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DL: A Well-run Airline?  
User currently offlineDelta2ual From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 626 posts, RR: 1
Posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 11505 times:

I thought the following article was interesting. It seems many of my friends at DL would disagree. Maybe it's just been a rough summer, but crews are telling me that they don't remember things being so chaotic. Also, isn't the "new" UAL outperforming DL in just about every metric?

http://seekingalpha.com/article/2834...pany-that-is-seriously-undervalued


From the world's largest airline-to the world's largest airline. Delta2ual
47 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinedavid21487 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 232 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 11288 times:

Quoting Delta2ual (Thread starter):
It seems many of my friends at DL would disagree. Maybe it's just been a rough summer, but crews are telling me that they don't remember things being so chaotic.

What are they disagreeing with? The article was about finances and DL's position in the economy, not daily frontline operational issues that a crew member may encounter.

By the way, from an f/a standpoint, this summer was a cakewalk compared to the last few at DL.



-- Step! Jump! Slide! --
User currently offlineacidradio From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1875 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 11204 times:
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I think I will jump in on this one right now. When we see a thread like this, especially poking at the performance of a particular airline, aircraft manufacturer or other entity it embroils into a fight. I am taking this opportunity to let everyone know that while we support a rational, spirited DISCUSSION backed with EVIDENCE and EXPERIENCE we intend to watch this thread closely. If a fight ensues we will archive it.

I think there are two questions here - operational metrics and financial metrics. This article seems to discuss the financial metrics side of things more than anything. How do the two play together? I will let you guys sort this out. Thanks!



Ich haben zwei Platzspielen und ein Microphone
User currently offlinejetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7438 posts, RR: 50
Reply 3, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 10559 times:
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Quoting Delta2ual (Thread starter):
I thought the following article was interesting. It seems many of my friends at DL would disagree. Maybe it's just been a rough summer, but crews are telling me that they don't remember things being so chaotic. Also, isn't the "new" UAL outperforming DL in just about every metric?

The chaos from my POV(PMNW) is the lack of awareness by crew scheduling as to the scheduling shortfalls by DL schedulers. Constantly, we're being crewed on aircraft where we really aren't needed. Many times, we've been "forgotten" while on a layover during IROPs. I'm sure it has something to do with the unfamiliarity of our contract. But I as a whole, I think DL is much less tight with money than NW was. I think NW was run better in the efficiency category, than the way DL is run, but that's not to say that DL is run poorly. I think the constant brau-beating of DL in the press project an image of incompetance, from the outside-looking-in.



Made from jets!
User currently onlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10668 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 10548 times:

Quoting jetjack74 (Reply 3):
I think DL is much less tight with money than NW was. I think NW was run better in the efficiency category, than the way DL is run,

Thinks certainly have changed in 6 years.......used to be DL threw around nickels like they were manhole covers.

Quoting jetjack74 (Reply 3):
I think the constant brau-beating of DL in the press project an image of incompetance, from the outside-looking-in.

I just wonder why there is so much focus by the media on any bad thing that DL does.....seems much more so than other airlines. WN hardly ever gets any bad press and yet, you know that they make mistakes, too. Those same mistakes would make headlines if it was DL.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineDelta2ual From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 626 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 10418 times:

I guess what surprised me from the article was the part about there being "a company that dominates its industry". From a financial perspective, whether it's earnings, CASM, RASM, etc., I was under the impression that UAL was outperforming DL. Being formerly/currently employed by both, I'm a DL/UAL fan and was not trying to make this thread another heated debate (we have enough of those already).
My comment about my friends that are still at DL was more based on the operations, which many have said could be better. Of course, I was an "RD" (real Delta) for 15 years, and my partner, who's a PMNW pilot, sees things differently. As he puts it, he "doesn't drink the kool-aid". LOL

Quoting jetjack74 (Reply 3):
I think NW was run better in the efficiency category

I agree.



From the world's largest airline-to the world's largest airline. Delta2ual
User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 6, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 10402 times:

United's financial performance is far greater than Delta's, however, Delta is performing better than or equal to the industry as a whole.

So fiscally, I don't think anyone has any issue with how Delta is run.

NS


User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 3094 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 10252 times:

Quoting gigneil (Reply 6):
United's financial performance is far greater than Delta's, however, Delta is performing better than or equal to the industry as a whole.

So fiscally, I don't think anyone has any issue with how Delta is run.

NS


Good point but the real question is for how long? I've only been following the UA/CO merger from a distance' but it would seem to me that while UA is now performing better than DL, it's doing so without having yet extracted many of the benefits from the synergies of the merger. It would stand to reason if that hypothesis is true that at some point UA will then really take off from a shareholder value standpoint.

