Delta Markets On-Time Performance Guarantee to Businesses

The folks at Bloomberg alerted us to a new Delta guarantee which allows the airline to better market itself to corporate travel managers as well as bask in the glow of a very nice turnaround.

Delta’s On-Time Performance Guarantee

Just a few years back, Delta has a dismal on-time performance but things have changed; recent statistics show the airline being surpassed only by Hawaiian and Alaska.

Delta now feels good enough about its operations to launch a guarantee tied to certain performance levels or as travel expert and FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney put it, “Delta is guaranteeing its on-time arrival rate will beat the competition.”

However, the guarantee is encased in fine print. Some examples:

  • Airline competitors: Delta only guarantees to beat the on-time performances of American and Delta. It does not mention Southwest, even though the Texas-based carrier is tops in domestic traffic.
  • Guarantee limitations: There is no promise that all Delta planes will arrive on-time, only that Delta’s overall performance will beat American’s and United’s over the course of a year.
  • Individuals do not benefit: As Seaney notes, “Companies with Delta business contracts will receive travel credits if Delta does not come out on top but individual travelers get no direct benefits.” According to Bloomberg, credits could range up to $250,000 depending on how many delays or cancelled flights are involved.

Still, it is a step in the right direction, said Seaney,  adding that it will be interesting to see if the guarantee does in fact do what the airline wants, which is to push more and more lucrative corporate travel Delta’s way.


Updated: December 13, 2016