Delta AIr Lines
Perhaps next year, Delta Air Lines? Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

People are Upset About Delta Air Lines Offering Suites in Business Class?

Y ou will never read in an article I wrote about me saying that nothing beats traveling as a passenger in the economy class cabin. There are times when the seat is uncomfortable. There are times when there does not seem to be enough food served when compared to the duration of the flight — or perhaps the food is subpar. There are times when there is not enough legroom; where the airplane is completely full of passengers; when the in-flight entertainment system is inoperable; when the lavatory emits odors which evoke the worst nightmare of a landfill next to a sewage treatment plant.

Although I appear to be more tolerable than many people, I get it: no one will ever mistake travel as a passenger in the economy class cabin for a luxury experience…

People are Upset About Delta Air Lines Offering Suites in Business Class?

…but Justin Bariso lumps the virtues extolled pertaining to the new business class product to be offered by Delta Air Lines — which purports to be the first airline to have a business class cabin equipped with physical suites with doors, similar to offerings by competitors in their first class cabins — to the worsening of the economy class product of airlines overall in this article he wrote for Inc.

“When I read this, I couldn’t help but think of my colleague Chris Matyszczyk, who’s kept tabs on all the nickel-and-diming policies airlines have instituted lately–from reducing the amount of food they serve to charging you to sit with your children.”

Apparently, you have not “kept tabs” well enough with your colleague, Justin Bariso. Had you done your research, you would find that Delta Air Lines has not reduced the amount of food they serve — other than years ago, when all airlines based in the United States effectively removed meal service from many of their domestic flights. In fact, the airline has recently added meals in the economy class cabin on flights to Honolulu and other routes…

…and when other airlines virtually eliminated complimentary snacks, Delta Air Lines has always offered passengers in the economy class cabin a choice of pretzels, peanuts or biscuits — or a combination thereof where not all three choices were offered at all times — even when selling food for sale. While those complimentary offerings will never be mistaken for a lavish banquet, no passenger was forced to go without any sustenance for the duration of the flight.

As for Delta Air Lines being one of the airlines which “started charging passengers to sit with their children”, that depends on your perspective and point of view — and how the argument can be twisted. If passengers book tickets with a Basic Economy fare, they are purchasing a fare stripped of any amenities — and Delta Air Lines very clearly warns customers who are about to purchase a Basic Economy airfare — including the ability to change seats, as there are no seats assigned in advance of checking in for the flight, so passengers would need to purchase airfares at a higher cost than Basic Economy simply to have the ability to choose seats…

…but those Basic Economy airfares are not so low that a person would think that he or she is getting a deal when compared to basic airfares offered by ultra-low-cost carriers — which would certainly cause someone to believe that the restrictions are so unfair that he or she would warn others to not purchase that airfare.


Delta Air Lines is far from perfect on various levels of the product and service it offers in the economy class cabin — we can all find faults pertaining to the airline which could use improvement — but it arguably does a better job than its domestic competitors.

I have tried the economy class product offered by Etihad Airways — and although it was superior to that offered by Delta Air Lines on international flights in a number of respects, it was not to the point where there was definitively no contest. In fact, quite the contrary: there were aspects of the service offered by Delta Air Lines which I missed on flights operated by Etihad Airways.

While I do agree with the general premise offered by Justin Bariso pertaining to the concept of improving all classes of service aboard an airplane instead of improving the premium class service to the detriment of passengers seated in the economy class cabin, he chose the wrong airline with which to pick a bone, in my opinion — but to say that people are upset about Delta Air Lines offering suites in business class is erroneous at best; and perhaps to the point of misleading in terms of hyperbole or “click bait.”

In other words: I do not know of anyone who is “really upset” because of “this new, bold move” of Delta Air Lines offering suites in business class on select airplanes. Do you?

“I don’t need a private suite. I’d be completely happy with a decent meal, a little more leg room, and a glass of wine.”

I have been saying that for years — without the wine, of course, as I do not drink alcoholic beverages.

“Oh…and the hot towel is a nice touch, too.”


Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

  1. This is a societal problem. There are tons of people (including leaders in our government) that push class warfare or class envy. The thinking is that if someone is enjoying something better, makes more money, is sitting in first class, etc. etc. then someone else must be suffering because they are so selfish. They pair this with the “it’s not fair” argument. Like it’s not fair that someone sits in nicer seats while “you” suffer.
    Unfortunately people buy into this. I think they are weak minded, jealous robots but for some reason media types what to continue to push this agenda because it makes people look. They read an article about how bad coach is and how it’s not fair for someone to have a nice seat in first class and it validates what they have been told over and over.
    It’s silly. It’s kinda of like when you tell someone how much you travel or people look at you sitting in first class and feel bad about themselves. Sure I hate the walk of shame when I pass through the first class cabin to my sub-par seat at times but I don’t hold against them or feel that I was cheated or that someone owes me something. Sorry I’m off on a rant.

    1. “Walk of shame”?!?

      I will walk past people seated in the premium class cabin — those who paid for the privilege themselves — and think how much money I am saving that I could use on other products or services in my life.

      At the end of the flight, we all arrive at the same destination — except they may leave the airplane ten minutes earlier…

      …and once the flight is over, the experience is over.

