Delta, the commercial airline, has always operated separately from Delta Private Jets, the company’s exclusive subsidiary for business jet travel. But now the two are planning to mix things up, according to Bloomberg Business News.
Delta is reportedly planning to start offering its top customers the chance to upgrade from a commercial flight to a private jet flight for a flat charge of $300 to $800, depending on the route, Bloomberg says.
SkyMiles elite members at all Medallion levels will be invited to buy the upgrades, but they’ll be available only on a limited number of routes from Atlanta, New York and Cincinnati (where Delta Private Jets is based). An official told Bloomberg the program could be expanded in the future, although it is likely to remain a “niche offering” because of the limited size of the Delta Private Jets fleet — 66 aircraft.
SkyMiles elites will reportedly be offered the private jet upgrades from 24 to 48 hours before their scheduled flights. The program is said to be ready to go, and the invitations could start this week, Bloomberg said.
The offering is seen as a way to fill up otherwise empty seats on the small planes and achieve greater utilization of the fleet, and at the same time to let traveling executives sample the private jet experience at a reasonable price.
The private jet upgrades will be available only four days a week (Tuesday-Friday), Bloomberg said, and they will not be offered for international travel.
The program represents a significant perk for Medallions that Delta’s competitors will be hard-pressed to match, since none of them have their own private jet subsidiaries.
But I wonder… how many readers would prefer to be stuck in close quarters with strangers on a private jet instead of the more familiar and anonymous atmosphere of a first class cabin? Hmmm. Please leave your thoughts below.
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