The Delta Difference for which our people are so well-known will be on full display this holiday season as millions of travelers trust Delta to connect them with family, friends and loved ones from Dec. 17-Jan. 3.
DELTA NEWS ON THE GO. Subscribe and follow.
  • Delta expects to serve at least 7.8 million customers from Dec. 17-Jan. 3.
  • That volume represents the most since before the pandemic began in 2019, when Delta served 9.3 million passengers.
  • Delta’s projected customer volume during this period is more than double the 3.6 million customers who flew Delta during the 2020 season.

Every holiday season is an opportunity for flight attendant Sydney Key to connect with Delta’s youngest customers, whose unbridled enthusiasm for everything from boarding to baggage claim frazzle their grown-up travel companions.

An introduction and a friendly chat – not to mention some extra snacks and a pair of wings – can go a long way in making everyone feel more comfortable.

“I feel like this initial meeting breaks down the walls of unfamiliarity and allows the entire family to interact with the crew throughout the flight without hesitation,” Key says.

Flight attendant Sydney Key

Delta flight attendant Sydney Key.

Delta people are known for the little things they do every day to help make customers’ journeys all the more pleasant, in addition to their tireless commitment to safety and reliability. Employees like Key are the Delta Difference – that little something extra that can make a journey more pleasant or brighten someone’s day.

That little something extra will be on full display this holiday season as at least 7.8 million travelers trust Delta to connect them with family, friends and loved ones from Dec. 17-Jan. 3. (That’s an average of 440,000 passengers per day.)

That volume represents the highest since before the pandemic began in 2019, when Delta served 9.3 million passengers. By comparison, Delta served 3.6 million passengers during the 2020 holiday season.

Those projections come on the heels of a successful Thanksgiving travel period, which saw Delta carry 5.4 million customers on nearly 50,000 flights from Nov. 19-30. Sunday, Nov. 28, saw the highest single-day volume with 534,000 passengers traveling on more than 2,700 flights.


Customers can fly with confidence with Delta. The airline has increased staffing levels across the operation, including in customer service and reservations, and new flight attendants have graduated to accommodate the growing number of flights being restored. Everyone is ready to provide the care, dedication and world-class service for which Delta is known.

“Our people take real joy in helping customers in little ways that can brighten their journeys,” said Allison Ausband, E.V.P. and Chief Customer Experience Officer. “Whether it’s helping people navigate the airport or making things a little easier on parents with little ones, you can count on Delta people to make traveling a delight.”

A gate agent helps a passenger check a bag.
Read on for advice from some of Delta’s most seasoned travelers on how to take care of yourself and make your travel experience a pleasant one.

First Officer and Flight Operations Duty Manager Matthew Benza frequently helps customers find their way around airports. As a 737 pilot, he typically flies customers from smaller cities to larger hubs, an experience that can be daunting for first-timers.

“Explaining how to navigate the airport and get to their next gate alleviates the concerns that they have,” said Benza, who, as the father of a 4-year-old and 5-month-old, goes out of his way to help families traveling with children. He knows firsthand that taking a moment to do something like set up a stroller can be a big help.

“My wife and I live by the motto that it takes a village to raise a child, and while you are here traveling with Delta, we can be part of that village to help out,” Benza said. 


“As we have seen from the busy travel that began before Thanksgiving and has continued into the winter holiday season, people all over the world are ready to get back to normal,” said Delta’s Chief Health Officer, Dr. Henry Ting. “But we can’t let our guard down when it comes to health and wellbeing, especially as we learn more about the Omicron variant.”

In that spirit, Dr. Ting reminds customers of his advice for making it through their journey a bit easier: 

  • Arrive at least two hours before domestic flights. (Three hours for international.) 
  • Come prepared with all necessary ID and documentation. (The Delta FlyReadySM tool available on and the Fly Delta app can help.) 
  • Follow FAA requirements and wear a mask in airports and on flights – a rule in place through March 18, 2022. 
  • With the widespread availability of rapid tests, consider testing yourself before travel and upon arrival, and keep a few extra tests in your luggage in case you are exposed or experience symptoms. 
  • Pack a few extra masks and hand sanitizer in your luggage. 
  • And if you feel sick, stay home — customers can still change or cancel trips directly on or the Fly Delta app through 2021 without paying a change fee. 
Customer scanning ticket on phone to board flight.
With Delta expecting to welcome up to 5.6 million customers over the Thanksgiving travel period, Chief Health Officer Dr. Henry Ting shares guidance on how customers can prepare for holiday travel and gatherings.

The low risk of COVID-19 transmission on aircraft has been verified by numerous studies over the past 12 months, including a recent peer-reviewed study by the Mayo Clinic that shows the risk of exposure to COVID-19 while traveling after all passengers test negative 72 hours in advance of flight is less than 0.1%.

COVID-free flight launch
Real-world data from nearly 10,000 air travelers provides reliable pre-flight testing blueprint as more countries consider travel requirements.