Kudos of the Day: Delta Technology

Dec 10, 2010

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I read the Cranky Flier post “Is Delta the Airline Passenger Technology Leader?” yesterday and it got me thinking that Delta does have some pretty good technology in comparison to the other US legacy airlines. Delta certainly has its share of IT blind spots (online award booking calendar and a buggy website), but from a passenger experience perspective, I’ve been impressed: mobile boarding passes have saved me more than once; I’ve been more productive with in-flight wifi and I’ve been hooked up with automatic rebooking when faced with delays and cancellations.

Today I experienced another “thank god Delta has good technology” moment.

I was booked to fly PIT-ATL-JFK-DUB (to maximize mileage and take advantage of the double EQM promo out of Pittsburgh). When my flight arrived in Pittsburgh, I saw a long line starting to form at the gate, which meant delays and/or cancellations. The gate agent had been announcing that the inbound aircraft was late and the departure would be late leaving for ATL, which meant my ATL-JFK connection was in jeopardy. At that point I loaded up delta.com, just as the entire gate house erupted in frustration and continued lining up to rebook flights. With one gate agent working and 20 people in line, I depended on Delta.com to do all the dirty work for me and it luckily came through.

I loaded up my reservations and sure enough there was a prompt showing that my flights were delayed and that I could book other options at no additional cost. When I clicked through to see routings, they gave me a ton of options on Delta through ATL/JFK/DTW and also Air France and KLM options. I was almost tempted to switch to the Air France A380, but then I remembered that Air France flights don’t qualify for the Double MQM promotion.

So I decided to cut out ATL and the extra 600 MQMs I would have gotten and instead fly PIT-JFK on a BusinessElite equipped 757 (the same one the does CDG-PIT, but since PIT-CDG doesn’t operate on Fridays, it goes to JFK to do a transcontinental run). The greatest thing about this system? It automatically booked me into first class, even though there was no upgrade space available. Granted, I probably would have cleared at the gate anyway, but it just makes me really appreciate that Delta understands flight disruptions and are lenient with their elite members when adjustments need to be made.

Even after I made my switch, it still allowed me to change again for free of charge- a nice option, in my opinion.

Bravo Delta! I can now enjoy some peace, relaxation and blogging from the US Airways lounge (couresty of my unlimited Priority Pass membership).

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