Full disclosure: I loathe Delta Airlines for so many reasons.
I was strolling throughout the Minneapolis – St. Paul airport this evening on my way to a Delta Airlines flight that was of course 2:30 delayed, when I saw this new sign. It sorta struck me. Delta has implemented these signs and charging stations throughout their gates at the airport. The reason it struck me wasn’t because it was new. No, it struck me because it’s a direct rip off of the charging stations Southwest has been offering for years. And, while imitation is certainly the most sincere form of flattery, you can’t help but be struck by the massive gap that exists between Delta and Southwest when it comes to customer service.
Tonight, I arrived at the airport 70 minutes before the scheduled take-off. I had checked the flight status before leaving and the flight was on time. Some how, in the 10 minutes between when I checked and when I arrived at the airport, we were now 2 hours delayed. No notification (Southwest offers this) and no warning. When I arrived at the gate, the gate agent couldn’t offer any information about why we were delayed (this never happens on Southwest). Finally, we learned why (the inbound aircraft was delayed coming from St. Louis), but the agent wasn’t sure if the current scheduled time was accurate (again, never happens with Southwest). While we were all waiting for the flight an automatic notification played every 15 minutes or so over the intercom; it was reminding us that the flight was 2 hours delayed and we could purchase food on the plane (Southwest doesn’t do this period, and usually when there’s a significant delay they hand out free adult drink tickets). Think about that. Hey, not only are you delayed, but by the way you can overpay for crappy food on the plane; cool? When the flight finally arrived, there was more great news: we would be flying on a regional jet, so we’ll all need to gate-check our baggage (this never happens on a Southwest flight), which just adds to the delay when you land. The flight attendants lacked empathy and were robotic (never happens on Southwest). Talk about a hell of an experience. But, honestly, this isn’t an isolated incident. This is Delta airline at it’s norm.
They can try to change the signage, they can try to copy, but the gap between them and Southwest is Grand Canyon wide.
Heck, even the visual is a demonstration of that they just aren’t “plugged-in” or “connected.”