Yes, I agree, it's a wonderful business plan, but I'm not a Delta shareholder, I'm a customer. I don't ask for much: if you sell me a main cabin ticket, make all main cabin seats that have not been already taken available to those checking in on a first come first serve basis rather than artificially block half of those seats in a classic bait and switch.The basic premise is that an airline exists to create revenue ... as much revenue as possible. Add up your sales, deduct your expenses and your shareholders love you if you're making money. First thing the airlines did was reduce the size and pitch of seats to transport more passengers in a given plane, with given expense. That worked quite well; nobody stopped flying. They complained a great deal, but the airlines don't care.
They decided to keep fares as low as possible and charge passengers for whatever they wanted: a better seat, a checked bag, a meal. Many people, including me, think this is a very good plan. I want to check a bag and be comfortable. I don't care about the food or drink or entertainment. So I just pay for what I want.
This makes perfect sense to me as a business plan. If I have to book a short trip in coach, I want to be able to pay for the extra leg room and have a seat assignment (I understand it's not guaranteed, but I've never had to sit elsewhere). The problems arise when infrequent travellers encounter all this and are dismayed and perplexed. They often feel cheated, but really, it's just a matter of not knowing what they're buying.