Delta continues to focus on improvement in the hot summer travel season

Editor’s note: This article, originally published May 26, was updated June 16 to include new operational information.

Delta’s commitment to better performance shows progress in the first half of June following actions to improve our customer operations. For June weekends month-to-date, Delta Network System weekend cancellations are down 35% from May.1 The local on-time arrival rate remains the number one among our competitors2 For the fifth month in a row, until June 15.3

The demand for travel has been on the rise, driven by people eager to reconnect with the world around them. Rebuilding Delta’s operations to serve the growing number of customers who want to travel with us has been a huge feat – and not without challenges.

“This phase of our recovery has been the hardest,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer John Lafter. “We’ve never had to bring the airline back so quickly before.” “Through this challenge, we continue to make the decisions that allow us to conduct a quality and safe operation while restoring our network, and take care of our employees and customers.”

Weekends affected by erratic operations were the main driver of cancellations in May. In recent months, we’ve made several adjustments to reduce disruptions and recover faster when challenges occur. These latest adjustments build on other actions Delta has taken recently, including:

  • We are strategically scheduling our crews and personnel in a way that we can absorb and adapt when factors such as summer thunderstorms disrupt operation.
  • We start boarding early. This, combined with enabling our employees to ‘leave when you’re ready’, increases the quota for flights departing five minutes early to get our planes and our customers on their way.4
  • We are continuing to engage with the Federal Aviation Administration on improving ATM operations.
  • We add several hundred new pilots and flight attendants to the operation each month as we recruit and train to support our growth.

On May 26, we announced that we will be strategically reducing our flight schedule this summer. This is intended to build additional flexibility into our system and improve operational reliability for our customers and employees; We will continue to proactively adjust scheduled flights in the coming weeks.

Delta teams strive to notify customers of itinerary changes as early as possible. If a schedule change or delay affects an upcoming flight, we will send updates directly to a mobile device or via email if contact information is included during booking or added later via My Trips online.

We also issue waivers in the event of bad weather, and offer customers whose travel includes affected cities the option to consider moving their travel to before or after a weather event, which can also help avoid unnecessary waiting at airports.

If there is a change to upcoming bookings later this summer, our teams will provide customers with the best itinerary that gets them where they need to go with minimal delays.

1. Based on internal data for system-wide Delta flights scheduled for the first three weekends in May 2022 compared to the first two weekends in June 2022. Weekends such as Memorial Day are excluded.

2. Based on DOT data for Delta’s major domestic airline flights through March 2022 and based on preliminary FlightStats data from April 2022 through June 15, 2022, compared to major US airlines. Major US airlines include Delta, American, United, Southwest, JetBlue and Alaska.

3. The date range is February 1, 2022 to June 15, 2022.

4. Based on internal data as of June 14, 2022.

Here are some other things customers should know before they set out on their summer travels:

1. Use the FLY DELTA app to check in, change flights, manage flight interruptions, and more.

Fly Delta is home to all the tools customers may need during their flight, including check-in, bag tracking, and flight interruption management. While our teams are always ready to support you, there is plenty on hand that will help you save time if you need to change your plans. You can almost always skip a phone call to our reservations team by adjusting your flight directly in the Fly Delta app or at or using Messaging Feature for more help. When flights are interrupted and waiting times on the phone are longer than usual, Fly Delta is the quickest option to get the next flight available.

Be sure to keep an eye out for any emails or text messages you receive from Delta with essential updates on your flight status, travel documents and what to know before you go to the airport. (This information is also available in . format my trips.) Turned off notifications by mistake? Look for Select notifications in your device’s Settings app and make sure that Fly Delta app notifications are turned on. Manage your device’s sleep mode settings accordingly as well to avoid silencing notifications.

2. Give yourself time to move around the airport.

Plan to arrive at the airport two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights. Take the extra time to check your bags and go through security – particularly on popular travel days – and remember to pack any valuables or essentials in your carry-on bags. If you’re traveling with spare lithium batteries, make sure you have them in your carry-on bag as well – lithium batteries are not allowed in checked baggage. Passengers departing from Atlanta should note that parking availability at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is limited due to the ongoing construction of the parking deck. Customers are encouraged to arrive via taxi, flight sharing, or additional budget time to park nearby and move into the building.

Double-check your handbag for prohibited items such as full water bottles and liquids over 3.4 ounces (be sure to keep them for your checked baggage). And remember to have your government-issued ID ready when you arrive at the security checkpoint.

Thanks to Delta’s partnership with TSA, eligible customers in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles – and soon – New York-LGA can sign up to use the new facial recognition technology to check bags, go through security, and board a plane completely hands-free. Use their digital identity (SkyMiles member number, passport number and known traveler number). Remember to keep your ID nearby in your handbag even when you choose to use facial recognition.

3. Consider a pre-screening or TSA PRECHEC to help speed through the safety lines.

For a faster experience inside the airport, customers can Register for CLEAR – Now available at over 35 airports we fly – and speed through safety lines with the touch of a finger or the blink of an eye. SkyMiles® members in the US get preferred rates for CLEAR membershipincluding free memberships for Diamond Medallion members residing in the United States.

Customers can also consider Apply for a TSA PreCheckNow available at more than 200 airports nationwide. Frequent travelers who are considering investing in accelerated security programs should Compare the benefits From CLEAR, TSA PreCheck, Sky Priority and Global Entry on To find out which program is right for them.

4. Delta staff works around the clock to help support you.

Whether at the airports, on the plane, or behind the scenes in our reservations and operations centres, we are here to help our clients get to where they need to be as safely and quickly as possible. When travel disruptions occur, our customers can rest assured that we are working around the clock to move and place equipment and crews, adjust schedules and take other proactive measures to ensure our customers get where they need to go.

When cancellations become necessary as a last resort, Delta works to make changes that affect the fewest customers with the least delay. Whenever possible, Delta teams strive to cancel flights with enough time to notify customers before arriving at the airport.

If for any reason a flight is delayed while you are at the airport, Delta staff are ready to support you. We’re expanding our airport staff and introducing new ways to take care of you while you wait for your flight, such as expanding ticket rebooking options for our customer service agents to help customers on the day of travel. If you need help, feel free to find one of our famous Red Coats – Delta’s premium airport customer service experts, identifiable by their bright red coats – armed with a chat feature and will do their best to resolve any questions. In the event of longer delays, teams are on hand to help care for customers in gate areas with light refreshments as well as provide digital vouchers for meals and hotel stays for overnight delays in some cases.

5. Be wary of changing virus-related protocols.

Covid protocols continue to evolve. Masks are optional now For customers, airport employees and crew members within US airports, on aircraft domestically and on most international flights. International travelers as well It is no longer required to test negative for COVID-19 For entry into the US starting with US-bound flights. (US citizens and permanent residents will be able to return from abroad without a test, regardless of vaccination status.)

People and customers in Delta can still choose to wear a mask. Customers must also continue to use Delta FlyReady to download the vaccination guide and government forms for entry into the United States and other countries as required.

Delta remains committed to layers of protection such as hospital-grade HEPA filters, regular cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces on planes and at the airport, a dedicated hygiene team dedicated to ensuring high standards are maintained, and the industry’s first health officer, Dr. Henry Ting, an influential voice at Delta We work to protect the health and safety of Delta’s people and customers.

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