Also, purely from a standpoint of market cap, the only real peers we can compare DL to are WN, UA, and to a far lesser extent (maybe) AA.


User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 8, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 10202 times:

Oh I fully agree that UA's financial situation will only improve.

NS


User currently offlineFURUREFA From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 808 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 9748 times:

To me, I see the "Delta difference" really being the all-around atmosphere of the company.

Working at Delta, I see that the majority of us really enjoy our jobs, love Delta, and trust senior executives. They treat us with respect, and I think everyone understands that for employees to prosper, Delta must as well.

I have some good friends at UA and AA, and I can tell you that they do not feel the same way about their respective companies. My friends at UA see both good and bad in the company. From what I know and see at AA, however, the environment is truly toxic.

While at first glance the above has little to do with the operational and financial performance of an airline, I think that having all the employees on the same page, working hard to make Delta successful, leads to significantly better company performance.

Sure, the company isn't perfect. And there does exist some PMNW bitterness. But I see less and less of it everyday, and some of the most bitter PMNW people right after the merger have now become some of the biggest Deltoids out there.

Can UA succeed in making employees happy? Only time will tell. But I think that AA's problems have such deep roots, that I'm not sure how they will overcome them.


User currently offlineindiansbucs From Costa Rica, joined May 2007, 151 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 9555 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 4):
Those same mistakes would make headlines if it was DL.

Remember that "everyone will try to hold you back... if you want or you are trying to set the pace..." Its like a natural law.

Quoting catiii (Reply 7):
Also, purely from a standpoint of market cap, the only real peers we can compare DL to are WN, UA, and to a far lesser extent (maybe) AA.

I do believe in it too... Top 3 are DL, UA and WN inside the US... AA isnt doing things right and it shows...

Quoting FURUREFA (Reply 9):
To me, I see the "Delta difference" really being the all-around atmosphere of the company.

Working at Delta, I see that the majority of us really enjoy our jobs, love Delta, and trust senior executives. They treat us with respect, and I think everyone understands that for employees to prosper, Delta must as well.

I have some good friends at UA and AA, and I can tell you that they do not feel the same way about their respective companies. My friends at UA see both good and bad in the company. From what I know and see at AA, however, the environment is truly toxic.

While at first glance the above has little to do with the operational and financial performance of an airline, I think that having all the employees on the same page, working hard to make Delta successful, leads to significantly better company performance.

Sure, the company isn't perfect. And there does exist some PMNW bitterness. But I see less and less of it everyday, and some of the most bitter PMNW people right after the merger have now become some of the biggest Deltoids out there.

Can UA succeed in making employees happy? Only time will tell. But I think that AA's problems have such deep roots, that I'm not sure how they will overcome them.

Couldnt agree more to it... I do work for DL too and the feeling is the same. I do have friends on both AA and UA/CO which dont feel exactly satisfied with how they are running their airline. I do believe that there is still some NW vs DL mental conflicts around... but they tend to disappear with time...


User currently offlineMSPNWA From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 2024 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 9355 times:

I think I read this article when it first was posted, and I found it a little strange. For example, "dominates the industry". How can one say that about any airline? Then it goes into DL vs. AMR. Well right now about any airline looks good compared to AA. How about writing about how DL stacks up against UA, WN, and the rest? Just a little strange, IMO.

User currently offlineAA94 From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 605 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 9319 times:

Quoting indiansbucs (Reply 10):
I do have friends on both AA and UA/CO which dont feel exactly satisfied with how they are running their airline.

My mom is an ex-AA employee, my dad is an AA million miler, and my two aunts currently work at AA, so I've seen many a perspective about AA from the AA side, and the feeling is exactly how indiansbucs put it above. She says that "back in the day" everyone really looked up to management, but that was before 9/11 happened and the industry kind of turned in a different direction. She and my dad remember it when flying was kind of in the "golden era," and they all say that AA is not the same airline it was, and it's not in any better position.

I fly DL and AA in about equal amounts, and I've always been 100% satisfied with the service I get on DL. My last crews on TATL flights all give off the vibe that they really enjoy their job and are proud to say that they work for Delta Air Lines. Kind of makes you forget about all the other "baggage," liquids out, secondary screenings, profits, etc.

So in response to the thread starter's question, I would say that DL is a very well managed airline from the personnel/operations/frontline point of view ... I'm not familiar with DL's financials, so I really can't provide any comments about that ...

-AA94



Choose a challenge over competence / Eleanor Roosevelt
User currently offlineCoachClass From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 452 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8846 times:

I have a lot of mixed feelings about AA, and I know that there are difficult management/union/labor issues, but at least they didn't file for bankruptcy, which I would assume protected the employees' pensions/benefits. I'm not sure what happened to Delta's but I believe United employees lost big time their pension/retirement benefits. My question is, if Delta is well run, is it looking after its employees as well as its bottom line?

