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Delta Wants to Know the Most Stressful Part of Your Journey

Delta Wants to Know the Most Stressful Part of Your Journey
Jeff Edwards

Delta Air Lines is collecting more data on its customers than ever before and airline officials say they have learned some surprising lessons as a result. For one, the carrier says that the industry-wide belief that passengers only consider price when choosing an airline may have been grossly overstated.

Delta Air Lines knows a lot of information about its customers – more than just knowledge gleaned from passenger surveys. The company has data about everything from meal preferences to when a particular passenger is willing to pay for extra amenities or simply choose the very cheapest, most basic fare available. Airline officials say this unprecedented access to data has taught them that the conventional wisdom indicating passengers tend to book the lowest priced airfare regardless of the product offered may be wildly misunderstood. Delta says a full 60% of its passengers considered a number of factors other than price when booking flights.

“We have all the data points from every step in your journey and we use that data,” Delta CFO Paul Jacobson told attendees of the CNBC @Work Human Capital + Finance Summit in Chicago on Tuesday. “We’re looking at a level of precision in the business that we’ve never looked at before, and a lot of that comes down to the psychology of the customer and understanding what each leg in the journey makes the customer feel like.”

The legacy carrier has managed to turn this newfound understanding of its passengers to its advantage. The airline has carved out a profitable niche that its closest competitors have yet to successfully match.

“I think when you look back and say what was wrong with this industry 5 or 10 years ago is we all thought that it was a race to the bottom and that the only thing that mattered to consumers was having the lowest fare,” Delta President Glen Hauenstein told CNBC News.

Earlier this month, Delta announced it would begin reintroducing some once traditional cabin amenities, such as multi-course dining service, complimentary welcome drinks, wine and cocktails for international economy class passengers. The airline said it will even once again offer hot towels in the main cabin.

“This is about investing in every single customer who chooses Delta, no matter where they sit on the plane,” Delta VP Allison Ausband said in a release announcing the new service standards. “The thoughtful touches we’re investing in throughout the new Main Cabin experience were designed by flight attendants with one goal in mind — delivering an exceptional experience that our customers will rave about and one that our team, the best in the business, is proud to deliver.”


[Featured Image: Delta]

View Comments (6)


  1. alangore


    July 19, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    To me the most stressful part of any flight is checking in at the airport. We once complained about airline fees, but that’s so last year. Today it’s about the innumerable excuses carriers have come up with to deny boarding and force people to pay walkup on flight day.

    Will my middle name not quite match? Will there be an unannounced schedule change that eliminates my outbound connection? Will there be a new rule I haven’t heard about? Will one of my segments be canceled for no particular reason?

  2. djjaguar64

    July 21, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Simple, Crew & Service!


    July 25, 2019 at 8:04 am

    If Delta is so good with data, how come they couldn’t recognize that I was delayed on my inbound to RDU from DCA? I ran to the gate and missed the connection by 1 minute . With the plane sitting behind her, and the jetway still attached, the gate agent said to me. Well if we would have known you were going to be this close, we would have waited a few more minutes!!

  4. RSSrsvp

    July 28, 2019 at 9:51 am

    Making your connecting flight is one of the most stressful parts of any trip. More resources need to be added to facilitate this transition.


    July 30, 2019 at 5:52 am

    making a connecting flight

  6. kkua

    August 14, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    My most stressful part??? It’s leaving the spouse behind on the upgrade list while I’m upgraded. Then, the crew will need to know about the musical chair game as we pass notes across the curtain divider.

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