Delta is a popular airline that can take you to big cities across the United States as well as across international borders.
Ticket prices vary, but for domestic flights, its ticket prices tend to cost anywhere from $200 to $600 for a single person.
Clearly, flying with multiple passengers can become quite expensive.
Since Delta isn’t an airline known for luxury services or flying, you may wonder why they charge such an expensive price.
Here are 10 reasons Delta is expensive.
Why Is Delta So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)
1. Little Competition
While there are several airlines across the United States, it doesn’t always mean that there are airlines in specific cities.
For example, Delta Airlines has its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
It is the only major airline in that city.
Because of this, Delta’s ticket prices to and from Atlanta, specifically, tend to be more expensive than ticket prices elsewhere.
That’s because there isn’t any other airline to compete with it.
Without competition, a business essentially sets the price it wants.
When competition emerges, it often offers services or products at a lower cost to compete.
While some customers may remain loyal to the original business, others looking to save money will switch to the cheaper business.
This then forces the original business to lower its prices to compete.
At some point, both businesses go as low as they can while still making a profit.
At that juncture, the businesses then try to offer innovations, new services, and better products to outcompete one another.
Since Delta doesn’t have anyone to compete with in Atlanta, it can set the highest price.
Those who need to use an airline to fly in or out of Atlanta have no choice but to pay the high price.
Delta is expensive because some of the cities it is in have no other competition.
2. Ticket Types
There are several ticket types that Delta offers and some are more expensive than others.
The type of ticket that you choose can determine how much you end up paying for your trip.
It also determines the kind of services and experiences that you enjoy on the trip.
The most basic ticket is the Basic Economy ticket.
Prices tend to stick around $150 but can creep up depending on when you’re buying the ticket.
The most expensive ticket is the First Class ticket.
Prices tend to range anywhere from $400 to $600.
With Basic Economy, you don’t get much aside from basic services.
Delta also doesn’t let you choose your seat.
Seat assignments aren’t given out until after you check in.
When it comes to First Class, you’re able to get a few more benefits.
One of the benefits of First Class is that you get larger seats with more legroom.
You’re also able to get on the plane first which beats standing around waiting for everyone to find their seats.
Another benefit is that you’re able to check two bags for free.
If you’re on a long flight, then you also get a premium meal.
Clearly, the more that you pay, the more relaxing and beneficial your flight is.
However, First Class tickets can become expensive, especially if you’re traveling during the holidays or close to the departure date.
Delta has two other ticket types, too.
Their Main tickets tend to cost around $200.
With that ticket, you’re able to choose the seat when purchasing your ticket.
You still get the same seats as everyone else in economy class, but you can choose where you want to sit.
You can also choose and change the seat you want to sit in at any point after making your reservation.
If you decide you don’t want to sit where you chose or have family members cancel their reservation, then the Main ticket gives you some flexibility to make changes.
The final ticket that Delta offers is Comfort+.
With this ticket, you’re able to sit on padded chairs.
You also get three inches more legroom.
Comfort+ tickets tend to cost around $300.
You’re also able to leave the plane earlier than others in economy class.
Delta has several ticket types with First Class being the most expensive.
3. No Child Discounts
Another reason that Delta Airlines is expensive is that it doesn’t offer any discounts for children.
With other airlines, you can sometimes get a discount for children passengers.
That’s because they don’t weigh much nor do they take up much space.
At Delta, they charge children the same as adults.
Everyone is a passenger.
If you rely on discounts for children, then that can make your flight quite expensive.
Even worse, Delta considers children’s items as special items.
For example, if you need to bring a diaper bag on the plane with you, then you need to check it in with a gate agent before boarding.
They can help you load it onto an overhead baggage storage area, but they’ll also check to see if it’s overweight.
Diapers aren’t the lightest things, and you probably have quite a few in the bag.
It’s likely that you also have other things a baby might need like bibs, formula, and cleaning wipes.
If your bag weighs too much, then they’ll hit you with more fees.
Taking your children on a Delta airline can be quite expensive.
Delta is expensive because they don’t offer discounts for children and also charge fees for overweight items like diaper bags.
4. No Military Discounts For Veterans
Delta also doesn’t offer discounts for military veterans.
