ATLANTA, Oct. 25, 2007 – Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) today voiced support for recommendations released in late September by the U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General advising airlines, airports and government agencies on steps to improve airline customer service and minimize long, on-board delays.
“Delta supports the recent recommendations made by the Inspector General to mitigate the impact of lengthy delays on our customers,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer. “We take these recommendations seriously because we know and care for our customers and believe superior service is paramount to our success.”
Delta’s Customer Service Commitment and/or Contract of Carriage will be updated to include several of the recommendations from the Inspector General’s report that are already in practice at Delta, including:
- Defining what constitutes an “extended period of time” for on-board delays;
- Establishing set timeframes to elevate any flight experiencing lengthy taxi-in and taxi-out delays to senior operational leaders in order to seek expedited resolution – 60 minutes for taxi-in delays and 90 to 120 minutes, depending on airport conditions, for taxi-out delays;
- Posting to delta.com Delta’s Airline Customer Service Commitment and Contract of Carriage;
- Identifying and resolving issues within Delta’s control that lead to chronically delayed flights or modifying scheduled block times for each such flight, subject to external conditions, to ensure each flight operates consistently with its schedule;
- Providing customers, upon request, with on-time performance information for any Delta or Delta Connection flight during the reservation process --via reservation agent or via a link to Delta’s on-time information provided on delta.com;
- Reviewing incidents of lengthy on-board delays to identify trends and causes and implement solutions to mitigate future similar events; and
- Complying with policies governing long on-board delays.
Delta also is taking the following steps to implement additional recommendations of the Inspector General:
- Posting historical on-time information by flight on delta.com;
- Self-auditing Delta’s compliance with the Airline Customer Service Commitment;
- Working closely with airports to establish processes for mitigating lengthy on-board delays;
- Participating in a national task force with DOT, FAA, airports and airline peers to coordinate and develop contingency plans for dealing with lengthy on-board delays, including sharing facilities and making gates available for use during emergencies; and
- Complying with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ new reporting requirements capturing all events resulting in long on-board delays, such as flight diversions.
“Delta has already laid out a plan to do our part in reducing chronic delays and congestion in the Northeast before another busy summer travel season begins,” Anderson said. “As New York City’s leading international carrier, we are proud to take a leadership position in redesigning our JFK schedule to accommodate our international flying – much of it to destinations not served by other U.S. airlines – while helping to reduce congestion at peak times by more evenly scheduling Delta flights throughout the day.”
The airline also expects customers to benefit from access to both its Airline Customer Service Commitment and updated Contract of Carriage documents, which will be made available on delta.com in the coming weeks.
Delta Air Lines operates service to more worldwide destinations than any airline with Delta and Delta Connection flights to 310 destinations in 54 countries. Since 2005, Delta has added more international capacity than all other major U.S. airlines combined and is the leader across the Atlantic with flights to 36 trans-Atlantic markets. To Latin America and the Caribbean, Delta offers more than 400 weekly flights to 53 destinations. Delta's marketing alliances also allow customers to earn and redeem SkyMiles on nearly 15,000 flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. Including its SkyTeam and worldwide codeshare partners, Delta offers flights to 475 worldwide destinations in 104 countries. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes and check flight status at delta.com.