How Delta Set the Standard for the Airline Industry’s COVID-19 Response – Canada Ghana Chamber of Commerce

How Delta Set the Standard for the Airline Industry’s COVID-19 Response

THE AIRLINE HAS DEVELOPED A STRONG STRATEGY IN FIGHTING THE CORONAVIRUS—BUT IT HAS ALSO LED THE WAY IN SHOWING HOW TO COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY WITH ITS CUSTOMERS.

This story is part of our New Standard series, examining where travel is headed. Read more about how we define the New Standard here.This has been a year of firsts for everyone, including the airline industry. For the first time ever it held its middle seats open, required passengers to wear masks on board, and gave fliers two years to rebook canceled flights. And the first carrier to enact most of these measures was Delta—but maybe more importantly, it was also the first to tell customers what it was doing. The company’s relative success during this time owes a lot to its open communication, right down to its sneak peeks of the new cleaning technology it was developing.

Rival carriers followed Delta’s lead, but not all have been as transparent or consistent about implementing changes. Some implied that middle seats would be blocked, then filled planes to capacity anyway, to the alarm of nervous passengers. (Delta, for the record, has promised to continue blocking seats and limiting flier numbers at least into the fall.)

As in so many other corners of the travel industry, enhanced cleaning procedures were a top order of business. Delta was one of the first companies in the world to use an electrostatic sprayer with hospital-grade disinfectant to sanitize all surfaces. Soon it had implemented these protocols on every plane before every takeoff. In addition to spraying, the company has a team of cleaners who wipe every crevice of the cabin.

“We want to be the industry leader in clean standards,” says Ginny Elliott, Delta’s vice president of airport operations at LaGuardia Airport. Another way the company has sought to do this is by launching an entirely new division focused on hygiene standards, its Global Cleanliness Division, overseen by a new executive role called the vice president of global cleanliness. It is responsible for overseeing everything from check-in to Sky Club lounges to baggage claim. (American Airlines has since followed suit with its Travel Health Advisory Panel.) When the pandemic is under control, these rigorous procedures will remain, a promise that only Delta, so far, has made.

Fliers seem to have taken notice. According to Elliott, overall customer satisfaction scores have seen a 30-point increase compared to 2019. Obviously, this has to do with how Delta has responded, but it also has to do with how the airline has talked about its response—which goes to show how much travelers need to hear from companies right now to feel confident about booking a trip.

This article appeared in the October 2020 issue of Condé Nast Traveler. Subscribe to the magazine here.


Latest Posts

Gov’t urged to make informal sector more productive—CGCC

October 30, 2020

Canada donates 30-seater buses to agric colleges

October 30, 2020

GIPC records US$785m in FDI in H1… as investments begin to rebound

October 30, 2020

Roof over our heads – 204 Housing units built in 9 months

October 30, 2020

UK extends GH¢3.34 million support to local pharmaceutical companies

October 30, 2020

Chirano Mines donates maths sets to all 7,000 BECE candidates in its catchment location

September 30, 2020

How Delta Set the Standard for the Airline Industry’s COVID-19 Response

September 30, 2020

COCOBOD secures US$1.3bn syndicated loan for 2020/21 cocoa season

September 30, 2020

Govt grapples with fiscal deficit pressures

September 30, 2020

BoG index points to economic recovery

September 30, 2020

Gov’t calls on IPPs to expedite conclusion of power negotiations

September 30, 2020

Ghana’s ports activities decline by 7.3%

August 31, 2020

Ghana anticipates US$10bn boost to economy from aluminum trade

August 31, 2020

Kosmos Energy losses US$199m in Q2 2020

August 31, 2020

Global gold market trends favour Agyapa Royalty

August 31, 2020

Producer inflation drops to 9.3% in July

August 31, 2020

COVID-19: ‘$150 fee for PCR test at airport reasonable’ – Okoe Boye

August 31, 2020

Parliament approves $28 million tax waiver for Kasapreko under 1D-1F programme

July 30, 2020

World Bank forecasts AfCFTA to boost Africa’s income by US$450bn

July 30, 2020

Transport operators to reduce fares by 10% effective Aug 1

July 30, 2020



Platinum Members