Delta has been honored with two prestigious awards recognizing superior customer experience.
The company received a top ranking from APEX Official Airline Ratings. The honor, awarded to Delta for the second straight year, was based on customer feedback.
The Airline Passenger Experience Association ranked Delta as one of 25 global airlines worthy of a five-star rating out of about 500 passenger airlines surveyed. This customer experience award, presented last week in Boston, followed Delta receiving its first-ever five-star rating last year as well as the prestigious Crystal Cabin award for its Delta One suite.
"We are proud and humbled to be recognized for the hard work and commitment to our customers by all 80,000 Delta people," said Chris Buckner, Delta's Director – Onboard Product and Customer Experience. "This award celebrates what we've done to elevate the customer experience, but also pushes us to do even better. We do not take our success for granted, and will continue to development products with the customer at the center of every decision we make."
APEX partnered with an industry-neutral technology partner to collect verified itineraries that were validated by geo-location from more than 50 million verified airline generated itineraries. Customers rated their overall flight experience, as well as seat comfort, cabin service, food and beverage, entertainment and Wi-Fi.
APEX also announced Delta CEO Ed Bastian will be the keynote speaker for the organization's 2019 awardsevent.
Delta's international partners Virgin Atlantic and Korean Air were also named APEX five-star airlines.
This week at the International Flight Services Association — a close partner of APEX—Delta received the Airline of the Year Award. This prestigious award recognizes efforts to elevate the onboard customer experience and infuse hospitality while significantly upgrading culinary services and amenities.
"We are so proud of the entire team that it took to drive everything from the complimentary or upgraded meals and cutlery on flights to the launch of the A350, pre-select, uniforms, and the expansion of our guest chef program," said Lisa Bauer, Vice President - In-Flight Services and On-Board Services. "It's our employees' dedication to going above and beyond that allows Delta to stand out on the global stage."
The IFSA Airline of the Year award recognizes outstanding performance, innovative business strategies, and leadership of the onboard service industry. The award is based on innovative achievements launched or completed from July 1, 2017, to June 30.
About Delta's customer experience investment
Delta's multi-billion dollar investment in the customer experience includes a cabin modernization program featuring new seats, seatback entertainment systems with free entertainment, free mobile messaging, high-capacity overhead bins, access to Wi-Fi on nearly all flights, free Main Cabin meals on select flights, upgraded Main Cabin snacks, the addition of sparkling wine, an Alessi-designed collection of serviceware, Westin Heavenly In-Flight Bedding, chef-curated meals paired with wines hand-selected by Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson, noise-canceling LSTN headphones and more. In 2017 Delta welcomed the A350 to its fleet – the airline's new flagship aircraft introducing the award-winning Delta One Suite and Delta Premium Select cabins. The airline is also taking delivery of the new A220-100 that will feature the airline's widest seat and first wireless IFE system developed in-house by the airline's Delta Flight Products startup.
In addition, Delta has led the industry on a number of customer solutions like RFID baggage handling, automatic check-in and bag tracking via the Fly Delta mobile app, a cross-industry alliance that will empower customers with seamless in-cabin connectivity experience, more efficient and high-tech automated screening lanes, and a groundbreaking app that helps Delta pilots avoid turbulence for a more comfortable flight. Delta was named one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies Worldwide in 2018, earning the No. 6 spot among travel companies, and recently announced that it will launch the first biometric terminal in the U.S. later this year.
Photo caption, from left: Joe Leader, CEO of APEX, Parag Gajarawala of Delta Supply Chain, Jaclyn Gonzales of Onboard Product IFE, Alan Janbay of the OBS team, and Brian Kelly, founder/CEO of The Points Guy.