With A Greeting At Check-In, Delta Embarks On Corporate Traveler Recognition - Business Travel News

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With A Greeting At Check-In, Delta Embarks On Corporate Traveler Recognition

March 15, 2013 - 11:35 AM ET

By Jay Boehmer

Delta Air Lines last month took a small but potentially meaningful step in acknowledging corporate travelers, piloting with 31 large corporate clients a "check-in recognition program" that greets travelers from those accounts and makes note of their company affiliation when checking in for flights.

Delta internal communications obtained by The Beat called the pilot a "small part of a larger corporate recognition effort designed to help Delta better identify corporate travelers as well as provide them with an enhanced customer experience." The pilot began on Feb. 14.

Launch clients include some of the biggest buyers of corporate travel, including IBM and GE, whose travelers "see a special acknowledgement when they check-in via delta.com, kiosks and the Fly Delta App for iPad," according to Delta.

One sample greeting message shared by a corporate client read: "Delta employees worldwide thank you and [company name] for your business. Enjoy your flight!"

The gesture may seem small, but it builds on Delta's efforts to compile data on corporate clients, detail travelers' experiences in reports and tailor services. The carrier called the check-in initiative "the first time Delta has enabled technology to recognize these customers," noting that "additional functionality and benefits are expected to roll out later this year."

Corporate travel buyers are eager to see what those additional benefits include. Two Delta clients familiar with the program said they see opportunities to negotiate for and tailor benefits for their travelers, and envision waived bag fees, preferred boarding zones or such additional services as lounge access or upgrades.

"None of these things have been agreed to," said one Delta client, "but they are the kind of things we're discussing as far as what corporate recognition means and how that looks and feels from a traveler perspective."

The client viewed Delta's new recognition program as a supplement to and evolution of Delta's Sky Partner reports, which the carrier has continued to refine with real-time data.

This report originally appeared in The Beat. 

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