Instead, they only offer discounted flights and a few other benefits to active military members.
While this is great for soldiers who are at war, they’re also not likely to fly that much since they’re deployed.
Their families are also able to use their discount, which can help those with an active service member in their family.
However, veterans do not receive a military discount at Delta.
They have to pay the same fees as everyone else.
They’re also limited to the number of bags that they can bring.
Active members, on the other hand, get free checks on their bags.
They also have lighter restrictions when traveling with pets.
Finally, Delta offers certain vacation packages at discounted rates for active military members and their families.
While that’s ideal for active members of the military, those who have served don’t get much.
If you’re a veteran who often relies on discounts to be able to afford things, then you’re out of luck with Delta.
The prices for their tickets may be too expensive.
Delta is expensive because it doesn’t offer a military discount for veterans.
5. Limited Senior Discounts
After doing their part in the workforce, seniors retire if they’re lucky and use the benefits they’ve earned while working to pay for certain things.
They also rely on senior discounts to make certain services and products more affordable.
This helps them stretch their dollar a little more since many seniors are on a fixed income.
If they choose to travel with Delta, then they’ll find that the tickets are quite expensive because Delta only has a limited number of locations that offer senior discounts.
Even those locations might stop offering them during busy travel periods.
Without a senior discount, seniors have to pay the full price of a ticket.
Considering what their fixed income is, they may have to spend half or even the entire month’s income on a few tickets to travel.
If you’re a senior and Delta doesn’t offer a senior discount at your local airport, then their tickets may be too expensive for you.
6. Revenge Traveling
The COVID-19 pandemic put a halt on all travel.
It was happening in the United States as well as across the world.
With planes mostly grounded, the travel industry took a serious hit.
However, that all changed when things started opening back up and governments lifted restrictions.
People started partaking in a trend called revenge traveling.
Since many had to cancel their vacation plans due to the pandemic, they are now taking their vacations with a vengeance.
This essentially means that travelers are indulging even more on their vacations.
They’re paying more to get better services and experiences to make up for the vacation that they lost.
While revenge traveling is good for the travel industry, it also means that airplanes and other modes of travel are in high demand.
Since planes are in high demand, it means there are fewer tickets to go around.
Planes can only carry so many passengers on each flight.
They also have weight restrictions.
If too many passengers are heavy and bring heavy belongings with them, then the plane might not be able to carry all the passengers.
Weight is an important part of plane safety.
Since there are only so many tickets available for each plane, whenever there’s a lot of demand for them, the prices go up a lot.
This is to encourage people to look for another flight or re-plan their travel dates.
It also helps the airline earn extra money.
Limited tickets like First Class tickets can skyrocket even higher when tickets are scarce.
That’s because revenge traveling, in particular, emphasizes indulging which means most travelers are looking to travel First Class instead of Economy Class.
As a result, those limited tickets are even more scarce.
The result is extremely high First Class tickets.
Revenge traveling has taken the travel industry by storm.
Due to the increased number of people taking vacations, there’s a higher number of people needing Delta airline tickets.
With high demand and low supply, Delta tickets become expensive.
7. Holiday Travel
One of the big factors that influence how expensive Delta’s tickets can be is the holidays.
While revenge traveling is sure to die off with time, airlines can always count on the holiday season to be a busy time.
During the holidays, a lot of workers have time off.
They use that time to travel to extended family and share the holidays with them.
It’s a time for everyone to catch up and bond as a family again.
Sometimes families have to travel long distances to see one another.
To make the most of their time, they choose to fly.
The problem is that everyone else is choosing to fly, too.
Just like revenge traveling, there ends up being more demand than there is a supply of tickets.
Delta can only fly so many planes each day.
While they have a large fleet of airplanes, those planes are all over the globe.
It takes time for planes to travel across the world or even within the same country.
Everyone has to wait their turn to be able to travel on a plane.
Besides having a set number of planes in action, they also have a set number of seats.
When those seats get filled, there isn’t any more room for anyone to squeeze on.
The supply of plane tickets is low during the holidays because a lot of people are traveling during that time.
Even if people aren’t seeing family, some are using that extra time off to take a vacation.
They need tickets, too.