User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5310 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8746 times:

I think you can find a lot of employees across the entire industry who think management sticks.

I know AA pilots who hated Bob Crandall. At first, they liked Don Carty, because he ran AA like Crandall, but he was far more affable. Then after the wage concessions, the employees got mad at Carty with the whole bonus issue. Now, they don't care for Arpey and wish that they had Crandall back.

When I remind them of the things that they said about Crandall, their response is that they hated Crandall for wanting to be cheap with labor, but they knew that AA under Crandall was run better than any other carrier.

As for Delta, my father used to say that Delta stopped being run well, when management decided to forget its southern roots. A full breakfast used to have grits. Then, the grits disappeared. That's when DL stopped being run well.


User currently offlineB727FA From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 815 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 8207 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 4):
I just wonder why there is so much focus by the media on any bad thing that DL does.....seems much more so than other airlines.

B/C DL is now so big. This year is 1000% better than last. We took our eye off the ball in the last few years. We've made huge changes. We recover from WX issues faster; MX staffing in "out-stations" is better than "line-mx/contract" now, new hire inflight crews, Asia staffing being brought back in house, etc. We may be an old ship, but we're a good one and we are making the right moves.



My comments/opinions are my own and are not to be construed as the opinion(s) of my employer.
User currently offlineFURUREFA From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 808 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 7131 times:

Quoting B727FA (Reply 15):
B/C DL is now so big. This year is 1000% better than last. We took our eye off the ball in the last few years. We've made huge changes. We recover from WX issues faster; MX staffing in "out-stations" is better than "line-mx/contract" now, new hire inflight crews, Asia staffing being brought back in house, etc. We may be an old ship, but we're a good one and we are making the right moves.

That's right, and operationally we've improved a lot. DOT customer complaints are significantly down year-over-year. And in June, for instance, Delta's misplaced bag ratio was 2.99 per 1000, which is better than AA's, CO's, UA's, and US's, while our A14 was impressive at %78.5. Only AS, WN and FL had better A14's than us, which is impressive considering the different types of business we conduct.

Operationally, we're doing a lot better now that a lot of the merger items have been smoothed out.


User currently offlinebobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 6537 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 7044 times:

Quoting FURUREFA (Reply 16):
while our A14 was impressive at %78.5.

Please explain A14, to those of us who have no idea.


User currently offlineBD338 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 740 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6909 times:

Quoting FURUREFA (Reply 9):
While at first glance the above has little to do with the operational and financial performance of an airline, I think that having all the employees on the same page, working hard to make Delta successful, leads to significantly better company performance.

Gordon Bethune believe the same in his book 'Worst to First'about turning CO around and WN have practised the same philosophy for years,treat your employees wel and that will show in the results. A good experience makes a customer want to come back. DL has a lot of debt, but a plan to pay it down, if they continue to improve employee relations and focus on service (a bit variable in my recent experience) and can translate that experience consistently across the regional fligts then there are the prospects of astrong future for DL?


User currently offlineFURUREFA From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 808 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6851 times:

Quoting bobnwa (Reply 17):
Quoting FURUREFA (Reply 16):
while our A14 was impressive at %78.5.

Please explain A14, to those of us who have no idea.

When the DOT and airlines measure their base metrics, they generally talk about a few things, like:

A14: Arrivals within 15 minutes of scheduled arrival time
D0: On-time departures
FFD0, "kick-off D0", etc: On-time departures on the aircraft's first flight
MBR: Misplaced bag ratio: Misplaced bags per 1,000
Completion Factor: Percentage of operated flights (vs. cancelled)


User currently onlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10668 posts, RR: 14
Reply 20, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 6073 times:

Quoting BD338 (Reply 18):
Gordon Bethune believe the same in his book 'Worst to First'about turning CO around and WN have practised the same philosophy for years,treat your employees wel and that will show in the results.

Just as an FYI, DL was doing this long before Bethune and CO and before WN even existed. Just a little history lesson.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinecommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11979 posts, RR: 62
Reply 21, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 6040 times:

I don't think there is any question that - all things considered - Delta is an extremely well-run company these days, focused on profitability and free cash flow. Most importantly, Delta's management has taken the fullest advantage possible of Delta's bankruptcy filing, and it is definitely paying dividends.

I think there are some issues Delta will have to address in the next few years:

* Aging fleet
* Lack of fleet commonality (too many fleets/sub-fleets)
* Potential for unionization
* Strategic direction of NRT hub
* Superfluous U.S. hubs (CVG/MEM) to close

But, again, I think Delta's management team has proven themselves more than capable of addressing all of these issues.


