Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on May 26 and updated on June 16 to include new how-to information.To learn all about managing itineraries, visit our Delta Travel Customer Guide.
Delta’s commitment to improving performance showed progress in the first half of June following the actions we took to improve our customers’ operations. Weekend cancellations on Delta so far in June are down 35% from May.1 The punctuality rate of domestic trunk lines remains the first among peers2 The fifth month in a row ended June 15.3
Demand for travel has been on the rise, driven by people eager to reconnect with the world around them. Rebuilding Delta’s operations to serve the growing number of customers who want to fly with us has been a monumental feat — and not without its challenges.
“This phase of our recovery is the most difficult. We’ve never had an airline recover at this pace before,” said John Lauter, executive vice president and head of operations. “Through this challenge, we will continue to make decisions that will allow us to operate well, safely, and take care of our employees and customers while restoring the network.”
Weekends affected by irregular operations were the main driver of cancellations in May. We’ve made several tweaks in recent months to minimize disruptions and recover faster when faced with challenges. These latest adjustments build on other recent actions Delta has taken, including:
- We are working to strategically position our crews and personnel so that we can absorb and adjust when factors such as summer thunderstorms disrupt operations.
- We started the boarding process early. This, combined with the “ready-to-go” power of our employees, is increasing the percentage of flights departing five minutes earlier to get our planes and customers on the road.4
- We will continue to work with the FAA to improve air traffic management processes.
- We add hundreds of new pilots and flight attendants every month as we recruit and train to support our growth.
On May 26, we announced that we would be strategically reducing our flight schedule this summer. This is to build additional resiliency into our systems and improve operational reliability for our customers and employees; we will continue to proactively adjust some flights over the next few weeks.
The Delta team strives to notify customers of itinerary changes as far in advance as possible. If schedule changes or delays affect upcoming flights, we will send updates directly to mobile devices or via email if contact information is included during booking or added later online through My Trips.
We also issue waivers in the event of severe weather, giving customers whose trips include affected cities the option to consider diverting travel before or after the weather event, which also helps avoid unnecessary waits at airports.
If upcoming bookings change later this summer, our team will provide clients with the next best itinerary to get them where they need to go with the shortest possible delay.
1. Based on internal Delta Network system-wide flight data for the first three weekends of May 2022 compared to the first two weekends of June 2022. Weekends are defined as Friday through Sunday; excluding holiday weekends such as Memorial Day.
2. Based on DOT data for Delta Mainline domestic flights as of March 2022 and based on preliminary FlightStats from April 2022 to June 15, 2022, compared to major U.S. airlines. Major U.S. airlines include Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Alaska Airlines.
3. The date range is February 1, 2022 to June 15, 2022.
4. Based on internal data as of June 14, 2022.
Here’s more what clients should know before embarking on summer travel:
1. Use the FLY DELTA app to check in, change flights, manage trip interruptions, and more.
Fly Delta has all the tools a customer could need on the go, including check-in, tracking luggage and managing flight disruptions. While our team is always on call to support you, if you need to change your plans, you have a lot of information at your fingertips to help you save time.You can almost always do this directly through the Fly Delta app or at Delta or use our messaging function for more help. When your trip is disrupted and phone wait times are longer than usual, Fly Delta is the fastest option to get to your next flight.
Be sure to keep an eye out for any emails or text messages you receive from Delta that contain important information about your flight status, travel documents, and important information to know before heading to the airport. (This information is also available at my trip.) mistakenly dismissed notifications? Find the Notifications option in your device’s Settings app and make sure Fly Delta app notifications are turned on. Manage your device’s sleep mode settings accordingly to avoid notifications being muted.
2. Give yourself time to navigate the airport.
Plan to arrive at the airport two hours earlier for domestic flights and three hours earlier for international flights. Especially on popular travel days, allow some extra time to check your bags and go through security – and remember to put any valuables or essentials in your carry-on. If you are travelling with spare lithium batteries, make sure they are also in your carry-on luggage – lithium batteries are not allowed in checked luggage. Travelers departing from Atlanta should note that due to ongoing parking deck construction, parking at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is limited. Customers are encouraged to arrive by taxi or carpool, or budget extra time to park in a nearby parking lot and shuttle to the terminal.
Double-check the prohibited items you bring with you, such as water-filled bottles and liquids larger than 3.4 ounces (be sure to keep these items in your checked baggage). Remember to have your government-issued ID ready when you arrive at the security checkpoint.
Thanks to Delta’s partnership with the TSA, eligible customers in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles and, soon, New York – LGA can choose to use the new facial recognition technology to check luggage, go through security and board completely hands-free using their digital identities ( SkyMiles membership number, passport number and known passenger number). Even if you choose to use facial recognition, remember to keep your ID close by with you.
3. Consider clearing or TSA pre-checks to help expedite passage through safety lines.
For a faster airport experience, customers can Sign up for Clear – Now available at over 35 airports where we fly – Quickly go through security lines with the tap of a finger or the blink of an eye. SkyMiles® members in the U.S. receive CLEAR member discountsincluding free membership for US Diamond Medallion members.
Customers can also consider Apply for TSA PreCheck, now available at more than 200 airports across the country.Frequent travelers considering investing in an expedited security program should comparative advantage CLEAR, TSA PreCheck, Sky Priority and Global Entry Delta See what program is right for them.
4. Delta people work around the clock to help you.
Whether at the airport, on board or behind the scenes in our reservations and fulfillment centers, we’re here to help our customers get where they need to be, as safely and quickly as possible. When travel disruption occurs, our customers can rest assured that we will be working 24/7 to move and locate equipment and staff, adjust schedules and take other proactive steps to ensure our customers get where they need to go.
When cancellations have to be used as a last resort, Delta works hard to make changes that impact the least customers with the shortest delays. And, whenever possible, the Delta team tries to cancel flights early enough to notify customers before arriving at the airport.
If your flight is delayed for any reason while you’re at the airport, Delta employees are ready to support you. We are increasing our airport staffing and introducing new ways to look after you while you wait for your flight, such as expanding our re-ticketing options for our customer service agents to assist customers on the day of travel. If you need help, don’t hesitate to seek out one of our famous Red Coats – Delta’s elite airport customer service specialists, identifiable by their bright red coats – they are equipped with chat and will try their best to resolve any problem. For longer delays, the team is ready to help take care of customers in the gate area and provide refreshments and, in some cases, digital vouchers for meals and hotel accommodation for overnight delays.
5. Be aware of changes to COVID-related protocols.
The Covid protocol is constantly evolving. Mask is now optional Available to customers, airport employees, and cabin crew in U.S. airports, on domestic aircraft, and on most international flights.International travelers also A negative COVID-19 test is no longer required Start entering the United States from a flight to the United States. (U.S. citizens and permanent residents can return from abroad without testing, regardless of vaccination status.)
Delta personnel and customers may still choose to wear masks.Customers should also continue to use Delta FlyReady Upload proof of vaccinations and government forms for entry into the U.S. and other countries as needed.
Delta remains committed to providing multiple layers of protection, such as hospital-grade HEPA filters, regular cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces on aircraft and airports, a dedicated cleaning team committed to ensuring high standards are maintained, and the industry’s first Chief Health Officer, Dr. Henry Ting, He is an influential voice for Delta as we work to protect the health and safety of our employees and customers.