By Mike Pomranz
Updated December 10, 2014
Credit: © National Geographic Image Collection / Alamy

Beginning in March, Delta Air Lines is redefining the seating options available to customers, creating five tiers of seating because buying an airplane ticket was too simple.

“Delta One” is the top of the line, but it is offered only on long-haul international and New York-California routes. Second is “First Class,” which is a bit confusing, considering the definition of the word “first.” Then you have “Delta Comfort+,” “Main Cabin” and finally “Basic Economy.”

Image courtesy of Delta

Delta spokesman Paul Skrbec told USA Today that Delta came up with the new designations so they would have “easily recognizable branded products.” Yet, obviously anticipating at least a little bit of confusion, Delta has released a five-columned, bullet-pointed chart delineating the rules and services applying to each fare. It’s kinda like saying iTunes created their user agreement to help users easily understand the company’s terms and conditions.

It’s worth noting that some of the changes are significant. Basic Economy, which Delta announced last month, promises to be a new, cheaper option: in exchange for lower fares, cost-conscious flyers give up amenities like an assigned seat. Basic Economy flyers also board last. Meanwhile, Delta Comfort+ not only provides “up to 4 more inches of legroom” but also free beer, wine and spirits (at least there’s one good change in all of this).

Really, all these tiers seem a little unnecessary. Don’t most of us fall into two groups anyway? There are those who want the cheapest ticket and those who don’t care because they have George Clooney’s status from Up in the Air. Let’s just make those the options.