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flybynight
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Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:31 pm

Years ago I would have said United was the best airline in the US with a strong product and good hubs. While UA still has good hubs, I think their product has suffered (from a consumer point of view).

Now DL is expanding aggressively (maybe too much?) now with talks of BOS and of course the battle with AS in SEA.
Aggressive in this case is a good term where they are trying to get more market share. At the same time it seems DL has got a good product (a modern fleet, good customer service and good amenities for the consumer).

It seems DL is moving the bar on all levels.
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phxa340
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:05 pm

Quoting FLYBYNIGHT (Thread starter):

Best run airline ? By what metric ? On time arrivals, employee morale, customer complaints, ROI ...

Each US airline is the best in one area or another, some are the best in many areas.
 
chrisp390
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:08 pm

No, it just had a head start over the other majors since it was the first to merge and sort itself out. AA and UA are a few years behind them because of this and are a bit more messy
 
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:00 am

I suggest that from an overall financial performance standpoint that Delta wins hands down. If you look at the way they are paying down debt you can see that not to distant in the future they will have no or minimal debt; and then have lots of cash.

That cash can be used for fleet replacement (with fully paid for aircraft), lowering fares and squeezing the competition, and investor dividends. I suspect an approximate equal split of the cash pot between those three areas.


Have a great day,
 
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:11 am

Quoting FLYBYNIGHT (Thread starter):
While UA still has good hubs

That's an oft-repeated mantra that never really made any sense to me:
UA's hubs are decent, but what real hub location advantage does UA have over, say, AA?
....they both have significant hubs in NYC, Chicago, Texas, the Mid-Altantic the Mountain West, and L.A.


UA has a much-stronger gateway to Asian in SFO, than anything AA has; but AA has a much stronger gateway to LatAm in MIA, than anything UA has. It's pretty much a wash between the two of them.

DL is lacking a powerful hub in the SouthCentral, which somewhat hurts them, but they do have the unassailable multi-purpose powerhouse that is ATL.... the advantage of dual major hubs in the MidWest, where they have nearly complete control over both of them.

So again, sort of a wash.



Quoting phxa340 (Reply 1):
Best run airline ? By what metric ?

This
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
Freshside3
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:36 am

They are not 100% perfect.....but still clearly the best all-round US carrier.
 
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:59 am

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 1):


Best run airline ? By what metric ? On time arrivals, employee morale, customer complaints, ROI ...

Each US airline is the best in one area or another, some are the best in many areas.

What metric would you like to use?
Pretty sure Delta is top of industry in all those you mention.
Delta is very well run from a financial and operational standpoint.
 
global1
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:17 am

There are several well run airlines out there, but, to answer your question......

Yes.
 
jetblue777
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:37 am

Well from a passenger's point of view, they are certainly the most consistent out of all the legacies. The improvements at my home airport (JFK) has also been great. The SkyPriority check-in and new T4 lounge are actually pretty good, never mind the subpar food offering. And some may argue but I would say they have the best premium product out of all the US3.

I also think SkyMiles is actually not that bad of a program as much as many people deemed it to be. I like the option of actually paying up a small amount of $$ to upgrade despite having the lowest elite status (and they even offer it to non-elites) For less than half the price of my actual ticket, I was able to upgrade from JFK-ATL-AUS, the first-leg being on an int'l-configured aircraft with a great in-flight meal.

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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:35 am

Quoting FLYBYNIGHT (Thread starter):
Years ago I would have said United was the best airline in the US with a strong product and good hubs. While UA still has good hubs, I think their product has suffered (from a consumer point of view).

United is the worst and has been for several years. At least as far as domestic service.

Southwest and Alaska are both better than Delta by almost every measure across the board.
 
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:41 am

They are absolutely the best run airline in the US at the moment. Good financials, good labor relations, etc.

Whether that continues long-term...who knows? As the OP said, not too long ago other carriers were on top. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that I'd be surprised if Delta were still the best run airline in the US in 10 years.

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slcdeltarumd11
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:43 am

Southwest:
-Consistently makes money even when others were filing for bankruptcy
-Consistently steps ahead of peers in the domestic market
-Largest domestic carrier
-Almost always the least complained airline in any survey
-More space, 2 free bags, NO CHANGE FEES, free snacks
-Actually has some class left and keeps air travel humane
-Staff who actually like their jobs and care
 
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:14 am

Yeah, I would say DL is the best run out of the big 3. However, WN/AS/B6 are the best run overall.
 
