Delta Air Lines, the major American airline headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, has recently added their Delta Shuttle product onto their main routes which run from its Seattle hub to Los Angeles and San Francisco. This move will raise the stakes in two markets which will inevitably become more competitive as Alaska Airlines has recently acquired Virgin America. The Delta Shuttle will include various different upgrades over the standard Delta economy offering, and will also be featured on routes between the Northeast triangle of New York LaGuardia, Washington Reason, as well as Boston, in addition to the competitive Los Angeles – San Francisco sector.
The Delta Shuttle product will offer a variety of improvements, including: gates located closer to security, exclusive check-in counters dedicated to Delta Shuttle customers, access to in-flight Wi-Fi, free meals in First Class on all flights, free entertainment options through Delta Studio, free newspapers for all customers (including USA Today, Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal), free Luvo snack box provided in Comfort+ on all flights, free snacks onboard offered in the main cabin by Nourish Snacks, as well as free in-flight wine, spirits, beers, and other beverages in all classes of service (including Starbucks coffee, Fremont Brewing Company craft beer, as well as Lagunitas Brewing Company). The Delta Shuttle product will also feature two classes of service with free upgrades for SkyMiles Medallion members, when available. In addition to all of this, Delta Shuttle customers will have convenient access to the new Delta Sky Club which is scheduled to open on Concourse A in the Fall of 2016.
“Unlike on the short hour-long sectors where the Delta Shuttle is normally offered, Seattle-San Francisco is two hours twenty minutes and Seattle-Los Angeles is just under three hours. That’s a length where the improved product makes a difference relative to a standard mainline product. First Class is more or less the same (perhaps with a slightly improved ground experience), but the real benefit is felt in economy class and economy comfort, who get free alcohol (always popular) and premium snacks,”
reported Vinay Bhaskara from Airways News.
“Even though the flights will now operate with the Shuttle branding, they are not necessarily the same schedule-wise as the other shuttle products on the East and West Coast. The eight to ten daily flights on the routes are less than an hourly schedule, and the increase to Los Angeles was actually already planned before the conversion to the Shuttle product. So the Shuttle product is really more about creating a marketing and branding advantage in a crowded marketplace.”
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