Delta is expensive because there is an overwhelming demand for plane tickets during the holidays with a limited supply available.
8. Pilot Shortage
Another big problem that’s forcing Delta to increase its ticket prices is the fact that there’s a shortage of pilots available.
A plane can’t take off without a pilot on board to fly it.
The problem is that there’s only ever a small number of pilots available in the hiring pool.
Part of the problem is that aspiring pilots have to accumulate several hours of flight time before they’re eligible.
It can be difficult to get that flight time when they have to work another job to pay back their loans for flight school.
Some pilots also have families to support that require them to take on other jobs while they finish flying a certain number of miles.
Airlines also make the hiring process difficult by having difficult requirements.
Delta, in particular, used to require that their pilots had a Bachelor’s Degree from a University.
They’ve since removed that requirement to encourage new pilots to apply with them.
Pilot shortages make ticket prices increase because it means fewer planes are taking off.
If a plane doesn’t have a pilot, then it isn’t going anywhere.
This means the number of planes that the airline can use is smaller.
That means there’s more demand for the tickets on the planes that are actually flying.
With supply dwindling even further, the prices of Delta’s airline tickets increased.
Delta is expensive because of the pilot shortage.
9. Jet Fuel
Gas prices aren’t only affecting drivers.
They’re also impacting airlines.
There are several reasons behind increased gas prices.
Everything from inflation to the war in Ukraine is affecting them.
The problem for airlines is that fueling up planes is extremely expensive.
They use a lot of fuel to take off and soar through the air.
If they’re traveling a long distance, then they’re using even more fuel.
With higher jet fuel costs, Delta takes on higher costs of operation.
This is a problem for the airline which is still recovering from the lack of revenue during the pandemic.
While they’re back to earning profit with vacationers eager to travel, the high jet fuel prices are impacting their profits.
To counteract that, Delta has to charge higher for their ticket prices.
You may notice that longer distances are far more expensive than shorter distances.
That’s because the longer distances use more fuel and are more costly for Delta.
Until gas prices drop, jet fuel will also remain expensive.
Delta is expensive because of the cost of jet fuel.
10. Non-Stop And One-Stop Trips
A final reason Delta is expensive is if you choose one-stop tickets or non-stop tickets.
Non-stop tickets are trips that take you directly from one city to the next.
The plane doesn’t land until it reaches its destination.
These flights are usually faster and cost more.
One-stop tickets are often far cheaper.
They usually include a stop or two between the two cities.
This allows the plane to drop off some passengers and pick up some more who are likely going to the same destination that you are.
The reason one-stop tickets are cheaper is that it’s less convenient for you.
Delta tries to soften the sting by making your ticket cheaper.
It also earns the airline more money.
They’re able to make money on the way.
Non-stop tickets are more expensive because the airline only earns money at the starting point and ending point.
There isn’t a third point in the middle where they pick up extra money.
It’s also more convenient for passengers.
As with anything when it comes to convenience, it costs extra.
If you see a non-stop ticket available, then you can expect it to be more expensive than a one-stop ticket.
Delta is expensive because it offers non-stop tickets.
How To Save Money On Delta Airline Tickets
While Delta airline tickets are expensive, there are a few ways that you can save money.
Follow these tips to save money on Delta airline tickets.
1. Book Early
The best thing you can do to save money is to book your tickets early.
Even if you’re unsure whether you’re going on a vacation or not, it’s a good idea to book tickets that you can cancel later if need be.
At best, you booked early enough to get a great deal on tickets.
At worst, you can cancel and get your money back.
2. Avoid Holiday Travel
While flying may be the most convenient way to visit family, you should consider another mode of travel.
You should speak with your family and determine if everyone can visit outside of the holidays instead.
By not traveling during the holidays, you can easily save a lot of money.
3. Pack Light
A final way you can save some money is by packing light.
If you pack too heavy, then you’re going to have some big fees attached to your ticket price.
By traveling light, flying is not only easier, but it’s also cheaper.
Flying with Delta can be very expensive.
Due to pilot shortages, increased jet fuel prices, and revenge traveling, certain factors are driving up the price of tickets.
By following the tips given above, you can save money the next time you book Delta tickets.