The next time you're passing through the airport and a Delta agent has just started boarding, you'll hear, "Our active duty U.S. military service members with ID are welcome to board."
Supporting active military and veterans is key to Delta's business strategy and community engagement efforts. That's why, effective immediately, the airline is enhancing its boarding process to honor all uniformed and non-uniformed active military personnel.
The idea that sparked this change came from an active military member who sent a note to Delta CEO Ed Bastian asking if the airline would consider recognizing those individuals traveling on orders.
"Bringing a great idea to life quickly has become core to our ability to deliver an unparalleled customer experience," said Gareth Joyce, Senior Vice President – Airport Customer Service. "Delta people have a proud history of supporting the military and jumped at the chance to make this happen."
After just over 20 days of thoroughly testing the concept, Delta teams were confident that a system wide rollout could happen quickly. And feedback from employees and customers continued to prove that this move was the right thing to do.
This change comes as Delta continues to invest in tools and technology to improve the customer experience and bring more organization to the boarding process.
"The Armed Forces community is a remarkably important part of what we do at Delta," said Jim Graham, V.P. – Flight Operations, a veteran of the U.S. Navy and executive sponsor of Delta's Veterans employee group. "This is one more way Delta can show gratitude to those who sacrifice so much for us."
About 3,000 Delta employees are members of the U.S. Armed Forces and approximately 10,000 veterans are employed at Delta. Delta employees can volunteer as a part of the Honor Guard, a group that meets incoming flights and pays respect to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Delta gives customers an opportunity to support the military by donating miles through SkyWish to Fisher House Foundation Hero Miles and Luke's Wings, providing air travel to injured, ill or wounded service members and veterans, along with their families. Delta and SkyMiles Members have donated more than 212 million miles to these organizations. Delta also supports the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, Marine Toys for Tots, Serving Our Troops, the USO and airport military lounges, including the Freedom Center in Detroit and the Minnesota Armed Forces Service Center.