Friday, September 26, 2008

Delta Adding First-Class Seats to Shuttle: New Elite-Status Perk?

In the go-figure file, add this:

Delta is reconfiguring the MD-88 planes in its Shuttle fleet to accommodate 14 seats in a new first-class section. There will be 128 coach seats. It's effective Dec. 1 and here's the Delta announcement.

Who is going to pay for first-class seating on the Shuttle's short hops between La Guardia and Reagan or La Guardia and Boston? (The New York-Washington route, by the way, is the most popular route for private jet use, also under the go-figure file.)

Well, Delta seems to make a big point in this announcement of saying that "SkyMiles Medallion members will be eligible for complimentary upgrades on Delta Shuttle fleets." Sounds to me like Delta is adding an elite-status perk to juice Shuttle traffic.

By the way, the Delta Shuttle roundtrip fare between LaGuardia and Reagan right now is a thought-provoking $689. That's a coach seat, of course.

For further reflection, I refer you to this piece in the Escapes section of today's New York Times, about the popularity of new boutique shuttle-bus services along the same routes served by the Shuttle. These buses are starting to attract business travelers, says the Times article — which I am assuming got urgent attention this morning at Delta headquarters in Atlanta.


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