We’ve been getting questions from customers about discrepancies in flight search results on delta.com and I’d like to take some space here to explain.
First – and most importantly – please know that delta.com did not sell the same flight itinerary to different people for different prices. That very idea goes against the grain of how Delta treats its customers. And based on the way we file our fares it’s actually not technically possible. In fact, Delta’s fares are consistent in all channels.
To step back for a moment, hopefully you’ve noticed that we’re making some improvements to the delta.com experience. Some of those changes – like tweaks to the home page design and layout of the full fare display – are readily apparent. However this is a long process and some of the changes we’re working on are less obvious. But of course, all of the changes we’re making are aimed at improving the search and shopping experience.
In late April we began testing a new search functionality as part of these enhancements. We phased the installation, to first offer the new search function to customers who weren’t logged in because we wanted to be particularly careful not to disrupt the booking experience for our best customers. As a result, over a period of about 19 days, logged-in customers were seeing different flight search results than customers who chose not to log in.
For example, if during this test period Sandi and Heather searched for the same flight at the same time (and Sandi was logged in), the results returned for Sandi might have been different for what appeared to be the exact same itinerary. But once Heather and Sandi went on to the next screen to select their return flight, they’d see that their return flight times were different – and Sandi’s more preferred 9 a.m. return was more expensive than Heather’s 11 p.m. return. By the same token, flight search results for Sandi could have returned a lower fare option.
We realize this is not an ideal experience and that tweaks need to be made to the new search. So for now, every customer on delta.com is getting the same search engine, and we’re making changes to the new search functionality to offer more search results and to provide customers with the right balance between quality and price in those results.
We’ll plug in a new, improved search function sometime later this year – and we’ll plug it in for everyone at the same time.
Tech talk aside, the bottom line is that you can continue to book on delta.com with confidence that you’ll will get the best combination of fare and travel experience.
If you’re someone who logged onto delta.com and bought a ticket between April 20 and May 9 and you have a question about the fare you paid, please feel free to contact us. Our reservations and customer care teams are up to speed on this and will be happy to talk through it with you.
Thanks a lot,
Vice President, eCommerce