PDX88
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:30 am

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 9):

Quoting FLYBYNIGHT (Thread starter):
Southwest and Alaska are both better than Delta by almost every measure across the board.

    
Southwest finished last in on time arrivals and baggage mishandlings than all of the US3 last year. What are you comparing to exactly?
 
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:45 am

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 9):
Southwest and Alaska are both better than Delta by almost every measure across the board.

Interesting. What measures would these be, and when?
Let's see some specifics... because that doesn't really seem to comport to fact as of late.



Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 11):
Actually has some class left and keeps air travel humane

You gotta be kidding me, lol.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:46 am

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 11):

Southwest:
-Consistently makes money even when others were filing for bankruptcy
-Consistently steps ahead of peers in the domestic market
-Largest domestic carrier
-Almost always the least complained airline in any survey
-More space, 2 free bags, NO CHANGE FEES, free snacks
-Actually has some class left and keeps air travel humane
-Staff who actually like their jobs and care

Interesting how you cherry picked your points, there.
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:50 am

I think WN and AS are most financially sound right now and have been consistently. DL is definitely on their way but I think still has quite a bit of debt...the good thing is that they are past their merger hiccups and have invested heavily in their product and are at their prime.

WN has very little debt, owns the majority of its aircraft (vs leased), most unionized (and well paid), doesn't charge for bags/change fees, and best track record in the industry. They also have a fairly young fleet considering its size.

AS is investing heavily, has a young fleet, has a niche in Alaska with little competition. Despite DL's invasion of SEA, their earnings are holding up and their loyal customers don't seem to be leaking.

B6 was pretty concerning, but I know has finally started turning a corner now that oil has dropped. They were struggling to break even with oil where it was and maintenance costs they were incurring.

AA/US is still profitable going through their merger and seems to be very well prepared to avoid the mistakes of past mergers.

I think WN, DL, and AS are definitely strongest and are going to jump at any opportunity they have to catch any of the others offguard. They don't have distractions and have the financials to support some risk in growth opportunities.
 
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:55 am

I think what I like about DL is that they are aggressive. They are not afraid to compete in many markets and the SEA expansion has been fun to watch from an outsider's perspective. Airlines like UA seem comfy resting on their laurels and adding a flight or two here and there at their hubs, but not really willing to stick their neck out to expand in some markets where they are not top dog.

I think one area that also gets overlooked on this forum is the correlation between a strong performing airline and company culture. DL seems like they have a very strong company culture and they are able to hire a lot of high quality individuals that embody the values of their company culture and go the extra mile to take care of the customers. WN has long had a reputation for this as well and I think it's been a big part of their success numbers aside.
 
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:14 am

Quoting FLYBYNIGHT (Thread starter):
Years ago I would have said United was the best airline in the US

How many years ago, exactly? Thirty?

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 14):
Quoting IPFreely (Reply 9): Southwest and Alaska are both better than Delta by almost every measure across the board.

Interesting. What measures would these be, and when?

Let's ask customers; who carriers more domestic passengers, WN or DL?

And how many JD Power awards has DL won?   
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:23 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 18):

Let's ask customers; who carriers more domestic passengers, WN or DL?

AA
 
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:48 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 18):
Let's ask customers; who carriers more domestic passengers, WN or DL?

For the purpose/point of what?
Why not ask customers who gets them to more destinations worldwide, WN or DL? Has about as much relevance to anything as your question does.



Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 18):
And how many JD Power awards has DL won?

Better idea: let's gauge who books tickets with "amount of JD Power awards won" as a primary, or secondary (or hell, even tertiary) factor.... ya know, compared instead to such silly criteria as destinations served, price, timing etc.

Get real.  
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:51 am

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 20):
For the purpose/point of what?

When DL is so much larger yet WN carries more domestic passengers, it does speak to which carrier is more "popular" in the marketplace overall.

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 20):
Better idea: let's gauge who books tickets with "amount of JD Power awards won" as a primary, or secondary (or hell, even tertiary) factor.... ya know, compared instead to such silly criteria as destinations served, price, timing etc.

