaving Nice. The crew is mostly American, and the young lady on the PA is butchering the French language so much that the Spanish attendant has taken over for her.

2:00 PM Arival at JFK in New York. We have a 40 minute walk to the next terminal.

2:40 PM Bags took 40 plus to arrive so we could go through American customs. Good thing we have pleanty of time between flights.

3:15 PM The JFK Delta Terminal is pure shit. It’s 90 degrees and like Nice there is no AC until next week. According to Delta it’s not hot enough outside yet. New York has been in the 80’s for the last 5 days.  People are complaining and getting sick from the heat. It is so warm and stifling, drink vendors only have warm drinks in the coolers. There is nothing cold left unless you go to a bar or fast food place and get a drink to go.

4:30 PM Delta just announced that the First officer is a no show. Can’t fly until he arrives.

5:15 PM Delta just announced that the 1st officer and the head flight attendant are no shows. Can’t fly until they arrive.

5:30 PM Delta just announced that the 1st officer has arrived, still no flight attendant.

6:30 PM (this is when we should be taking off) Delta just pushed our flight back 1 hour to a 7:30 departure.

7:00 PM Delta just pushed our departure time back another hour.

7:15 PM Delta just announced that they are getting a new head flight attendant for us and she should be here with in the next 30 minutes.

7:55 PM Delta just canceled our flight out.

8:05 PM Delta just told everyone to go to gate 24 and “they will figure it out over there”. (That is a direct quote)

8:45 PM We are about 100 in a line of at least 200. Just overheard that there are no more flights from JFK to KC tonight. Laguardia’s last flight to KCI is at 8:30, it’s now  8:45 now. Guess we missed that one too. Were hosed.

9:15 PM out of the 6 people working the counter. 3 just went on break. No one has shown up to replace them.

10:45 PM After more than 2 hours in line, we get to the ticket counter to find out we really have no options. We are spending the night. The woman we are working with has just come on duty so she is trying to help. One guy that was on break just came out of the back room, saw the line and said “Fuck Me”, to the crowd. Down the way there is a group of men from South Africa that are moving to the United States. They barely speak english. The woman that is working with them just strong armed two groups of the men into sharing rooms. She gave the only woman a room to herself only after she complained to the supervisor and a gentleman in line stepped up to help her. This is horrible. They are forcing these guys to share rooms and using the language barrier to justify their actions.

10:30 PM Alecia has us going to the Doubletree. We have been given meal vouchers worth $7.00 each. We also have a ground transportation voucher for $25.00.

10:40 PM The 7:15 AM flight from Laguardia is now full, Delta is trying to force us to wait until the 6:00 PM tomorrow JFK flight home.

10:45  PM Alecia managed to get us on an 11:15 AM flight out of Laguardia tomorrow.

10:50 PM Delta just told us if we want our luggage it is a 2 hour wait to have it brought to bag claim. We are going to the hotel with what we have on.

10:55 PM We have walked to the area where we need to catch the train to our hotel. At this location, Delta bag service is supposed to have toothbrush/paste for us. They don’t.

We just had a 45 minute train and bus ride to the doubletree.

11:30 PM we just got to the Doubletree and want to get food. The kitchen is only taking to go orders and only for the next 10 minutes. Delta and the Doubletree require us to be checked in before we can buy food. The lady at the hotel restaurant takes pity on us, places our order and I go to check in.

11:35 PM Alexandra at the Doubletree puts us in a suite since we are leaving later than most from the canceled Delta flight. She books ground transportation to Laguardia. Things are looking up. (not so fast…)

11:45 PM Our meal vouchers are worth 7 bucks. All meals are at least 12. The menu is crap. The healthiest choice is Stale chicken tenders and fries. This just cost me 12.95 beyond my $6.00 voucher. Pure Bullshit.

Midnight. The 2 drinks we had in bar just set me back 22 bucks. This is for a short pour of Smirnoff on the rocks with a lemon wedge.

The next day.

7:00 AM Our breakfast vouchers are worth $7.00, The doubletree has two choices, a buffet for 15.95, or continental breakfast for $10.00. There are no meals. Just buffet or coffee, juice and toast. If you want it you owe 8, or 3 respectively.

7:45 AM
Talking to others that were on our flight. Half the people that got food vouchers, had vouchers labeled “lunch”, so the Doubletree refused to honor them for dinner meals. Delta issued the lunch vouchers at 9:00 PM knowing people would be buying dinner later at the hotel that night. According to a Doubletree manager, Delta does this all the time knowing people won’t be able to use them, and hopefully Delta won’t be out the money. Shame on Delta.

8:10 AM The ground transport vouchers to Laguardia, are good for 1 person and for 25 bucks. The cost per person to Laguardia, is 38.95 bucks each. The driver felt sorry for us and only charged us for one person.

9:15 AM We just got to Laguardia and checked in. Looks like our flight is on time and going to leave with a full crew.

9:45 AM We just found out that Delta over booked the 7:15 flight and half the people got rolled to our 11:15 flight with priority given to those that were scheduled for those flights originally. Delta just announced that the 11:15 flight might get bumped to 6:00 PM.

11:00 AM after some delay Delta just called us to board. The flight is supposed to leave at 11:15 that isn’t gonna happen. They didn’t call us by zones. No orderly zone 1, then 2… Just a all zones all passengers at once. It’s a Giant cattle call.

11:15 AM We get downstairs and I think we are getting on the plane, but they are putting us on the bus and driving us to another terminal.

11:25 AM We just got off the bus and they are having us board a commuter jet that is so small the jetway can’t get low enough to reach the door. This plane maybe holds 60 people. The seats are so short, my butt barley fits on it. And it’s rock hard. This is going to be an interesting 2 hours.

11:45 AM The captain just told us the flight is 3 and a half hours. This plane must not go very fast. Must be the rubber band powered engines.

12:15 PM The Captain just came on the PA and said we can’t take off because we do not have our flight plan and some other paper work. They are waiting for a courier to bring them to the plane. Once we get them we will take off for sure.

12:45 PM The plane has pushed back about 50 feet and we are just sitting.

12:50 PM The captain just came on the PA and said that they are fixing the paper work and flight plan. When it is fixed we will take off.

1:05 PM The captain just came on the PA and said because we were not a regularly scheduled flight with Delta, there is a ton of traffic on the tarmac and they are trying to figure out where to put us in the line up. As soon as they do that we will take off for sure.

By the way we have been told we can’t get up to use the bathroom, or anything. We have been sitting 50 feet from the gate since 11:30 AM.

1:35 PM we finally push back to the taxi way. I think we are about 5 minutes shy of when they have to ask the passengers if they want to return to the terminal.

4:30 PM we are in Kansas City

5:00 PM Delta lost our bags. They might be in Atlanta.

1:15 AM Delta called. My bags are in Atlanta. They will be delivered between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM.

10:45 AM the bags arrived at the house. Funny the white Suit jacket that was in a garment bag, zipped closed inside a zipped closed suit case appears to have a tire mark across the front of it. Lets see, when I packed it in Nice it was clean. When I got in KC it had been run over by something. Now how did that happen, unless the bag was opened and maybe gone through.

2:00 PM Delta sent an email to Kristy, saying sorry for all the crap you went through. Here is 15,000 sky miles to make up for it. To join the sky club it takes 25,000. to get a free flight in the USA it takes 25,000. Now the sky miles are nice I guess, but based on the experience I just had, I’ll never fly Delta again.

By the way this is what happens when you have a bored guy with a fully charged iPhone, and nothing to do. I started writing this stuff down and just became obsessed with the comedy of errors.