Delta is stepping up its game for passengers who check bags, promising delivery within 20 minutes on domestic flights or 2,500 bonus SkyMiles. The Delta checked bag guarantee applies only to domestic flights and only through 31 March 2015 and only for passengers who have a SkyMiles number in the reservation at the time of travel. And, if the program sounds familiar, there’s a pretty good reason for that: Alaska Airlines offers a similar guarantee for its customers and has for a while now.
So, is this for real from Delta or just another tit-for-tat play against Alaska Airlines? Most likely a bit of both. If the company believes it can deliver then it is smart marketing. And in the battle for Seattle Delta is copying a lot of Alaska’s play book. This is a benefit which appeals to the leisure traveler, a part of the Seattle market which appears to be remaining more loyal to Alaska Airlines than not. That said, the guarantee applies system-wide so delivering on it will be rather more challenging for Delta than Alaska; there are a lot more places it has to be done.
Some fun at ATL, including exploring the baggage handling facilities
In the end this is competition by way of improved customer service. And it is hard to complain about that. Hopefully we start to see more of that rather than competition through reduced benefits. More is better than less.
And with the new revenue-based earning rules this might be the easiest way to earn 2,500 points.
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