Delta Air Lines’ new CEO Ed Bastian has a plan for making the airline the sure customer preferred airline. As a 20-year Delta veteran, Bastian has been around for some of the company’s lows and is pleased with recent reports of customer satisfaction, but doesn’t want to settle for second and third place rankings.
Since the airline’s slump in 2005, Bastian said, “This airline has never performed better in history.” In 2015, travelers ranked Delta third in the national Airline Quality Rating report, and improvement from 2014’s ranking. The airline was also rated second in JD Power’s North America Airline Satisfaction Study and was recognized as the fourth most punctual airline in the US by the Department of Transportation.
These impressive numbers are clear indicators of customer satisfaction, but Bastian doesn’t plan to waste much time fawning over the company’s success. In fact, in a press conference last month, Bastian said, “We have much more to do.” The CEO wants to focus on TSA improvements, better baggage handling, and new planes to bump the ratings even higher for 2016.
Wait times at TSA checkpoints in airports across the nation are increasing, and this summer especially is expected to see major delays at security lines. To combat the staffing issue, Bastian is offering Delta staff to do what TSA work they can at no cost to TSA. “We’ve dedicated resources for helping them speed the screening checkpoints,” Bastian said.
Delta is also reportedly purchasing a five percent stake in Clear, a biometric and identification service. Bastian is planning to use this stake to negotiate a Clear discount for its Skymiles frequent flier program members and a free package for its Diamond-level travelers, beginning this summer. With the Clear membership, Delta travelers will be able to move to the front of TSA Pre-Check lines, saving significant time at security.
To improve baggage handling, Delta will begin using radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to track passenger baggage. The radio waves broadcast by each tag will carry information about the individual bag’s intended destination so that those bags headed to the wrong plane can be rerouted and arrive safely at their intended destinations. Delta will be among the first major airlines to utilize such a technology.
Delta is also buying over 100 new airliners to replace some of its older planes. Many of these new planes will have more seats, more overhead bin space, better in-flight entertainment and Wi-Fi capabilities, and full spectrum LED lighting. “So we’ll provide more opportunity, more seats with a much better customer experience, as well,” Bastian said.
With its already impressive reputation and improvements to come in several different areas, Bastian is confident that Delta will remain a customer favorite. He credits the Delta staff, brand, and premium service, for the company’s continued success. For more information regarding TSA improvements, [Click Here].
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