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Powered by its people, Delta earns J.D. Power No. 1 airline ranking

With an overall score of 860 out of 1,000, the airline was recognized as No. 1 in customer satisfaction among airlines in North America by J.D. Power

Delta J.D. Power Award

Following a year of unprecedented uncertainty, the people of Delta catapulted the airline to the No. 1 spot in the J.D. Power 2021 North America Airline Satisfaction Study. The prestigious honor represents the voice of customers who flew between July 2020 and March 2021, underscoring the professionalism, care and humanity Delta people delivered during one of the most stressful periods for travel in modern history.

“We are honored and humbled to be recognized by travelers as J.D. Power’s No. 1 airline for 2021,” said Ed Bastian, Delta CEO. “It’s particularly meaningful that this recognition came during the most challenging year in our history, when the warm hospitality provided by our people every day made the difference for our customers. As we move into the recovery, our people-first actions will continue to drive our decisions and build on the trust earned during the pandemic.”

The J.D. Power award is one of the very few earned by receiving high survey scores from a random sample representative of the airline industry’s customer base. According to J.D. Power, their study showed overall that flight crews stepped up during the pandemic, the removal of change fees scored points with customers and empty middle seats signaled an airline’s concern for passengers. But it was Delta’s people who pushed it to the top.

“Delta’s ‘people’ scores are a key factor in its success. Delta’s In-Flight Crew performed exceptionally well with its passengers in 2020 and 2021, getting significantly high scores in friendliness, courtesy and attentiveness to passenger needs,” said Michael Taylor, J.D. Power Practice Lead, Travel, Global Business Intelligence. “In a particularly difficult year, Delta’s people adapted to the challenges of new procedures and passenger concerns and did so with high marks from its customers. Our J. D. Power data shows that Delta has been on a steady upward trend for several years, and its ‘people’ scores in the air and on the ground are setting the bar higher for the airline industry.”

With an overall score of 860 out of 1,000, Delta ranked No. 1 in the following four of seven categories.

Flight crew

Delta outperformed its closest competitor by 11 points in this category, showing once again that Delta people are the airline’s greatest differentiator – delivering a warm, caring brand of hospitality throughout the pandemic that they’ve been known for, for decades.

The personal experience flight attendants deliver will soon be enhanced when Delta becomes the first global airline to equip flight attendants with 5G iPhone 12 SkyPro devices in an effort to make flight attendant jobs easier and help pave the way for even more meaningful customer interactions.


Blocking middle seats for a year and launching the industry’s first Global Cleanliness division are examples of how the airline continued to put people before profits throughout the pandemic, helping restore customer confidence in travel.  

Going forward, Delta remains committed to using this same thoughtful, people-first approach while delivering experiences that bring joy. That’s why the airline is enhancing its cleanliness commitments to maintain its sky-high standards, modernizing its fleet and expanding its Delta Premium Select experience.

In-flight service

From entertainment and free messaging to food and beverage and Wi-Fi, customers showed their appreciation for Delta’s continued innovation onboard over the past year.

With nearly all of Delta’s mainline fleet equipped with seatback entertainment screens, customers had the chance to de-stress during flight throughout the pandemic. As more customers return to flying, Delta launched an all-new suite of curated seat-back content , and customers can look forward to high-speed streaming-capable connectivity on select aircraft this summer in partnership with Viasat.

Delta also reintroduced onboard snacks and beverage service in April with some new, delicious additions after a year of offering personal snack bags on domestic flights – a move guided by partners at Mayo Clinic and inspired by flight attendants’ desire to deliver the best in-flight service while keeping customers safe and at ease.

Baggage claim

Checking a bag is easy and reliable with Delta, thanks in part to the network carrier’s unique RFID bag tracking technology that provides customers with real-time tracking via the Fly Delta app throughout the travel journey. Delta has also continued to invest in tools and technology to support ramp and baggage operation employees behind the scenes, leading to its top ranking in this category.  

Delta earned high marks in other survey categories including the Reservation Process, Check-In, Boarding and On-Time Performance – all contributing to Delta being recognized as the highest ranked airline in the 2021 J.D. Power North America Airline Satisfaction Study.

About Delta

Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) is the U.S. global airline leader in safety, innovation, reliability and customer experience. Powered by our employees around the world, Delta has for a decade led the airline industry in operational excellence while maintaining our award-winning reputation.

Today, and always, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our customers and employees. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta has moved quickly to transform the industry standard of clean to ensure a safe and comfortable travel experience for our customers and employees.

With our mission of connecting the people and cultures of the globe, Delta strives to foster understanding across a diverse world and serve as a force for social good.

Delta has been recognized as a Fortune’s top 50 Most Admired Companies in addition to being named the most admired airline for the tenth time in eleven years. Additionally, Delta has ranked No.1 in the Business Travel News Annual Airline survey for an unprecedented ten consecutive years and named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies Worldwide for the third time in four years.

Delta J.D. Power Award - Thank You
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