I’ve posted here a few times about the Delta Shuttle service (LGA-DCA/BOS) and my adoration of it. Mostly it is because of the ease of access via the Marine Air Terminal at La Guardia, and the regular schedule and high frequency of the flights doesn’t hurt, even when the tickets are pretty pricey for such a short hop. Well, things are changing now.
Delta has announced their “upgrade” to the Shuttle service, introducing a first class cabin on to the plane. They’re spinning this as a great opportunity for their Medallion members to get free upgrades. And they remind the traveling public that the rest of the typical amenities that the Shuttle service is known for will remain.
They are even plugging their upcoming in-flight Internet service, to be provided by Aircell, as if paying $9.95 for Internet access on a 30 minute flight is a service differentiator that is actually going to drive business for them. I don’t think so.
Of course, they ignore one of the most significant benefits of the Shuttle service in all these announcements – the extra legroom on the planes. The 14 F seats replace only 6 Y seats on the plane, and to accommodate this they are going to have to reduce the pitch from 34” to 31” inches on those planes.
In reality this is simply a function of removing the dedicated Shuttle fleet from Delta’s operations to improve their efficiency. But, like most changes these days, the passengers will lose.
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