For us, innovation means improving the way we fly, work and serve at every airport, every day. It’s not just innovation for the sake of innovation. It’s constantly taking a thoughtful approach to evaluating existing technologies and implementing new ones like RFID for baggage tracking. And sometimes it’s figuring out new processes to ease customer pain points, further improve our industry-leading reliability or empower Delta people to better do their jobs.
For those ideas that are successfully launched, like our early valet program that saves precious time and improves the customer experience when boarding, you can expect that we’ve done our homework. We’ve tested it, gathered feedback from employees and customers, and considered alternatives to decide on the best innovation for our business before implementation.
Some of you may remember when our Care While Waiting program meant we would organize bingo games when your flight was delayed. Today, Care While Waiting means drinks, snacks and other goodies that customers can enjoy. Why? Because you told us that was the most meaningful experience.
You see, we’re not working in a bubble. Customer and employee feedback remain critical inputs as we continue to build a better airline. Feedback from surveys, emails and even social media helps us drive enhancements and identify areas where we can improve.
So what’s next?
You may have seen different boarding processes being tested in Atlanta and JFK. From process engineers to customer service agents, employees across Delta have placed boarding under the microscope. You may see a number of iterations before we get it right, because we want to make sure it really moves the needle and improves your experience.
Boarding is just one example of Delta’s commitment to innovation. We’re exploring ways to improve the customer experience at all stages – check-in, Sky Clubs and baggage handling, to name a few.
And you will see us trying new things at airports around the world. That’s because Delta people look at each and every process carefully, embracing a culture of continuous improvement.
Our innovative approach to this business is what differentiates Delta from our competitors. By improving our performance, reliability and customer service we can offer a better product. And we’re not slowing down any time soon.
Bill Lentsch is Delta's Senior Vice President - Airport Customer Service and Airline Operations.