Delta Trying To Sell More Premium Cabin Seats To Cut Down On Free Upgrades

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It’s the holy grail for many a frequent traveler with airline miles to burn: triumphing over everyone else waiting at the gate and scoring an upgrade to first or business class. But Delta Air Lines is sick of handing out those upgrades without making any real money off it. So, in an effort to cut down on the amount of upgrades, and thus, make more money Delta will be adjusting the price of its premium cabin seats.

The idea here being, if Delta can sell more of those seats, even at a lower price, it’ll bring in more cash than giving out upgrades, reports Bloomberg.

“We want people to be able to use those miles not to fly for free but to control your experience,” says Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s incoming president and architect of the airline’s revenue plans.

Right now Delta sells about 57% of its first- and business-class cabins, but it’s hoping to boost that figure to 70% by 2018, the company said in December.

Will other airlines follow in Delta’s footsteps? It seems likely, as whenever one airline makes a big pricing move, the other carriers often join in the fun.

Haunstein tells Bloomberg that offering upgrades is great for those who win the prize, but many other customers are unhappy with the system.

“We were really making nobody happy except the person who won the lottery at the gate,” he said.

Airlines Really Don’t Want to Upgrade People for Free [Bloomberg]

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