Delta Air Lines recently announced that effective immediately they will be boarding active duty military early in the boarding process.
The idea that sparked this change came from an active military member who sent a note to Delta CEO Ed Bastian asking if the airline would consider recognizing those individuals traveling on orders.
After just over 20 days of thoroughly testing the concept, Delta teams were confident that a system wide rollout could happen quickly. Feedback from employees and customers continued to prove that this move was the right thing to do.
This change comes as Delta continues to invest in tools and technology to improve the customer experience and bring more organization to the boarding process. Over the last year alone, in an effort to enhance the passenger experience, Delta has issued gate agents handheld devices and tested video chat capabilities with the reservations team. In addition, Supporting active military and veterans is key to Delta’s business strategy and community engagement efforts.
About 3,000 Delta employees are members of the U.S. Armed Forces and approximately 10,000 veterans are employed at Delta. Delta employees can volunteer as a part of the Honor Guard, a group that meets incoming flights and pays respect to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
To be honest, I was shocked to learn that Delta wasn’t already doing this as many airlines such as American Airlines have been doing it for years. It is important to clarify that this policy applies to all uniformed and non-uniformed active military personnel.