Passenger group says Delta is shaming customers into upgrades

August 19, 2015, 4:29 PM UTC
A Delta Air Lines plane taxis toward a gate between other De
UNITED STATES - JULY 20: A Delta Air Lines plane taxis toward a gate between other Delta planes at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, U.S., on Monday, July 20, 2009. Delta Air Lines Inc., based in Atlanta since 1941, is promoting itself as New York city's "hometown carrier" with mojitos in Manhattan and sponsorships of the Yankees and Mets baseball teams. (Photo by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Photograph by Daniel Acker — Bloomberg/Getty Images

Skift.com coined the term “hate-selling” last week, using it to refer to the way it believes Delta is passive-aggressively upselling its customers.

When you attempt to purchase a Basic Economy fare for a Delta flight, which is the cheapest deal the airline offers, a window pops up to display a long list all of the fare’s restrictions, then you have to check a box that reads “I agree to the restrictions” prior to purchasing your ticket. FlyersRights.org, a passenger rights group, claims that this is an aggressive tactic meant to shame the customer into purchasing upgrades that they did not originally want.

Paul Hudson, president of the group, worries that if this supposed scare tactic works it may encourage other airlines to emulate Delta, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Anthony Black, a Delta spokesman, spoke out against these accusations, telling the Times that the listed restrictions are not meant to shame people, rather they are there to ensure that buyers are fully aware of what exactly they are purchasing.