As consumer demand for travel accelerates as summer kicks into high gear, many Delta customers are taking to the skies and reclaiming their lives over the next few months – some for the first time in a long time. Here are answers to six common questions about what things look like these days, both on the ground and in the air.
How should I prepare before my flight?
Travel has changed a lot in the last year, and the Delta team has been working hard to provide customers with the digital tools they need for a more seamless travel experience. Our Travel Planning Center is a one-stop guide to researching travel restrictions, testing requirements and everything else along the journey. In addition, our updated, integrated Delta Discover Map has more filters and features to help customers decide where to go, allowing them to book a ticket in just a couple of clicks.
Before your flight, make sure to download the Fly Delta app for quick access to your digital boarding pass and important notifications about your trip. If you need help on the go, you can message a Delta representative in the app or on delta.com for quick and convenient assistance. Don't forget to check your email for detailed information, guidance and tips on your upcoming trip.
Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to obtain or renew a valid passport before traveling internationally. Passport processing often takes several months and could take longer during peak travel periods.
Is Delta adjusting any of its health and safety protocols as COVID-19 vaccinations increase?
It's encouraging to see and hear about so many people getting their vaccines lately. Nevertheless, continuing to wear a mask is one of the most important ways Delta customers and employees can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and our longstanding mask requirement is in line with federal law.
Those rigorous mask requirements, combined with all we've learned about the virus this year with the help of our expert partners at Mayo Clinic and Emory, as well as our own Chief Health Officer Dr. Henry Ting, have given us the confidence to evolve some of our other protocols:
Now that we've made more seats available, you're likely to notice fewer distancing stickers on airport floors, Delta Sky Clubs, gatehouse seating and jetways to allow for additional customers in our airport spaces. But hand sanitizer stations and plexiglass shields at Delta check-in counters, in Clubs and at gate counters will all remain in place.
- Our aircraft interiors, check-in lobbies, self-service kiosks, Delta Sky Clubs, gate counters and baggage claim are still thoroughly wiped down throughout the day. We also continue to disinfect onboard aircraft with electrostatic spray each night.
- Cleanliness will continue to characterize the premium experience customers expect from Delta.
- As a reminder, the air on all aircraft is completely recirculated 10 to 30 times per hour with fresh, outside air or through industrial-grade HEPA filters, which extract more than 99.99% of particles, including viruses. These are the same types of filters used in hospital operating rooms, and we replace them onboard twice as often as recommended.
What else should I expect to see at the airport this summer?
From newly reopened airport concessions to a strengthened network to fly customers to more of the places they want to go, there are so many things to look forward to this summer as we welcome more of you back onboard. Central to all of this is working to keep people moving throughout airport experiences as efficiently as possible.
Many of you have missed our curbside bag-drop service, and we are excited to announce the return of Sky Caps in most of our leisure markets as an extra option to help reduce crowding in the lobby.
TSA continues to hire security screening officers to ensure checkpoints are adequately staffed for the summer. They'll continue many of the safety and cleaning protocols they started during the pandemic well through the recovery, such as plexiglass protection and more touchless ID verification in select airports. Enroll in TSA PreCheck or CLEAR to speed up your security experience.
Finally, we know our customers have a renewed excitement to get back out into the world, and we're just as excited to connect them to it. While this isn't new, remember to arrive at least two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international trips to allow you make it to the gate comfortably on time.
What's the experience like in Delta Sky Clubs these days?
We are thrilled that all of our Delta Sky Clubs will be open for guests by this summer. As we make more seats available onboard, Clubs will also be bringing back additional seating based on capacity needs and following local occupancy guidelines. With the support and guidance of Delta's Chief Health Officer, the continued mask requirement and increasing vaccination rates nationwide, hot food items in self-serve food stations will roll out to additional Clubs in stages, beginning with Delta's hub locations this summer.
If you are traveling through Fort Lauderdale this summer, our beautiful new Club just opened on June 23. Like all our Clubs, you can look forward to relaxing and recharging in the new, thoughtfully designed space featuring our award-winning beverage program, reimagined food offerings and other premium amenities delivered with care.
What is the onboard experience like now? Are you resuming food and beverage service?
Increased demand and vaccination rates have given us the confidence to open up more seats, reintroduce onboard snack and beverage service and relaunch fresh meals in premium domestic cabins. It's been welcome news to our customers – so far, we're seeing double-digit improvements in our customer satisfaction scores in that category.
We're so glad you're already enjoying classic favorites and new treats like our Tip Top Proper Cocktails, which are complementary to those 21 and up in First Class and Comfort+ and available for purchase in Main Cabin.
As of June 15, customers flying in Delta One or First Class on select domestic coast-to-coast flights will see hot food options return, along with the return of the snack basket, a customer favorite. Later this summer, customers flying Delta One or First Class on other key U.S. will enjoy artisan sandwiches, salads and bowls specially curated for Delta.
In-flight entertainment content also continues to be updated. You won't want to miss our lineup of award-winning shows, movies and podcasts coming on board this summer. Plus, you can look forward to fast, reliable Wi-Fi onboard as we bring high-speed streaming-capable connectivity to more aircraft this summer in partnership with Viasat.
What's the most important thing for me to know if I'm traveling this summer?
The most important thing to know is that you are at the center of every decision we make. We are doing everything we can to make your trip as safe and as easy as possible so that you can make flying a part of the journey to look forward to.
Editor's note: This article, originally published on April 26, 2021, was updated on June 25, 2021.