For those who have tried to book a flight on Delta in the last week, you’ve probably noticed that the layout of the booking process has changed. Delta is now showing amenities by flight all in the booking path. That’s a huge improvement and means you don’t have to hunt and peck to figure it out anymore. I still think there are a few more amenity logos that could be added, however.
If you go to book a flight, here’s what you’ll now see:
The top flight is what it looks like before you start clicking and mousing-over. The bottom is all the info that can be displayed. I do like the “More Price Options” on the left side so that you can see whether it’s worth it for a non-refundable or first class fare without re-searching. (Hint: If you really care about price, that will almost never be useful.) It would have been nice had Delta simply said, “for $xxx more, you can fly in biz” instead of making you mouseover, but that’s minor.
The meat of the improvement in my mind, however, is at the top right of the flight where you see amenity icons. If you mouse over them, it explains what they are. In this particular case, it shows that there is wifi and a personal screen at each seat. (If you’re wondering what the little red icon is, that just shows it being a redeye.) From what I can tell, Delta now has 10 icons. (I was told there was an 11th for food, but I haven’t seen it in the wild, so I refuse to believe it. Food does appear at the bottom of the flight info.) Here’s the list of all of them along with a few suggested additions of my own.
This system is a big improvement but it’s not perfect. For example, the icon will only show up when the fleet is completely outfitted with a technology. So while they’re adding wifi to the regional aircraft, it won’t show up. Only when the whole fleet is done will that happen. I suppose it’s better to underpromise here, but it would be nice if they could do more of a real-time display like American does.
It also gets a little confusing on connections. For example, you might see a personal screen and an overhead screen in the amenities area. That’s because the first flight might be on an airplane with a personal screen while the second is on an airplane with an overhead screen. Or you might just see the personal screen icon and realize that the second flight has nothing at all. If you mouse over the icon, it shows you which flight has which. And to be honest, I can’t really think of a better way to do it so I’m probably not in a place to say anything.
The one thing that absolutely needs to be fixed is that amenities aren’t available for codeshare flights. With Delta becoming increasingly close with Air France/KLM, those airlines’ results show up a lot. So to just have blank amenity information for those flights is a big deal, especially if you’re going to Europe where they consider their flights interchangeable. According to Delta, it would like to add codeshare flights but there isn’t a timeline for that yet.
I know it sounds like a lot of complaining here, but this really is a big improvement. And it’s actually going to get better next year. I’m told that Delta will soon have the ability for a customer to search for a flight by amenities. So if you want a personal screen, you can put that in as a requirement for the search. That’s huge, but this is a big step in the right direction as well.