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Delta increases starting pay to $19 an hour, provides pay raises to employees worldwide

Today Delta announced plans to raise its minimum starting wage to $19 an hour for employees and provide a 5% pay raise to eligible employees worldwide, representing an approximately $500 million annual investment in employees across the company.
Ramp agent working under an aircraft

Following a payout of $1.4 billion in profit sharing bonuses, Delta is investing in frontline employees by raising the minimum starting wage to $19 an hour and providing employees across the company with a 5% pay raise. In an internal memo, CEO Ed Bastian announced Monday the raise comes as Delta continues to invest in industry-leading total compensation to reward operational excellence and customer care. 

On Valentine's Day, Delta employees received a check for 10.4% of their eligible earnings. This payout marks an important milestone for Delta’s profit-sharing program, bringing the total paid out to employees since its inception in 2007 to $11 billion.

With this investment, which will take effect on Jun 1, 2024, Delta continues to lead with industry-leading total compensation for industry-leading performance in all work groups. Including this 2024 raise, Delta has made cumulative investments of 20-25% in compensation in each of our largest frontline workgroups since 2022.  

“Delta’s leading position comes thanks to a simple concept that dates back nearly a century – invest in our people first, and they will deliver great service and experiences for our customers,” Bastian said in a memo to all employees. “That’s exactly what you do, and it always sets us apart.” 

Delta CEO Ed Bastian has authored an open letter to business, government and community leaders on the importance of financial well-being and solving the problem of financial insecurity.

Sharing success is a foundational component of Delta’s values-driven business model and a core aspect of the company’s culture. Delta created its profit-sharing structure after the turbulent period the airline industry underwent in the early 2000s, as leaders worked to boost employee morale and cultivate a workplace of gratitude and teamwork.    

The pay increases complement profit-sharing, which has paid out over $11 billion to employees since the program’s inception in 2007.  Like profit-sharing, wage increases remain an important part of Delta’s efforts to reward the people who make Delta America’s most awarded airline. In the last 15 years, Delta has provided 12 base pay increases that add up to an average of 85% increase in base pay.  

Delta continues to lead the industry in profit sharing and total compensation, with this year’s total greater than the pool of all U.S. peer airlines combined.  And in the first quarter of 2024, Delta is already tracking ahead of last year – accruing $125 million for profit sharing. 

Profit sharing and competitive base pay are just the beginning of Delta’s employee financial wellness commitment. Delta also matches up to 6% plus a fixed contribution of 3% to 401(k) retirement savings; pays up to $100 monthly shared rewards for achieving operational goals; offers free financial coaching with the ability to earn $1,000 for emergency savings; and much more.  

More than 21,500 Delta employees have participated in the Emergency Savings Program since it launched in January, helping Delta people strengthen their financial wellness through online instruction, one-on-one coaching and an emergency savings safety net.
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