      If the travel is paid by a corporate expense account, then the person is usually working many hours per week for the employer with little personal time — something with which many people do not envy. I have been there and know what that feels like — even though I do miss certain aspects of travel paid by an employer.

      Sure, I would rather sit in a seat in the premium class cabin, DaninMCI — but I am okay in the economy class cabin…

      …and I agree with you that the problem is societal. There is no legitimate reason to push class warfare — although there may be many selfish reasons to do so…

  2. Buck up and pay for First. I do it now…When you price a coach class ticket with seat fees, more legroom seat fees, meal & drink purchases, bag fees, overweight bag fees, movies/wifi/entertainment, etc., First Class is often LESS expensive than Domestic Coach fares…Add up ALL these fees on your next trip & see what’s your better option. See you up front 🙂

  3. OK, I try to fly C class when using miles, especially trans-atlantic. I actually side with those complaining about economy because it seems as though most people flying in Business are revenue tickets which are paid by major corporations. I often overhear their conversations and it is clear some (most) spend time calculating the most comfortable routes, airport lounges and airline allegiences to help get status. I don’t see anything wrong with that except they seem to forget that it is all on someone elses expense. They are just one pink slip away from cattle class.

    1. I especially like those last two sentences, Charles:

      “I don’t see anything wrong with that except they seem to forget that it is all on someone elses expense. They are just one pink slip away from cattle class.”

      That is indeed true for many people…

  4. @JH: Economy fare NYC to Asian over Xmas is maybe $1200 on major carriers, Asian or American. Biz class (flat bed) is $4000- $7000. WTH are you talking about economy fare, with all the add-ups, add up to be more expensive than int’l long haul biz? This new Delta One with doors will be on TPAC and TATL on A350s and B777s. Those are not domestic aircrafts. WTF are you talking about?

  5. Some people drive Tesla’s, others drive Corolla’s. Some stay at the Motel 6, others the Ritz-Carlton. What’s the problem?

    1. I personally see no problem, warren trout.

      There is nothing wrong with a Toyota Corolla — I do not own one — but can you imagine how boring the world would be if that were the only choice consumers had in terms of purchasing a vehicle?

  6. It’s like people think airline travel is someone vastly different than the rest of their lives. Not everyone drives the car they want, not everyone has the biggest/fanciest house, not everyone has expensive jewelry, you get what you can afford and go on with life. Somehow these crybabies don’t like flying in coach and think they are somehow being wronged when they see people sitting in a bigger, more comfortable seat, with food/better food. I just don’t get it. If my neighbor drives a Maserati (I would love a GranTurismo) but I drive a Nissan, I can’t get upset about it. They either have more money than me, or allocate their money differently than I do. I don’t try to appear as a “victim” of some evil “Class system”. It’s ridiculous and childish. You want FC? BUY IT THEN AND STOP WHINING.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. The funny part is that there is nothing wrong with driving a Nissan — even though I do not own one.

      It gets you from point A to point B; and depending on the model you purchase, your car can be equipped with some very nice features — which, for many people, renders upgrading to a better car unnecessary.

      The economy class cabin of many airlines with airplanes equipped with premium class cabins is similar. For me, it is usually a decently comfortable seat with some amenities where I do not typically require a premium class seat. In my case, I would rather spend the extra money elsewhere, as the important part for me is the travel itself.

      A person has a right to spend his or her money however he or she feels — no matter what is their standing in life. What is wrong with that?

      Thank you, Captain Kirk.

      1. Your Question was, A person has a right to spend his or her money however he or she feels — no matter what is their standing in life. What is wrong with that?
        My answer is that, in most cases, those I observe flying in premium classes are not there on their Dollar. They are maximizing corporate spend to their benefit. I have seen some people manipulate spend or route just to meet their requirement. This is really not my concern but I am tired of hearing some people with their DYKWIA attitude. I recently was on the non EU Passport Control line at FRA after flying from JFK. The gentleman next to me had the famous DYKWIA attitude to me. Of course I knew who he was, I was in the same class, right behind him.

        1. We have never been in disagreement, Charles, as these are actually two separate topics: people who travel on corporate expense accounts, to which you were referring; and people who fund their own travel, to which I was referring.

          Spending money differently when traveling on a corporate expense account versus funding one’s own travel will naturally result in different spending habits for many people. Some will justify that they are working more hours for the company; while others will claim to treat the corporate expense account as though it was their own…

          …but no one should have a Do You Know Who I Am? attitude — nor a Hey this is not fair — how come he gets to sit in first class and I don’t? attitude — while traveling, as both of those attitudes only help to exacerbate this perception of “class warfare.”

        2. Many companies did away with premium tickets back during the recession. Yes, many still allow BC seats for flights to Europe from the U.S. but even still many aren’t spending the huge dollars you think they are. Many companies use travel agents and employees are not allowed to fly certain/their preferred airline. They also don’t let employees route themselves to four cities just for fun. Plus, if you are an employee of a company willing to fly you all over the world and spend premium ticket money on you that means you are valuable and have earned the perks/mileage as you are still traveling for work. What are you trying to say? Just because they flew premium cabin their work “doesn’t count”. Your argument is weak.

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