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In effort to make every passenger's boarding experience a pleasant one, Delta’s Airport Customer Service (ACS) has extended the Early Valet program through Jan. 1, 2016.

ACS launched Early Valet  this past summer, with a focus on reducing boarding times and improving customer satisfaction. Through Early Valet, Gate Concierge agents answer questions and address concerns before and during the boarding process. Prior to boarding, Gate Concierge Agents collect carry-on baggage to stow above the customers’ seats. This service is currently operating at Delta’s domestic hub locations through the holidays on specific fleet types serving key markets.

“Early Valet is a much different experience for the customer and actually improves on our boarding process,” said Erick Avila, ACS Operations Service Manager, New York – JFK. “It is a stand out enhancement for our customers, especially in a market like JFK where there is such a diverse customer group.”

Alan Janbay, ACS Project Leader, echoed similar sentiments, explaining that the program is the answer to improving efficiency and customer service at the gate.

“Boarding is a pain point for the entire aviation industry,” said Janbay. “The Early Valet program is a great example of Delta’s commitment to innovative service, winning the Future Travel Experience Award for best gate initiative in the industry. It not only enhances the customer’s overall experience, but safeguards on-time departures, helping Delta power the on-time machine.”

But the Delta difference doesn’t stop there, as the airline continues to look at ways to further gate service initiatives. One of these initiative is a new Delay Concierge in New York, which uses the Early Valet program to drive personal interactions at the gate during delays. In order to create a tailored experience for customers, these agents assist with easing long lines, providing drinks, snacks and fun distractions (i.e. coloring books, puzzles), rebooking and ensuring customer engagement at the gate.

“From the employee side, this program is a lot more personal with each customer. Now Delta employees have an opportunity to stay with the customers throughout their delay, providing support where needed and keeping everyone better informed,” Avila said.

Feedback demonstrates that both programs are contributing to Delta’s goal of making flying better for customers.