Is air travel getting split between the haves and have-nots?

Delta Air Lines is going after passengers who can afford traveling by private jet, AJC writer Christine Negroni reports.

Over the past decade, the number of people choosing to travel by private jet has grown, with people either buying a fraction of a share of an airplane, or a jet card that guarantees a set number of flight hours, Negroni writes.

Delta AirElite’s new push into this area came after the airline acquired Seagrave Aviation, effectively doubling the size of its business jet fleet.

Increasing dissatisfaction with commercial travel by those with the means to do something about it is driving the market, Negroni reports.

But that begs the question — Is there gong to be an increasing divide between the haves and have-nots in air travel? Some treated little cattle and others like kings?

As a business strategy, do you think this is just a natural extension for Delta? A smart move to go after the high fliers? Or will it be a distraction from their core business?

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17 comments Add your comment

TnGelding

August 12th, 2010
10:15 am

Smart move. Air travel was never meant for the masses. There are far too many planes in the sky. With all the security hassle, who needs it?

Andy in Blairsville

August 12th, 2010
10:17 am

Flying commercial is nothing short of a disaster thanks to the TSA, so it’s all but a given corporate/fractional/Part 135 flights will grow exponentially over the next 10 years assuming the Fortune 1000 continue to do well.

Is this a natural extension for Delta? Absolutely not, in part because DAL is the last place some exec or his travel staff is going to call when a charter flight it needed. Not to mention there is zero bragging rights down at the country club after taking a DAL charter flight.

DAL doesn’t have a chance of being successful and profitable in a market dominated by NetJets, CitationAir and Flight Options just to name a few.

IMO this is as stupid as creating Song (instead of simply lowering DAL fares) and spending countless millions on prepping jets for China routes before bankruptcy when they didn’t even have route approval.

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August 12th, 2010
10:36 am

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The Dogfighter Returns

August 12th, 2010
10:55 am

It certainly is Henry, between the “have patience” and “don’t have patience” for stupid TSA rules created in the name of protecting the public when it has clearly been proven that security is still porous.

bootney farnsworth

August 12th, 2010
11:26 am

yup.

too expensive to fly. I drive or take Amtrak where I can.

bootney farnsworth

August 12th, 2010
11:29 am

one thing:

don’t totally blame the TSA for the airport insanity.
I’ve flown out of Vegas, Phoenix, Salt Lake, DC, Philly,
Jacksonville, and several others since 9-11 and this advent of
the TSA.

alot of what you’re seeing is the stupidity and lower class of
fools employed at Hartsfield

Andy in Blairsville

August 12th, 2010
12:14 pm

I agree. All you see once you get off the plane in ATL is a bunch of lazy slobs working for the airport, but they mirror City of ATL employees so I would expect nothing less.

TnGelding

August 12th, 2010
12:40 pm

At least the city police at Hartsfield have finally become civil.

Oh Intown Writer...

August 12th, 2010
1:53 pm

The joke that is security (how many times have you returned to ATL and gotten busted for something the ATL folks missed on yer way out?) is a classic example of American business – the race to the bottom / pay as little as possible for whatever it is… So the airlines, etc, write tight-wad contracts for security companies such that in turn all they can afford to hire is at the bottom of the wage scale. So guess who applies ??? We get saddled with what they’re not willing to pay for. We were in business negotiations with the poor schmucks who had the TSA contract at the time of 9/11 – so we got the insider’s view, and it was just as big a travesty as expected.

Oh, and i beg to differ about APD at Hartsfield having an improved attitude, altho’ maybe with that cracker-jack Major they busted and sent down there (effectively demoted) she’s having some positive effects…

christine negroni

August 12th, 2010
3:59 pm

Henry,
While reporting that story for the AJC, as you noted, I have expressed my opinion on this issue in several blog postings, the most recent following the JetBlue flight attendant escapade. You can read them at http://www.christinenegroni.blogspot.com/
Christine

SSIISHOME

August 12th, 2010
5:35 pm

Well, isn’t reading this website about the “Haves & Have-nots?” I mean, this computer cost me $900 and my internet signal is another $40 a month. Most people can’t afford that! Everything in life is about the haves & have nots. To some people a man making $2 million a year is “too much” — to others, if you make $80,000 a year you’re “rich.” Just be successful….enjoy life….treat people well and who cares what anyone else thinks!

Dino

August 12th, 2010
5:37 pm

If all the people with a lot money start using fancy private planes, that will leave all the low rent rif raf on regular planes—air travel will be even worse than now, with all the rude, incompetent airline employees and ripoff fees.

RH

August 12th, 2010
6:02 pm

As mentioned above, commercial air travel has gotten out of control. Air Travel used to be a grand experience, not so much anymore. I get disgusted just looking at some of the folk that I am forced to travel with on any given flight. I can certainly see why the JetBlue FA has received the fanfare he has. I wish someone would “out” the nasty passenger that brought on Slater’s meltdown!

I don’t think this is a smart move for Delta. NetJets is the way to go!

S

August 12th, 2010
9:06 pm

Delta is thinking of the future and yes I believe this will be the future of business travel because of a time issue. Why buy shares in a little Jet when you can call up Delta little jets and off you go…Those Jet Shares are not cheap but depending on how much you fly, it could be easier if you travel a good deal…

A.S.Mathew

August 12th, 2010
10:38 pm

Commercial travel is getting very common. What a great difference in between the passengers
of the past and the current, in their dress code? Air travel is a great headache, starting with
all the extras to pay at the counter, then the security checks which is not at all uniform in the
nation. I am a sr. ctizen, but in most of the northern cities, I was selected for special screening
due my skin color and foreign look. But in the south, I was never screened likewise. Some
security officials act very hyper in their job.

S Flaherty

August 13th, 2010
11:55 am

Its certain that business class commercial fliers are dissatisfied with what they get for their money. Charter Auction, http://www.charterauction.com, has seen a huge jump in virgin private jet fliers tired of the hassles, fees, wait times, cancellations and delays of flying commercially and Delta feels it.
instead of making improvements to keep fliers happy, they expand to include private jet service to hold on to those clients…. when you can get super deals on private jet service with empty-legs and a good travel planner who needs it!

Margaret Gray

August 16th, 2010
9:54 am

If Georgia could add a 2nd, QUALITY airport to the northern part of the metro area that ISN’T staffed with uneducated, inarticulate, rude, inconsiderate, dope-smoking, jive-talking simpletons concerned only with “keeping it real” and collecting a government [ahem] “paycheck,” my husband and I would consider flying much more often than we do now.