Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Delta Finally Seems to Admit that Shuttle Pricing is Broken on LGA-DCA/BOS

Last week, Delta quietly lowered pricing on the Delta Shuttle which operates between New York LGA and Boston/Washington Reagan National.

For years, Delta (and USAirways) have both charged over$300 each way for a last minute, walk-up fare. Of course, corporate discounts lowered these fares considerably for companies with huge volumes but the masses were stuck with paying $329+taxes each way.

Several months ago, Delta down-sized the LGA-DCA flights from MD-88s to Regional Jets in response to slowing demand on the route

But now it appears that a combination of the decline in business traffic, Amtrak's success in the market and competition from JetBlue from JFK to Washington Dulles and Boston have finally pushed Delta to think differently about this market.

A check of Shuttle flights this afternoon showed walk- up fares to Boston as low as $129 and DC at $169. Talk about relief! There are even lower fares out there when booking round-trips and staying a minimum of 3 days or over a Saturday night - as low as $199 total, including tax roundtrip. With a 21 day advance purchase one way tickets up to Boston are just 74 bucks including tax.

To further sweeten the pot, Delta is offering 2,500 bonus SkyMiles each way (+ the normal 500 you would earn anyway) until July 26th. More details here.

Now if only they could fix the Air Traffic Control delays into LGA.........


  1. They didn't hid it all that much; they posted on their website and sent an email blast to pretty much everyone. And it is about time that they've cut these prices.

    They have significantly lower demand and the competition they are facing from Amtrak and the renaissance in intercity bus service in the NE Corridor (cheap and wifi included!) is very real. Oh, and they've cut the quality of service in their downgrade from the dedicated shuttle fleet (MD88s with extra legroom to ERJs).

    The Shuttle service used to be a premier product and Delta could demand the pricing premium for it. It no longer is and they no longer can.

  2. Totally agree with your comments - the product is a far cry from what it was in its heyday. No more extra sections, regional jets, even the food has been downgraded. At least there is still free beer and wine!

    And yes, they have been promoting the changes in email and on their website but that began nearly a week after the pricing changes were made...