Is Delta really different?

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Old Jan 31, 19, 1:16 pm
  #16  
 
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I have had status on AA, UA, AS, and now DL over the years. Hard to tell much of a difference. Had some great experiences on all of them and bad experiences. I am perfectly happy on DL but flown 6 segments in Y and 4 segments in F on UA this year with nary an issue. Even had an in cabin pet where the FA brought a cup of ice for him and told me to let him on my lap for a bit and give him some ice to refresh.

As to the original post sounds like it is more of being lucky to know to the right person to help make this happen.

Last edited by apodo77; Feb 1, 19 at 8:28 am
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Old Jan 31, 19, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
I'll describe it as Delta empowering employees to go beyond the contract of carriage minimum to improve the customer experience, and a fairly high percentage of employees do use this power for good purposes. I also tend to judge a company on how well they perform when things don't go as scheduled, and I've had largely positive interactions with Delta in those times.
I suspect this is the biggest part of it. As with any public company, DL is beholden to its shareholders - they are not being benevolent without regard to the costs. By being seen as "bending the rules" here and there they engender some loyalty and that leads to future revenue.

I'm still pretty hot with DL over an irrops mess back in November that I still don't feel has been addressed from their end but since I'm not particularly motivated to write a physical letter to Ed Bastian about it I don't think I'll ever hear anything more about it. I had 58 segments on DL last year and had probably five where things didn't go perfect, three of which I can point directly to failures with DL as the fault - so whilst their irrops recovery might be good, the situations I am blaming on them of could have been totally avoided.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 4:04 pm
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I was a long time medallion and part of keep delta my delta and flow on a spirit of delta retirement flight. Last year I moved to Dallas last year and AA was as bad as I feared. I am now a SWA A Lister. Delta is different, especially if you are a diamond but it wasn't always that way. Coming out of the recession and around the merger both morale and customer service sucked. We were were those airlines are now. Delta is at a different place life cycle wise than aa or us so the comparison almost isnt even fair.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 4:28 pm
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Originally Posted by Lehava View Post
I was a long time medallion and part of keep delta my delta and flow on a spirit of delta retirement flight. Last year I moved to Dallas last year and AA was as bad as I feared. I am now a SWA A Lister. Delta is different, especially if you are a diamond but it wasn't always that way. Coming out of the recession and around the merger both morale and customer service sucked. We were were those airlines are now. Delta is at a different place life cycle wise than aa or us so the comparison almost isnt even fair.
I still have my Keep Delta My Delta button. Unfortunately that victory didn't last long.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 4:34 pm
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Everyone deals with mediocre companies on a daily basis. As such, expectations are relatively low. DL consistently exceeds these expectations in my experience. Over the past 20 years I can count on one hand the number of lousy DL employees I have interacted with. But day in and day out I can rely on DL to consistently exceed my expectations.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare View Post
. And United will be leaving Delta in the dust with 60+ aircraft receiving Polaris this year and opening more Polaris clubs. The new Polaris club at LAX is breathtaking.
Airlines will always rotate in terms of who has the latest and greatest hard product on board or in lounges. Products age, and are eventually replaced. I think the point of this thread is about company culture, and I think most of us would say DL wins by a long shot. And while UA may have a few really bright spots with Polaris, DL never allowed their cabins or lounges to get to the seriously degraded level of quality that UA did before they launched Polaris.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 5:20 pm
  #22  
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I am a hub captive who had to shotgun marry DL once AirTran got bought by SWA. I used to exclusively fly AirTran business class because they cared about being on-time, I didn't care about meals & wanted Wi-Fi, while DL in 2008-2011 was a mess.

Remember 10 years ago when DL realized that the majors had to merge and got the first pick of prom dates... NWA.
While UA, CO, US, AA were all flying separately without disturbance, DL and NW struggled to assimilate.
By the time DL and NW started to gel, the other 4 hit turbulence in the early stages of their respective mergers.

So I think DL had the head start of being the first carrier to complete its major merger and has a more cohesive culture which is evident in their operations and profitability. But the other majors are working hard to close that gap.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 7:02 pm
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I'll give you one specific example of differences.

