Skift Take

Will Delta find a way to blame this weak promotion on Gulf carriers?

Delta Air Lines Inc. is hoping to make waiting on your bags a little less annoying with a new on-time delivery guarantee. The catch: It’s not permanent.

Under the promotion’s terms, the Atlanta-based carrier promises to have your luggage on the carousel in 20 minutes or less. If it fails to do so, it will credit your frequent flier account with 2,500 bonus miles if you’re a SkyMiles member. The guarantee holds for domestic flights nationwide from Feb. 19 through March 31.

Delta is copying Alaska Air Group Inc., which introduced a similar guarantee in 2009, said Jay Sorensen, an aviation consultant with IdeaWorksCompany in Shorewood, Wisconsin. What’s odd about Delta’s move is that it’s temporary, while Alaska offers a permanent 20-minute promise, he said.

“I give them negative points for this guarantee,” Sorensen said. “The fact they have placed a date limit of March 31 on good service says they’re not treating this seriously.”

A call to Delta seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.

Delta has been battling Alaska for market share as it builds out its new Seattle hub, which it sees as a gateway to the Pacific region. The carriers have showered Seattle-based customers with perks in an effort to win their business, including Delta’s offer last year of double SkyMiles on flights from Seattle to certain West Coast cities.

Alaska’s 20-minute guarantee offers members of its loyalty program either $25 off a future flight or 2,500 bonus miles, according to its website. Before it introduced the promise, no one really measured baggage-delivery times, said Sorensen, who studies airline ancillary revenue.

By making its own guarantee temporary, Delta may send the wrong signal that it can only promise on-time delivery for a single month, Sorensen said.

“It’s flawed implementation,” he said.

This article was written by Michael Sasso from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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Tags: delta air lines, luggage

Photo Credit: Pictured, a Delta employee loads baggage onto an aircraft. Delta Air Lines