So then why has DL specifically named "Take the JD Power award away from Alaska Airlines" as one of their corporate goals for the past several years? Why bother if it means nothing, as you seem to imply?
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:01 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 21):
When DL is so much larger yet WN carries more domestic passengers, it does speak to which carrier is more "popular" in the marketplace overall.

...'cept that much of DL's size isn't devoted to carrying domestic passengers.

So you're either ignorant of that basic fact, or you're being willfully obtuse despite knowing the distinction. Which is it?


Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 21):
Why bother

The same reason they want to trumpet about how "green" they are, or some other quasi-irrelevant factor that's about #20 on the list of people's booking priorities.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:12 am

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 22):
much of DL's size isn't devoted to carrying domestic passengers.

And yet they'd be gladly adding far more domestic capacity if there were a need to respond to a demand for it.

Clearly there isn't such high demand, so it's certainly not a stretch by any means to call WN "more popular than DL" in terms of the domestic marketplace.

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 22):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 21):Why bother
The same reason they want to trumpet about how "green" they are, or some other quasi-irrelevant factor

I've never heard anything "quasi-irrelevant" named as a strategic corporate goal. Tell you what; ask Richard Anderson if he feels winning the JD Power award is "quasi-irrelevant" and see the look you get in response. I bet it would melt steel.

[Edited 2015-06-03 23:14:31]
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Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
747WanSui
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:20 am

Please also note that DL has some rather old aircraft in its fleet (e.g. 744, 752, 763, 320, MD88, etc.), so I'm not sure how "modern" its fleet actually is...
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:57 am

Quoting 747WanSui (Reply 24):
Please also note that DL has some rather old aircraft in its fleet (e.g. 744, 752, 763, 320, MD88, etc.), so I'm not sure how "modern" its fleet actually is...

  

No disrespect intended, but while some of DL's fleet is on the older side, in their defense they do take rather good care of those aircraft; I have yet to see a DL plane in an unsafe, less-than-presentable state.

And many retrofitted older aircraft are virtually indistinguishable from a newer one to the average traveler.
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:32 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 23):
so it's certainly not a stretch by any means to call WN "more popular than DL" in terms of the domestic marketplace.

Again, getting back to the original question: "For the purpose/point of what?" How's that "prove" anything any more/less than saying "DL is 'more popular than WN'" in terms of the total marketplace?

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 23):
I've never heard anything "quasi-irrelevant" named as a strategic corporate goal

Then clean out your ears and pay better attention.  

But that said: swap the "JD Power Award" with the example given earlier, all the "green footprint" or something similar. You going to contend that that wouldn't elicit the same response you're suggesting? Yet, again, what portion of the market would base something like that Award, or the carbon footprint, or any other such measure as a primary, or even secondary booking consideration?

[Edited 2015-06-04 01:37:46]
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:22 am

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 26):
swap the "JD Power Award" with the example given earlier, all the "green footprint" or something similar.

You're hereby nominated to go speak with Richard Anderson and the rest of the senior leadership at DL and tell them they're in pursuit of a meaningless award.

You'd get laughed out of the building.

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 26):
Yet, again, what portion of the market would base something like that Award, or the carbon footprint, or any other such measure as a primary, or even secondary booking consideration?

You're forgetting that unlike carbon footprints, the JD Power award represents a real "voice of the customer" award that actually carries significance in terms of not only measuring the customer experience, but also telling companies more about what their customers value most, driving change and innovation. That's invaluable. And customers know this.

But look, at the end of the day, DL is a fine airline - they truly are one of the best out there - but there's no single metric that can be employed to state, definitively, that X airline is "the best run."

I believe the closest parallels you can come to that metric would be customer experience feedback scores, and the best statistical example of that is the JD Power award for customer satisfaction. Again, there's a REASON that DL spends tons of money chasing it.


Having said that, it's also important to note that studies have also shown that the majority of customers who defected to a like product or service of a competitor were actually "satisfied" with their previous experience when they made the switch. This means it takes a lot more than just "satisfaction" to retain a customer.

That fact should terrify every CEO in the world, and it does to the leadership of companies like B6 and AS - leaders in their respective JD Power categories - who are constantly innovating, knowing that mere "satisfaction" isn't good enough.