A friend emailed me to ask some complex questions about earning Alaska miles on AA and BA, and AA miles on BA. I researched it, and the conclusion was, "AA sucks--it's so much easier to earn on DL." (I always earn miles flying Skymiles partners--the same is not true of AA and OneWorld).
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Old Jan 31, 19, 7:29 pm
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As a DL DM and an AA EXP I have a fair amount of experience with both airlines. Value and performance are always based on what matters to you. Overall I think that DL is a far better and more consistent airline. AA is going through a horrible spell right now...to the point that is has fallen below UA in terms of service and quality. Here's my take on DL vs AA and who is better:

Website: AA
App: DL
Pre-Flight Info on delays: DL
Ticketing and Check-In Experience: Tied
Upgrade Frequency: AA
Lounges: DL
Lounge Food & Beverage: DL (though the Flagship lounges blow everything away)
Hubs: DL
Aircraft Interiors: DL (AA still has mainline aircraft with no powerports)
International Business: Depends: AA 787s are great, AA 767s are beyond lousy. DL A350's are heaven. DL 330s feel like coffins - I'll call it a tie
On-Time Reliability: DL
IRROPS Information Sharing: DL
Cancellation Rates: DL
Regional Carriers: DL
Pleasantness of Employees: DL
In-Flight Food and Beverage: Tie
Award Availability: AA

Final Score: DL: 11 AA: 3
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Old Jan 31, 19, 7:55 pm
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I've flown 1.9 million miles on Delta but only about 5% of that in the last 5 years. Since then, I've been 1K on UA and/or Platinum Executive on AA. I left Delta because of their increasingly inferior awards/elite program. And I'm sad to see the awards program continue to deteriorate as the value of my miles continues to erode.

Yesterday, I took an outstanding DL flight from SFO to DTW that surprisingly only had about 50% occupancy. The service was extraordinary -- two full beverage services plus additional runs of coffee and water. Great crew, didn't charge for my G&T; clean plane; and good IFE. But then I had a frustrating experience with my connecting jungle-jet flight, which was delayed 90 minutes because of a fuel problem. It was handled poorly: no communication, rolling delays, etc. It seems like these contrasting experiences are common for all three major carriers.

Ultimately, I really like United's FF program - they have great partners with very good award redemption values; generous systemwide upgrades; transparent upgrade inventory and ability to redeem upgrades online, etc. Despite UA's IT faults, customers are empowered to do the most with their reservations. However, if the awards/elite program was the same among all three carriers, I'd probably go back to Delta. Fewer bad eggs in the basket.

Glad the OP has had such good experiences with an airline, regardless of which one it is. They have taken a lot of the fun out of flying, so it's refreshing to hear of these positive reports.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 8:20 pm
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by defrosted View Post
Call it drinking the koolaid if you will, but I believe their corporate culture, at least from a customer perspective, is second to none.
I agree. I believe Delta has a better culture than others and offers the best product among U.S. airlines.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 8:25 pm
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I watch the mess Dougie Parker is making at AA and am so glad we fought him taking over DL

Originally Posted by readywhenyouare View Post


I still have my Keep Delta My Delta button. Unfortunately that victory didn't last long.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 9:19 am
  #28  
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I am still amused by the UA above Delta remark
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Old Feb 1, 19, 9:40 am
  #29  
 
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I mean its a multi billion dollar global company so are they really different then anyone else? No

BUT

Are my experiences much better on DL then any other (US based) carrier? Absolutely.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 10:37 am
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I was a loyal NWA flyer right up until the merger, and have maybe had 3 or 4 flights on DL in all the time since. All of us were very sad and angry to see the generous WorldPerks program and fairly smooth NWA operation go away back then. In the upper Midwest where I Iived at the time NWA was like the hometown airline and the CS I always received matched that. I left because DL was garbage and I didn't want to deal with the tumult the merger was causing. Perhaps I still harbor a tiny bit of bitterness after all this time, but have had zero compelling reason to go back since.

My most recent flight on DL was in Nov 18 and I saw nothing perceptibly better about the service. No one should kid themselves, the same baloney you see on AA and UA was there: a gaggle of a boarding process with the dozen BGs they have, curt FAs. They have the weakest alliance partners and international route network, and an incredibly unrewarding FF program. Maybe its a good option if you need to get around the southeastern US or to wonderful Detroit from most anywhere in the US, but for the flying I do they don't measure up and likely never will. I'll stay where I'm at now.

Last edited by gmt4; Feb 1, 19 at 10:44 am
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