- Delta Air Lines is overhauling its Fly Delta app as a travel hub to help customers ease the stress of getting to and from the airport. The carrier's plans include a deeper integration with ride-hailing company Lyft and more information about weather, traffic, security and airport wait times, per an announcement at CES, the annual consumer electronics exhibition.
- Delta will offer an option to pay for Lyft rides using miles, provide estimated arrival times from Lyft and test a dedicated premium Delta-Lyft experience at some of the busiest U.S. airports.
- The Fly Delta app this month will add virtual queuing to notify customers when their seat, not just their flight, is available during boarding, per its announcement. The airline recently added more information such as wait times from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at some airports, meal selection and international auto-check-in.
Delta's plans to transform its mobile app into a travel concierge comes as airlines focus on improving the experience for travelers before they get on a plane. By integrating its app with Lyft, the carrier aims to provide a one-stop shop for a broader range of information and services to ease the stress of air travel, which continues to break records. The TSA screened more than 2.8 million passengers on Dec. 1, the busiest day in the agency's history, and forecast that holiday travel would expand 3% to 47.5 million passengers on U.S. airlines, per an announcement.
Delta's revamped app comes as the airline seeks to cater to more business travelers in key markets like New York, Seattle and Boston. The carrier's revenue from premium seats including business class grew faster than sales of coach seats. Its percentage of sales from economy-class seats fell to about 48% in 2018 from 63% six years earlier, CNBC reported.
Smartphones have become indispensable for many business travelers, with people who make more than five trips a year showing a 13% higher likelihood of booking on a mobile device, per a study by B2B travel management platform CWT. The percentage of business travelers who book flights on a smartphone grew to 41% last year from 32% in 2017, its study found.
Delta previously looked to capture these mobile-friendly consumers with a social media campaign targeted at New Yorkers that featured videos customized for smartphone viewing. The "Small Stories" docuseries featured real New Yorkers who live in tight or awkward spaces, while highlighting how the airline has improved the in-flight experience out of New York City.