After wallowing in the financial dumps for many years, Delta Air Lines has re-emerged from bankruptcy and is now shooting for the top spot in a bunch of different categories, including on-time performance, debt-load, etc.
Jim Whitehurst, the chief operating officer for the Atlanta-based airline, was in town today talking with Delta's roughly 900 employees working here. He tries to swing by here once a quarter. He mentioned in an interview with the Star-Telegram how Delta has "by far the best on-time performance" compared other other network carriers, and is not far behind in the category of revenue per available seat mile.
But when it comes to customer satisfaction, it depends on who you ask.
The University of Michigan said in a recent survey that Delta was next to last in on-time performance, but here's what Whitehurst says about that:
We’re all scratching our heads. They're not being very forthcoming with the methodology. It was, I think, 250 interviews total. We do thousands every month. If you look at a more scientific-focused survey like J.D. Power, we were second to Continental by 2 points and a big gap down to number 3. We’ll see J.D. Power come out again in a couple of weeks. And we certainly expect to be at or near the top in that as well. So, the more focused airline surveys we actually do very very well on.
Here's one other little tid-bit from Whitehurst, if you're interested in the in-flight entertainment options available. Delta already has 48 aircraft flying now with those in-seat video monitors that allow travelers to watch video on demand, live TV shows and trivia games against other passengers in the cabin. Starting this fall, the airline plans to put the monitors in another 50 airplanes and will offer the service for all flights that are at least three or three and a half hours long.