No, this isn’t a satirical post like the ones you’ll find at the Takeoff Nap (another Boarding Area blog).
Some Delta Air Lines corporate office employees are about to get a heck of a field trip: dealing with passengers at airports.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian made that an announcement — and an apology to Delta passengers — in an email sent to the carrier’s customers today. Coincidentally (or not), the message was sent the same day off-duty Delta pilots around the country took to picket lines, protesting their working conditions, amongst other grievances.the same day off-duty Delta pilots around the country took to picket lines, protesting their working conditions, amongst other grievances.
Mr. Bastian didn’t waste much time getting in front of Delta’s highly-publicized operational issues
I know many of you may have experienced disruptions, sometimes significant, in your travels as we build our operation back from the depths of 2020 while accommodating a record level of demand.
If you’ve encountered delays and cancellations recently, I apologize. We’ve spent years establishing Delta as the industry leader in reliability, and though the majority of our flights continue to operate on time, this level of disruption and uncertainty is unacceptable. You choose to invest your time, resources and loyalty with Delta and you’ve rightly come to expect a world-class experience on every flight, and that includes the best reliability in the business.
He noted Delta operated “over 96% of our scheduled departures, with more than 80% of our flights arriving within 14 minutes of their scheduled arrival time.”
Out of the Office and Into the Frying Pan Airport
Meanwhile, some of Delta’s office personnel will assist certain airport operations.
“We’ve activated our Peach Corps,” Mr. Bastian said, “a program that brings in hundreds of employees from our corporate offices to the airports in Atlanta and New York to assist with check-in, baggage drop-off, airport wayfinding, using kiosks, serving you at our Delta Sky Clubs and other helpful tasks.”
That sends a chill down my spine. My goodness, can you imagine doing from your comfortable office gig to a chaotic airport dealing with angry or flustered passengers? One day, you’re answering phones or helping write a press release. The next, someone is screaming at you because the weather is your fault and they can’t believe you designed “this stupid airport!” in such a poor fashion.
What’s Delta Doing to Remedy the Problems?
“The environment we’re navigating today is unlike anything we’ve ever faced, but Delta is no stranger to challenging times, and our commitment to you is as strong as ever,” Mr. Bastian wrote. “We won’t stop until we’ve made things right, and we’ll never stop improving for you.”
So, how does that happen?
Mr. Bastian promoted the usual suspects: airport transformations and Delta Sky Clubs, Delta.com, the Fly Delta app, and all that. He gave a few more specifics:
- Working with the FAA “on improving processes for air traffic management” that (theoretically) will reduce delays and cancellations chalked up to bad weather
- Hiring “a record number” of personnel in reservations and customer service, pilots, cabin crew, aircraft maintenance, etc.
- Implementing “more buffer room to help us absorb and adjust when factors like summer thunderstorms disrupt the operation”
I thought it was, overall a pretty good email. Mr. Bastian acknowledged some of the problems Delta has experienced (and they’re not the only airline with those issues) and told customers what the plan is to fix them.
Godspeed to the Peach Corp.
What do you think?
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