I have German cousins in town this week and around the dinner table last night, they showered Delta Air Lines with praise.
They flew economy class from Stuttgart to Atlanta and exclaimed, “Never have we had so much food on a flight! Two full meals plus snacks all the time. The FAs were always coming down the aisles with food. Good food. Everyone was nice and the seats were comfortable.”
That’s a good review. Well-done Delta.
The differences amongst carriers in economy class are often far less than in business or first class, but I argue the economy class experience is getting better on the whole. True, seats are narrower than before as is seat pitch. But wi-fi, power, hundreds of on-demand movies, and healthier meal options balance that out, at least in my book. Most importantly, airfare is just plain cheap, compared to what it was 10, 20, or 30 years ago.
The glowing review underscores another point I want to address. It appears that European and Latin America demand to the USA has not waned in the early months of the Trump Administration.
Brian Sumers reports foreign (non-US) airlines CEOs healthy demand:
We have not seen a Trump effect — not at all. Latins are flying, as always. … None of that has been affected by the change of government in the U.S., and we don’t see a reason why it should be affected –COPA CEO Pedro Heilbron
We haven’t seen any change in the booking patterns. There has been some media coverage indicating that the interest to go to the U.S. should have dropped, but we haven’t seen that in our figures. –SAS CEO Rickard Gustafson
People have their relatives [and] families can live all over the world, or anyplace in the world. And people just want to come and see each other. Politics doesn’t stop that. – Finnair CEO Pekka Vauramo
I’m happy (and a bit relieved) that travel to the USA remains resilient. For visitors mulling a trip to the USA, I can only say, please give us a try. We look forward to welcoming you.
Image: Julian Herzog / Wikimedia Commons