The Customer Experience on Delta Flights

by on August 19, 2013 · 4 comments


So I was flying back home from visiting family in Michigan last week. I like to fly Delta because they offer the only non-stop flights between Detroit and San Francisco.

We went through the regular drill; fasten your seat belts, put your tray tables up, put away electronic devices and prepare for take-off.

Now I am strapped in with all my stuff put away, like a good airplane citizen. The video monitor on the seat in front of me played the safety announcement, with the audio over the PA system.

A Captive Audience

Do you know what they did next? Immediately after the safety announcement they proceeded to play advertisements on the video screen, with the audio at FULL BLAST through the PA system on the airplane. I was basically trapped watching advertisements for eSurance, the Fairfield Inn and eBay as we took off.

I thought to myself – “I payed almost $400 for this flight dammit…”

It’s kind of like going to the movie theatre and paying to watch 20+ minutes of commercials.

You see, I hate commercials. The only thing worse than watching commercials, is paying to watch commercials. It sucks.

I fly a lot, and this is the first time something like this has happened. Of course if you watch TV on the in-flight entertainment system they have commercials and ads in there, but I’ve never seen them loop the commercials in right after the safety announcement and play the audio over the PA system like that during takeoff.

I’m sure some bean counter at Delta HQ was in a meeting and said “Hey everyone, I’ve got this great idea!”

Consider the User Experience… Please

These kinds of decisions may add to the bottom line, but they have no regard for the experience of the customers. Treat your customers poorly and they will go somewhere else.

And as I’ve said before on this blog – I believe everything is a commodity now in this global economy. You can always get it done cheaper somewhere else. The only way to differentiate what you do is by providing a great customer experience. Treat people as you would want to be treated.

Dear Delta: trying flying Virgin America sometime to see what they do. They know how to provide a decent experience (for an airline, anyway). I hope this is just a test and you drop the force-feeding advertisements plan, or I will be choosing a different airline next time.

(image credit: Michael Sauers)

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Don is an entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He founded Expand2Web and is the publisher of the Expand2Web Blog, and the GetFiveStars Customer Feedback and Reviews service.

Don has written 313 articles on Expand2Web

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave Bell August 19, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Lord, that must have been hell. I abhor things like that. Delta is off my list.


Don Campbell August 20, 2013 at 8:28 am

Ok, maybe I over-reacted 🙂
But I was trying to make a point about customer service, and how companies lose site of that.


Stan Q August 21, 2013 at 3:33 pm

I remember going to a movie in LA. About 30 seconds in I realized it started with a commercial for the LA Times. I remember how angry it made me feel. As for Delta, I’m surprised their commercials weren’t more targeted: Coke, Scotch, Noise Cancelling Earpieces, Ambien & Depends (for a cross country flight).


Kelsey September 26, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I had no idea Delta was doing this! How annoying.


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