Todd O. knows a thing or two about Delta. In fact, he has over 14 million miles to prove it.
He’s a self-proclaimed av geek with nearly 40 years of experience flying on Delta jets – more than many of the airline’s own employees. And that means Todd is a wellspring of knowledge and experience for a company that prides itself on listening to customer feedback.
Delta recently welcomed Todd to its global headquarters in Atlanta not just for a special tour to learn more about how the airline runs – including a go in the flight simulator and a peek at flight attendant training – but to deliver his perspective to everyone from frontline managers to senior leaders. He took the opportunity to encourage those he met to focus on consistency in the things the airline does well and offered feedback on areas of opportunity.
Allison Ausband, E.V.P. and Chief Customer Experience Officer, and other senior leaders appreciated hearing his perspective. They believed others at Delta would be amazed to see what he has accomplished and would integrate his perspective into their own work.
“One question I’ve been asked during my time here is what keeps me coming back. Besides the operational reliability, I think one of the things is really the people here,” Todd said. “You can't really see it, but when you're part of the Delta experience, you feel it.”
Todd cited effective, transparent communication with customers as one of the most important ways Delta can make the entire travel experience seamless. Just as important is getting through security and to the gate on time, he said, which can be the most stressful part of flying. To combat this, Delta's strategic partnerships with TSA and continuous enhancements to the popular Fly Delta app have illustrated the airline’s investment in a seamless check-in experience.
“For the longest time, I've always said that it's really about the entire experience, even before the customer arrives at the airport,” Todd told a group of Delta leaders in Atlanta. His remarks underscore Delta’s focus on perfectly executing its basic brand promises: a safe, clean and on-time operation, with bags always awaiting customers at baggage claim.
Todd often flies through JFK and noted significant improvements in recent years, just one hub where Delta has invested tremendously over the past decade-plus. The $1.5 billion expansion project at JFK broke ground in late 2021, resulting in consolidated operations at Terminal 4 and 10 new gates in the modernized, spacious Concourse A.
Technology enhancements there maximize ease and efficiency during busy travel times, including self-service check-in kiosks and upgraded bag drop locations. The investment continues, as an expansion of Concourse B will include 28 gates that can accommodate various aircraft types, updated restrooms and an expanded security checkpoint and baggage claim area.
Delta continues to modernize and elevate airport facilities across the country, with the recent Concourse A expansion at Salt Lake City and the multi-billion-dollar transformation of our LGA and LAX hubs. Additionally, Delta’s in-flight connectivity revolution has been at full throttle in the 10 months since the airline announced its plans to bring fast, free Wi-Fi presented by T-Mobile to its entire global fleet. Today, more than 600 domestic mainline aircraft are equipped with Delta Sync Wi-Fi, with more than 32 million streaming-quality sessions logged. The momentum will continue into 2024 as Delta continues to bring connectivity to customers at an unprecedented scale.
“I think what you guys have done with connectivity and in-flight entertainment has been a game changer,” Todd said.
Delta is looking ahead with a focus on consistency – ensuring well-trained employees are ready to deliver, and that products are reliable and fully ready for the masses while delivering a service that is Welcoming, Elevated and Caring.
“After all these years of flying with Delta, I feel just as invested in Delta as employees or other stakeholders,” Todd said. “I want to see Delta succeed as it is such a significant part of my travel life. Some Delta employees have even become personal friends over the years. The brand has really resonated on so many levels.”