18 April 2010

Stupid Airline Trick #49 - Search?

Dearly beloved - yes its the weekend and I have a little time left on my hands as the Ash is causing all my regular work to be placed on hold. So here is an example of the new search from Delta's website. Actually its not that new. It has been this way for about 4 months. And it is frightful.

Delta has decided that we want cheaper rather than practical.

Check out the 4th column.

The Professor's way to look at fares is to review them on 3 separate levels.

Level 1 - Absolute Lowest Fare - known as the Lowest Possible Available Airfare (LPAA)

Level 2 - Lowest Regular Fare - known as the Lowest Logical Available Airfare (LLAA)

Level 3 - Lowest Desirable Fare - known as the Lowest Desirable Available Airfare (LDAA)

From a usability point of view, consumers want the to know the LLAA and compare it to the LDAA. LPAA should only be considered if the customer is truly searching for the absolute lowest. Lowest Possible carries with it the issue of overnights. As you can see in this example even the shortest time option carries with it a double overnight. So would I really want to do this and arrive a blithering wreck? (wait don't answer that...)!

Yet the corresponding request on Orbitz, Expedia et al returns quite similar prices without a double overnight. If you think this is just the Professor deliberately being difficult. I tried the search on a wide number of days to different destinations in Europe (long past the Ash period) yet within reasonable short time periods (IE within 30 days of departure) and I found many instances of this problem in BOTH directions across the Atlantic.

So the advice I have to the web people at DL is - get a life... I realize you might be airline staffers and used to doing connections like this - but for the regular man in the street this is not practical. At the very least give him the option of choosing a shortest time option...


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