“That’ll be $798 dollars please. Oh, and an extra $25 dollars for offering you the privilege of doing business with us in person.” That just about sums up the “direct ticketing charge” that American Airlines introduced to mainline U.S. airlines several years ago. No more…at least not at Delta Air Lines.
Today, Delta confirmed what Points, Miles and Martinis told us last night, it “will no longer charge a fee for customers who purchase their tickets over the phone through Reservation Sales or in person at airports and other ticket office locations.” Apparently, “select European locations” will still get hit with this fee for unknown reasons, but I’ll take what I can get. Previously, Delta charged $25 to purchase a ticket over the phone, or $35 in person at the airport or at a ticket office.
In reality, I’ve spent most of my time flying Delta with enough elite status to avoid the direct ticketing charge, but the mere fact that it existed has always rubbed me the wrong way. Something about charging a customer extra just to take even more of their money seemed wrong. According to Delta, “Eliminating the Direct Ticketing Charge is the latest example of the company’s commitment to assisting customers and responding to their feedback before, during and after their travel with Delta.”
In reality, I would guess that the number of customers who buy their tickets on the phone or at the airport has probably dwindled enough over time that this fee was no longer a huge revenue booster. For sure, there are always customers who prefer to buy their tickets in person or over the phone, so this will be good news for them. Even though I’d just as soon buy airline tickets with my smartphone as in person, I appreciate that this one annoying little fee is now a thing of the past at Delta. Good job Delta!
Look for American and United to follow shortly.
-MJ, April 14, 2016