On February 16, 2017, Delta Airlines announced it would resume serving freshly-prepared, complimentary meals in economy class for selected transcontinental flights.
So why do this? Because airline customers are a fickle bunch. The perception of the flying public is that airlines "took away" meals, free checked bags etc. Delta needs to remain competitive and this move is a clear shot across the wing at retaining and gaining new economy class passengers from rivals such as Southwest, United and American.
According to their press release release, “We are all about making our Main Cabin experience the best it can be for our customers and offering free, high quality meals is a big part of that experience,” said Allison Ausband, Delta’s Senior Vice President – In-Flight Service. “When we tested this concept, our customers loved it and appreciated it so we are implementing in our most strategic markets."
Does this mean their economy fares will increase on these routes? Not necessarily. Airline revenue management is complicated the airlines have a lot of data to analyze. Think of it this way, every seat on every flight everyday is like a piece of rotting fruit. The minute that flight takes off, those unsold seats will never exist again, hence the rotting fruit analogy. Therefore, airlines are compelled to sell every seat at just about any price.
The in-flight experience is something airlines are working extremely hard to perfect in the complex and ever-changing world of air travel. More leg room, free checked bags, meals, beverages, snacks, in-flight entertainment are all part of the mix. Lets face it, they can't make the planes go faster or change the weather so making the in-flight experience as comfortable (or as affordable) as possible is really the only area for competitive growth.
I applaud Delta for this move and their attempt at making forward strides in the war of public perception. Like all airlines, Delta needs to be profitable but I also believe they have a responsibility to encourage us to travel. We need the airlines to whisk us away to far of places! So hopefully moves like this will inspire other domestic carriers to follow suit. Read the full release here.
However, I'm also here to remind YOU the traveling public to respect and marvel in the invention of modern day aviation. If you want the airlines to make flying "glamorous" again, then we have to do our part. Save the flip flops for the beach, wear an upscale casual outfit, make up, brush your hair and teeth and wear comfortable yet smart footwear. Be extra kind to the flight attendants and respect their part of the equation. And for the love of crying Pete, don't try to jam too much of your crap in the overhead bins!
And...enjoy your FREE meal in economy on Delta!
Do you have comment or a question...leave it in the comment section below.
A recent online survey was completed of commercial airline pilots, and the results were a little unsettling. According to the results, a decent percentage of the men and women at the stick suffer from some form of depression. This is not good news for us, the flying public, although not really a cause for alarm when you consider the numbers. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there are roughly 104,000 commercial airline pilots in the United States. And the survey results were from roughly 3,500 respondents. Never the less, I am always quick to defend flight attendants as they are tasked with the awesome responsibility of taking care of John Q Public at 35,000 feet. But hang on for one second to consider the brave men and women who perform a task for the love of flight. Every pilot (commercial or otherwise) with whom I've ever spoken has always been quick to tout their love of flight. Essentially, they are most comfortable in the sky. Pretty cool if you stop to think about it. And like any other career, they are faced with the same personal challenges we all experience. While we are on the subject, I decided to take a flying lesson to get a better understanding of what it's like to fly and let me just say...I was scared to death and loved every minute of it. We made a video so feel free to take a look.
So this survey reminds us that airline pilots are people too. They perform a job for an honest wage. So, the next time you see one, or the next time you step onto a plane, take a second to say "hello" not just to the flight attendants but those on the flight deck. Give 'um a "thank you" or "have a great flight" on your way to your seat. A word of appreciation may just be exactly what that aviator needs.
You can read the full survey here.
Travel is not political. Of course we know their is a bit of grey area on this matter, but what does your PERSONAL vacation have to do with politics? As far I am concerned...relatively nothing. So it should be no surprise that images are surfacing of our former President Barak Obama kiteboarding with Sir. Richard Branson? He just concluded being the leader of the free world and perhaps before his next chapter officially begins, he opted to do what? Say it with me...go on vacation!
Here's something shocking. One in four Americans (with jobs) receive no paid time off, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Employees in France are given 31 days of paid time off, Japan: 10 days, Italy: 31 days and Canada: 19, just so we are clear. But whats even more shocking is of the working Americans that DO get PTO, 75 percent of employees didn't take all their vacation in 2013, according to employment site Glassdoor.
So let's keep it real. The travel and tourism industry is a multi-billion dollar industry employing millions of workers worldwide. By simply going on vacation, you are in fact, making the world a better place. And what does our political climate have to do with the climate you'll be experiencing on a fabulous vacation? Nothing. That's right, regardless of your politics, travel is personal and can be extremely rewarding.
Of course, you already know this but I am suggesting you DO something with this knowledge. My dear friend Kim Jackson has spent the better part of the last five years traveling the world. While still owning her own business and her rental properties, she has managed to see the corners of the globe that most only dream about. And I think this type of globetrotting should be applauded.
Thank you Mr. President for reminding us that TRAVEL is literally the way to go.
I made a ranting video that has a lot to do with this subject matter, and you can watch it below:
I am on a mission to get you traveling more often. As the host of the Emmy award- winning, nationally syndicated television television for PBS and the Create channel, "Beyond Your Backyard," I travel (on average) 25 weeks per year. I am very grateful for the opportunity to meet cool people, experience new places, eat delicious food and work with the best production crew in the world. Hopefully, through this blog, you will join me on my travels and be reminded just how exciting it is to be alive!
MEET ERIK THE TRAVEL GUY
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