I bought the latest issue of Wired magazine. Why do I only read magazines when I travel? I’m not sure why, but that’s not the point of this post.
Reading through the magazine, I encountered a full-page ad for Delta Airlines. I snapped a photo with my incredibly old and lame camera phone:
If you can’t read that (and I don’t blame you), the main text goes like this:
NO BOGUS “BOOKING FEES”
SKIP TRAVEL WEBSITE BOOKING FEES AT DELTA.COM
First off, that’s a various dubious use of quotation marks. That usage is usually meant to imply that something is not what as it’s described, as in:
Our “free” flight that we bought using Air Miles cost $300.
It’s not like a booking fee is actually something else. It may be questionable business practice (though I don’t think it is for the big travel sites), but it’s still just a plain old fee for booking a flight.
Questionable quotes aside, I thought that was a bizarre message to feature in Delta’s ad in Wired. Booking fees usually are quite small, and they’ve actually been around forever. That’s how travel agents make (or used to make) money.
Is That Really a Differentiator?
Other full page ads in Wired are for cigars, executive class travel with Air Canada and Hyatt hotels. I’m not implying that Wired readers are rich, but other ads suggest that they’re willing to pay for luxury goods.
I just don’t see ‘no booking fees’ as a compelling differentiator? Surely Delta has other offers that would be more compelling.