Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
NEW YORK — Zone boarding may soon be a thing of the past for Delta customers.
As part of the carrier’s efforts to make the gate and boarding experience as simple and consistent as possible, it has announced a global shift to ‘boarding by branded fare purchased’, eliminating the standard practice of boarding by zone.
SkyMiles Medallion Members and eligible Delta SkyMiles American Express Credit Card Members will continue to receive priority boarding.
The change comes into effect on Jan. 23 to all Delta-operated global flights, and was made to increase the number of boarding groups to encourage fewer customers to lineup in the gate area at any one time. It will also be accompanied by new colour accents that distinguish Delta’s fare products: Basic Economy, Main Cabin, Delta Comfort+, Delta Premium Select/First Class, and Delta One.
Each product, in addition to Sky Priority, will have a specific complementary colour from booking through boarding.
The new boarding order name will be featured in the online shopping experience, on boarding passes, on the Today screen of the Fly Delta app, and on Jetway screens and boarding signage at gates.
Branded boarding buildings on Delta’s latest boarding enhancement, the addition of zone 4 earlier this year, specifically for Basic Economy customers. As a result, customer satisfaction scores improved dramatically for the reduced number of customers in zone 3, plus in every other zone (double-digit increases were seen in the Main Cabin zones).
Basic Economy customers are notified during the shopping experience that their carry-on bag may need to be checked at the gate, free of charge, which helps manage expectations for checking bags at the gate. This practice will continue with the introduction of Delta’s new branded boarding order.