Good news: Delta is upgrading select flyers to completely bypass the treacherous scene of group flying and sending them off in style on a private jet. The catch: Not only do you have to be a brand loyalist, you have to be willing to shell out $300-800 for said treatment. The new program will target what Delta calls high-value customers, meaning flyers who have reached an elite or "medallion" status within the airline's frequent-flyer program. Initially, there will be a small number of private jets focused on the East Coast available for this kind of upgrade.
Not only is this business move looking to squeeze another extra fee out of customers, but it's also helping to avoid "empty leg" flights--trips in which a private jet makes a trip without any passengers on board. Airlines have already put resources in toting important passengers from flight to flight in luxury cars (think: Mercedes and Porsches) -- this is just the next step in adding an extravagant option every step of the way.
-- By Erika Owen