ATLANTA, Feb. 12, 2009 – Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) today issued the following memo from Delta Senior Vice President of In-Flight Service Joanne Smith to the airline’s nearly 14,000 pre-merger Delta flight attendants in support of their flight attendant seniority integration committee’s position to use a seniority date methodology when integrating the combined flight attendant workgroup.

“The pre-merger Delta In-Flight Seniority Integration Committee has announced their position for a fair and equitable seniority integration method for the combined Delta/Northwest flight attendant workgroup. Seniority integration is perhaps the biggest issue for flight attendants in a merger, and history tells us the outcome never pleases everyone, but based on the team’s presentation to us we support their seniority date-based position as a fair and equitable integration method. Here’s why:

  • The federal law, which mirrors Delta’s policy, requires fair and equitable integration. We believe this means that neither airline should be materially advantaged over the other. Because our seniority distribution in this merger was so similar, the committee’s recommendation for an In-Flight seniority date method was a near perfect solution.
  • The data shows that an In-Flight seniority date integration method keeps most pre-merger Delta and Northwest flight attendants within a percentile ranking that is equal to or closely aligned with their ranking on today’s seniority lists.
  • The committee’s recommendation takes into account a fair and equitable method for accounting for time spent in training.
  • As has been noted previously, the internal order of flight attendants on each pre-merger list has been preserved.

“It is our understanding that the committee also has communicated their recommendation to the AFA. As you know, up to this point the AFA has refused to authorize Northwest flight attendants to participate in this process. If the AFA supports the Delta committee’s In-Flight seniority date position – which is consistent with what the AFA has said is their required integration policy, according to their constitution and bylaws – we will accept the In-Flight seniority date methodology for the combined workgroup and work to present both pre-merger flight attendant groups with a final, combined seniority list methodology.

“This team has worked very hard over the last two months conducting an exhaustive review of the Delta and Northwest seniority lists, analyzing a significant amount of data, and studying past mergers and arbitration decisions to reach their conclusion. I hope you will take the time to review the information they’ve issued, including their recommendation, other methods they studied but did not select, and where your percentile ranking is on both the current seniority list, as well as the combined list. I am confident that once you read this information you will better understand how an In-Flight seniority date approach is fair and equitable for our combined workgroup given the circumstances.

“My thanks go out to the entire committee who worked tirelessly on your behalf. We will continue to update you on this process and encourage you to visit the committee’s portal page for the latest information.”

Delta Air Lines is the world’s largest airline. From its hubs in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita, Delta, its Northwest subsidiary and Delta Connection carriers offer service to 378 destinations in 66 countries and serve more than 170 million passengers each year. Delta’s marketing alliances allow customers to earn and redeem either SkyMiles or WorldPerks on more than 16,000 daily flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta‘s more than 70,000 employees worldwide are reshaping the aviation industry as the only U.S. airline to offer a full global network. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and flight status at

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