From GoGo to NoGo, Delta Stubs Their ToeToe

Delta Renames In-Flight Wireless Internet

Dubbed GoGo when released (see our original excited post about GoGo Wi-Fi published on January 12, 2009), it is rumored that Delta has decided to rename their in-flight wireless Internet service NoGo to signify that the service is still not available on all flights nearly nine months since its release. More importantly, GoGo is surprisingly absent from many cross-country flights (where travelers would most welcome it). “It has become clear to us that we should rename the service NoGo,” stated a fictitious Delta executive.

Okay, so this is a rumor that I’m starting, but for good reason. Today I sit on a four-hour, thirteen-minute flight from Atlanta to Orange County on a Delta 737. Once we reached 10,000 feet, I was excited to remove my laptop from its bag, power up and surf to my heart’s content.

Oops, someone forgot to install GoGo on this flight.

Makes perfect sense, right? Why would a planeload of businessmen want to check email during a cross-country flight in the middle of a weekday? My last three flights, all less than 40 minutes in total EDUT (Electronic Device Usage Time), came equipped with GoGo wireless. At just under $10 per flight, GoGo is often not worth purchasing on such short hops. On a flight like today’s, GoGo would be a welcomed bargain that would also help Delta squeeze some additional revenue from its customers.

Leaders Remember Important Lessons

I admit it: I’ve forgotten most of what I learned in college. Much of what I do remember, I have to say, I will never, ever use. I’m hopeful, of course, that I can recall the important lessons when required. The lack of GoGo Wi-Fi on today’s long flight reminds me of one of the first lessons I learned during a basic marketing course in my freshman year in college; perhaps you recall this lesson, as well: it was called The Four Ps of Marketing.

Price, Promotion, Product, Place

With regards to the GoGo rollout, Delta has done a done a decent job with three of the Ps, but they forgot all about one of them.

Price. At $9.95, the service is priced particularly well. A dollar more and they would likely lose 20-30% of their users, a dollar less and they gain nothing.

Promotion. Between the early 40% discounts and the constant bombardment of seat pocket flyers and preflight announcements I have become nearly addicted to the service.

Product. I can surf the web at 30,000 feet. ‘nuf said.

Place. Oops… it’s clear Delta didn’t think this one through. To provide the service during a quick jaunt between ATL and JAX is meaningless to consumers (and probably costly to Delta). However, to not provide the service between Atlanta and John Wayne International is downright criminal. What is Delta thinking? Obviously (as is becoming commonplace with Delta product/process rollouts) they were not.

Like the on-again/off-again Breezeway rules, Delta leadership doesn’t seem to grasp simple concepts. Is it because running an airline is so complicated? I have no doubt it’s damn tough to achieve much of what Delta has achieved, though I find it incredibly disappointing when they fail at the simplest of tasks. (As a frequent Delta flyer, I’m just hopeful they don’t screw up like this on the important stuff.)