Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

I imagine that Delta's image-meisters sit up late into the night, sipping peach juice and champagne, thinking about the perfect words to use.

Let's call it Comfort Class.

No. Let's call it Comfort+. It worked for Google+, didn't it?

This week, however, the image-meisters outdid themselves -- and, frankly, most image-meisters in the world.

You see, the airline announced it was going to change its boarding process.

It positively gushed at its ingenuity: 

Zone boarding, an aviation standard for decades, will soon be a thing of the past for Delta customers as the airline makes a global shift to boarding by branded fare purchased.

Ah, yes. Because we all begin our conversations with our fellow passengers like this: 

Which branded fare did you purchase?

Mine was Gucci. And yours?

Banana Republic, I'm afraid. See you on the plane.

Delta, though, is determined you grasp just how bright is new idea will be. 

The boarding order change....... will be accompanied by new color accents distinguishing Delta's fare products (Basic Economy, Main Cabin, Delta Comfort+, Delta Premium Select/First Class and Delta One), each of which, in addition to Sky Priority, will have a specific, complementary color -- from booking through boarding.

You'll be wondering what it all means. 

Well, the snootiest -- Delta One, then Delta Premium Select or First Class -- and those who need assistance will still get on the plane in the first two groups. 

But then -- for reasons, perhaps, of ensuring the whole rainbow of colors is employed -- Comfort+ passengers will board ahead of the Platinum and Gold types and the other déclassé members of loyalty programs.

It gets even more ravishingly silly after that.

The next group is called Main Cabin 1.

This, as far as I can grasp, includes those who are mere Silver Medallion members or invested in a Delta credit card. They've been downgraded in the boarding pecking order.

After these poor souls, there's still Main Cabin 2, Main Cabin 3 and finally the sad, sad people in Basic Economy. Or Main Cabin 666.

Leaving my thumbs to do the typing, I count eight groups. Where previously there had been six.

Please, I don't believe anyone will ever create the perfect, or even the perfectly workable boarding process.

Gates have little space and a lot of antsy people. Why, I recently tried United's new two-lane boarding system and goodness, did it upset the very snootiest of passengers.

As well as those of us who had to watch them behave like privileged half-brains. 

Still, I've been saving the sheer deliciousness of the Delta image-meisters' work until now.

They, you see, described the airline's new boarding system, one with more groups and lots of new colors, as: "Boarding simplified."


I know it all sounds complicated, but the whole reason behind this move is to simplify things.

This boarding colorfest begin in January and I can barely wait for readers' messages about how it's made their flying lives simpler.

I wonder if the more committed Delta flyers will start color-coordinating their clothes with their colorful boarding positions.

Is that mauve or plum you're sitting in today?

Published on: Dec 15, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.