I’ve a long held affinity for Delta Air Lines. Maybe because Delta is Atlanta’s hometown airline. Maybe because I fly Delta regularly. Or, quite possibly, because Delta always gets it right… or, in this case, makes it right.
When storms crippled Delta’s operations across the U.S. last week, leaving planes and flight crews out of position, Delta’s ground-stop nightmare soon became its passengers’ nightmare. Forced to cancel hundreds of flights over a period of days, Delta was beyond aware of the inconvenience – perhaps disaster – unfolding for tens of thousands of its travelers, some completely missing Spring Break vacations. It answered with honesty, humbleness and, for those loyal to Delta, the apology was backed up with more than PR: miles.
Following is the email sent to frequent fliers with status:
As a Medallion® Member, you expect and deserve more.
20,000 MILES TO SAY WE’RE SORRY.
Last week, severe weather and tornadic activity at our Atlanta hub caused a major disruption in our flight operations and your travel plans. Our response in the days following was out of character, and I am sorry for what you experienced. It was an accumulation of events that began with unprecedented severe weather in Atlanta on April 5th, when seven storm cells, including tornadic activity, passed over the airport and shut down our operation for much of the day. Our recovery was hampered by a lack of available seats resulting from heightened spring break travel volume, as well as an inability of our crew-tracking systems and processes to adequately position our people to do their jobs.
I have heard from many of you who feel like we let you down. In acknowledgment of what you endured, 20,000 bonus miles will be added to your SkyMiles account in the next 48 hours.
Thank you for your patience and your loyalty. We will continue to review all aspects of this disruption and develop a plan to avoid a similar situation in the future, ensuring we deliver on the reliability and service you expect and deserve from Delta.