User currently offlineaajfksjubklyn From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 915 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5950 times:

Quoting commavia (Reply 21):
I think there are some issues Delta will have to address in the next few years:

* Aging fleet
* Lack of fleet commonality (too many fleets/sub-fleets)
* Potential for unionization
* Strategic direction of NRT hub
* Superfluous U.S. hubs (CVG/MEM) to close

But, again, I think Delta's management team has proven themselves more than capable of addressing all of these issues.

How much does this mimic what AA just went through (less NRT but replace w/ LHR)....hummmmmmmmmmmm


User currently offlinecommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11979 posts, RR: 62
Reply 23, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5930 times:

Quoting aajfksjubklyn (Reply 22):
How much does this mimic what AA just went through (less NRT but replace w/ LHR)....hummmmmmmmmmmm

Not at all. AA doesn't have a connecting complex ("hub") at LHR - they connect tons of people each day there onto ongoing flights operated by the local hub airline. Delta has no such arrangement at NRT.


User currently offlineBD338 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 740 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5525 times:

[quote=mayor,reply=20]Gordon Bethune believe the same in his book 'Worst to First'about turning CO around and WN have practised the same philosophy for years,treat your employees wel and that will show in the results.

Just as an FYI, DL was doing this long before Bethune and CO and before WN even existed. Just a little history lesso



If that is true then a lot of the time in my past 15 years of flying DL it didn't show.


25 Flaps : From a passenger perspective I only have one issue with Delta. I have been flying four segments per week with DL for the last month and a half. Comple
26 aajfksjubklyn : I agree...but at the end of the day both airlines are doing the same thing two different ways. Its the other bullet points I was referring to.
27 mayor : That is true.....as another poster said: Perhaps even longer than that....things hit us that we just were not used to, i.e. losing money, poor perfor
28 Delta2ual : That's true. I remember once hearing that DL won "best airline in the US" for something like 17 years in a row. I think that ended in the early 90's.
29 mayor : I think management started to listen too much, to what the airline analysts had to say at the time......old fashioned, not aggressive enough, need fr
30 airbuske : Wow, I'm honestly really glad to read accounts on other organizations within the company making great forward strides. This pales in comparison to the
31 mayor : Really?? I assumed that MX/Tech Ops was ahead of the game.
32 moman : I find DL to be very well run from a customer perspective - it feels like employees are empowered to make immediate changes and decisions on the spot.
33 FlyASAGuy2005 : You will find this issue with many airlines in light of flying more "lean". LF has been very high the past few years. So now, there are more customer
34 LAXtoATL : Please elaborate on what the specific issues are. This question is coming from someone with little technical knowledge, things like stores department
35 Post contains images nwaesc : It depends on what angle you are looking at. From a "people" perspective, yes (certainly when compared to, say, IFS). From a systems standpoint, ther
36 cubsrule : It's more of an issue with Delta because of the number of subfleets, particularly with 757-200s and M88s. When a reconfigured M88 gets subbed for one
37 FlyASAGuy2005 : Where do the 25 seats come from? The difference between the two are 2 FC seats and 5 YC seats. Or are you saying more seats are blocked on the MD88 t
38 cslusarc : These will solve themselves. As Delta continues with it interior refurbishment we will see the number of sub-fleets reduced. When older late 1980s an
39 cubsrule : They block the entire rear of the aircraft and reassign it at the gate - it doesn't make much sense to me either, but I've seen it a couple of times.
40 cubastar : Would you happen to remember in the "old" days, there was the rumor that Mr. Woolman suggested that we save and recycle paperclips? Actually, I belie
41 mayor : Oh, I heard that quite often. We even had one of our guys that used to a little skit that involved the stub of a pencil
42 catiii : But will we? For example, I thought I had read on the 738 fleet that some would never get the AVOD.
43 nwaesc : Sounds like a great idea to me! All of us doing something "little" like that can really add up. BTW, NW used to have a reclamation department. Anythi
44 Surprise : I think from a business standpoint DL has improved greatly since the merger. Many NW practices have been incorporated and it's made a huge difference.
45 cubsrule : Your sentiment doesn't correlate well with at least this customer's experience, which is that the delays are as bad as ever and the customer service
46 Surprise : Perhaps I didn't express myself very well. I don't mean to imply we don't still have problems, we do. But for the first time we are agressively facin
47 cubsrule : Which on-time numbers? Not June's (for DL mainline at ATL). 2011: 74 percent 2010: 72 percent 2009: 80 percent 2008: 78 percent 2007: 70 percent I do
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