Imagine my surprise as I was about to take my seat on a Delta flight yesterday and walked by “Economy Comfort” seats in the first couple of rows in the economy section. The words were spelled out in large letters on the front of each seat back.
My first thought was, is my seat in the “Economy Uncomfortable” section of the plane?
Delta Has a Branding Problem
Who on earth thought up this name for seats that give you 4 inches more leg room and 50 percent more recline? Over the years airlines have developed various seat configurations and classes of travel — first class, business and economy — to satisfy customers and rake in more money.
But it sends the wrong signal to the passengers in regular economy that they are headed to a seat for a cramped and uncomfortable ride.
Reader reviews are generally positive about these seats (on Delta and partner KLM), but passengers have an expectation of comfort, without having to pay extra for it.
That’s what Delta CEO Richard H. Anderson said in the inflight video that was shown as the plane took off, “…we want your time with us to be comfortable and enjoyable.” Me too, Mr. Anderson.
Companies in the service business often conduct focus groups to test new concepts. If Delta tested names for the these premium economy seats, I’d love to see the results. That’s the danger of focus groups. People tell you what they like and want but it’s not necessarily what they will buy.
Instead of Economy Comfort
Delta, may I suggest that any of these names would have been better choices:
Delta Premium Economy
Delta Upfront Economy
Delta Upgrade Economy
Come to think of it, why brand these seats in big letters for every other economy passenger to see? While not a frequent flyer, I haven’t noticed any lettering on first class, business class or regular economy seats.