The airline will offer passengers the chance to upgrade to their very own private jet
While the gaps between the rich and poor get bigger all over the world, those between the rich and the richest are about to widen as well, with the news that Delta Airlines is set to create a new class above and beyond first.
The service, which will be made available to frequent fliers with extensive mileage, will allow them to avail of their own private jet upgrades for a price of between $300 and $800 dollars.
Delta trialled the service last summer, offering customers the opportunity to fly on the return legs of private jet flights. While private jets are a lucrative aspect of the airline’s business model, Delta runs the service with very little notice as to when a plane will be hired.
The company presented passengers with the option to upgrade to an empty private jet, though struggled to build a customer base that could be enticed with impulse journeys. In fact, Delta reports it only flew one private jet upgrade flight in 2015, when a couple from Cincinnati made use of the option.
Instead, now Delta will allow customers to cash in on their air miles to avail of a private jet instead, with passengers exchanging 2.5m air miles for the equivalent of a four-hour journey on their own private plane. Those customers will have exclusive use of the plane, meaning they can fly by themselves or fill as many seats on the plane as they want.
The more miles a consumer chooses to spend, the longer the journey they’ll be able to take, to and from any one of the 5,000 airports at which Delta flies.
While millions of air miles might seem a high price to pay, for men and women business travellers jetting from destination to destination, it’s relatively simple to clock up the mileage. Karen Zachary, the Delta managing director in charge of the private jet scheme, revealed that Delta currently has thousands of potential passengers who have accrued the necessary miles with the airline.