Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) today announced that it will expand its popular standby upgrade product, which offers customers the opportunity to standby for upgrades to the First Class cabin for a reasonable fee. Beginning on Nov. 11, 2002, the option will be offered on select, off-peak flights within the United States, as well as San Juan and St. Thomas, where Delta expects empty First Class seats to be available at departure time.
“Since the test launch of the standby upgrade product in some cities earlier this year, it has been very popular with customers who have told us that they value the opportunity to experience Delta’s First Class service at reasonable additional costs,” said Harlan Bennett, vice president - Revenue Management.
“With this program, we’ve found an affordable way to offer First Class travel to customers who normally would not pay these premium fares, while preserving the benefits of the SkyMiles Medallion program,” he said.
The standby upgrade product will be offered on flights where there are enough seats available to accommodate a reasonable number of customers. The charge for the standby upgrade will range from $50 to $150, based on mileage. The product is available to customers who are already confirmed on the requested flight using many published fares; however deeply discounted and “sale” fares are excluded.
“The standby upgrade process is simple,” said Bennett. “When the product is offered, customers may request the upgrade at the gate or ticket counter. Customers will know they’ve cleared the standby list when they see their name on the Gate Information Display Screens or hear their name called at the gate.”
The expanded standby upgrade product will not affect the allotment of seats available to Delta’s SkyMiles members who choose to use any of Delta’s confirmed upgrade products. Delta’s SkyMiles Medallion members will continue to be offered upgrade priority before the standby product is offered at the gate.
This standby upgrade product expands the list of options for First Class travel on Delta. Among those options are Delta’s SkyMiles First Class fares - a confirmed upgrade option where SkyMiles members pay a mileage-based fee to upgrade from a full unrestricted, coach fare - and Delta’s Medallion SkyMiles upgrades, which are earned based on travel or purchases that also allow the Medallion member to be confirmed prior to departure.
The standby upgrade product has been offered during the test phase most recently in Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Chicago (O’Hare Airport), Dallas/Ft. Worth, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York (JFK and LaGuardia Airports), Orlando, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, San Juan, Seattle, St. Thomas and Washington, D.C. (Reagan National Airport).
Delta Air Lines, the world’s second largest carrier in terms of passengers carried and the U.S. airline with the most transatlantic destinations, offers 5,781 flights each day to 428 destinations in 77 countries on Delta, Delta Express, Delta Shuttle, Delta Connection and Delta’s worldwide partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. For more information, please go to delta.com.