The Thanksgiving holiday is undoubtedly one of the year’s busiest travel times. US major airline Delta is ready to transport nearly six million passengers to their destinations from November 18-29: an average of close to 500,000 customers per day.
“Delta’s world-class team is ready to welcome more than 5 million customers over the Thanksgiving travel period, offering the best-in-the-industry service and products our airline is loved and known for”, CEO Ed Bastian said to CNN’s “This Morning” crew during an interview earlier in the week.
The airline’s peak travel days are the Friday before Thanksgiving, November 18th, and the Sunday after the holiday, November 27th.
What Should Customers Expect from the Delta?
Delta Air has taken significant practicable measures over the past several months to prepare for this peak travel period. These practical measures include:
- hiring and training Delta’s workforce,
- increasing boarding time,
- adding buffer time in crew scheduling,
- right-sizing the airline’s schedule
To handle the staffing shortage, the US carrier has hired 25,000 people since the start of last year, and in the past three months leading up to Thanksgiving, it has completed more than 99% of scheduled flights implementing these measures on them. The airline is confident that these measures will continue to impact its operations positively and ensure a reliable holiday travel experience for every flyer this season.
Just to add the icing on the cake, here is what the Bastian had to say about the Delta’s preparedness for the thanksgiving travel season:
“Delta customers can expect the very best service and industry-leading reliability as they reconnect this holiday season. Our teams are ready to serve.”
Besides its preparedness and readiness to serve customers, the carrier assures passengers that with the ongoing expansion of its Delta Comfort+, Delta Premium Select and Delta One products, they will enjoy more spacious seating options, and there will be no need to shrink seats or worry about legroom.
This still falls short of 2019 figures
Although flying nearly six million passengers in less than two weeks is a whole lot and a significant improvement from what the airline handled in 2020, this year’s estimated number of travellers still falls short of the 6.3 million passengers they recorded during the same period in 2019.
During the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday season, which was the peak of the pandemic, Delta flew 2.2m passengers, and the figure for last year was 5.6m passengers.
Any Discounts on Fares?
Sadly there are no discounts this year, no thanks to fuel prices and network capacity. Fuel prices have increased 50% over where they used to be pre-pandemic era, and network capacity is still about 15% down compared with the pre-pandemic period.
“Fuel prices are up 50% over where they were in 2019. That’s our single biggest cost – it’s not even people; it’s fuel prices.
Another factor in pricing is network capacity, which is still down about 15% compared with pre-pandemic levels. However, that capacity is expected to be restored by the end of summer 2023, which should ease pricing pressures,” Bastian said.
However, under its “Firsts That Last” contest, the airline offers 12 lucky winners the opportunity to travel to select destinations worldwide for free.
The contest winners will have the pleasure of staying in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora, having a private tour of the Vatican in Italy, and building other memorable experiences with their friends and loved ones.
The contest is free to enter, and interested participants must select a destination from a provided list and answer questions explaining why they should win this “first” experience. Entry is open until November 19, 2022, and can be submitted on DeltaVacationsFirstsThatLastContest.com.
So, where will you be travelling to this Thanksgiving holiday; will you be flying Delta Air? Please share with us in the comment below.