[Edited 2015-06-04 02:23:47]
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Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
Freshside3
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:34 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 18):
Quoting FLYBYNIGHT (Thread starter):Years ago I would have said United was the best airline in the US
How many years ago, exactly? Thirty?

Certainly not now. Especially with the regime they currently have running the show.
 
global1
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:04 pm

No disrespect, but in reality I don't believe that airlines such as B6, AS, are relevant comparisons to Delta.

They are much smaller in size, have basically a dual aircraft fleet (A320/321 or 737-800/900, etc... are a single type ), are primarily point to point operations and therefore connect far fewer passengers and baggage, and certainly do not have the complexities of global operations. Same really applies in many cases to WN.

When you factor these elements in, Delta's performance is nothing short of amazing .
 
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:21 pm

Quoting global1 (Reply 29):

Honestly I think this is the key. The legacy operators and the LCCs like B6 and WN are in different classes, and comparing them is apples to bananas.

A legacy, mainline carrier like DL will never be comparable to a B6 or an AS or a WN because, as a high-volume domestic AND international carrier they are bound to infrastructure and operational hits that the domestic carriers are not. A DL that is FAR better run than a domestic LCC may still "underperform" when compared because of the folly inherent in a larger, more diverse fleet, more destinations, larger airport operations, higher international volume, etc etc. Getting to the bottom of the OP's question is very, very tricky even when you're comparing the three legacy carriers and the LCC's independently, and nigh impossible to compare the two groups directly.

[Edited 2015-06-04 07:25:26]
 
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:39 pm

As far as I am concerned, WN, B6 and AS don't matter, because they do not service my local airport. DL, UA and AA do. It's all a matter of perspective. If I can't fly them, they are the world's least consequential airline, at least to me. DL can get me almost anywhere in the world in relative comfort and convenience. That makes them the best airline to me. Your selection may vary.
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phillyramp270
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:50 pm

Quoting PDX88 (Reply 13):

Please...

Again.. The only reason Delta has superior on time arrivals and departures is because ATL out of the 12 months out the year, the hub itself has a month a bad weather delays of that

DFW, EWR, MIA, PHL has to go thru extreme heat/humidity in the summer which cause weight restrictions, a thunderstorms, ground delays etc

Don't get me started with the hurricanes that pound MIA, or the Snow storms that impacts PHL And EWR... Or how bout DFW hanging out in tornado alley

ATL is a gold mine hub, for many reasons.. And 1 is good weather

[Edited 2015-06-04 07:52:04]
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jayfred
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:21 pm

Quoting phillyramp270 (Reply 32):
Please...

Again.. The only reason Delta has superior on time arrivals and departures is because ATL out of the 12 months out the year, the hub itself has a month a bad weather delays of that

Come now. As if DL flies flights from ATL to ATL. DL still has to fly to other airports that don't, notably, have as favorable weather conditions as ATL does. I don't think this has the effect you think it might.
 
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:22 pm

Quoting phillyramp270 (Reply 32):
ground

I'm pretty sure MSP, DTW, LGA, JFK all get their share of bad weather.

Based on your logic I guess I could say because MIA and LAX have perfect weather year-round AA should have the best on-time arrival performance bease they have two big hubs with great weather
 
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:35 pm

Quoting LAXtoATL (Reply 34):
because MIA and LAX have perfect weather year-roun

But...but...the hurricanes!   
 
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:53 pm

Quoting phillyramp270 (Reply 32):
Again.. The only reason Delta has superior on time arrivals and departures is because ATL out of the 12 months out the year, the hub itself has a month a bad weather delays of that

There's more than ATL when considering on-time/delays and completion factor.........there's the rest of the system to consider and they do their part, too.......surely you know that. There's also more than weather to consider when talking about delays, etc. When you say ATL has only one month of bad weather, I'd like to refer you to last winter.....how badly was ATL hit by snow, a couple of different times? To say they only have one month of bad weather is absurd.....and I'm sure you knew THAT, also.
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PDX88
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:57 pm

Quoting phillyramp270 (Reply 32):

Quoting PDX88 (Reply 13):

Please...

DFW, EWR, MIA, PHL

WN doesn't even fly to DFW and MIA, and they barely exist in PHL and EWR. I'm not sure you read my post right...
 
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:14 pm

Quoting jayfred (Reply 33):

Quoting phillyramp270 (Reply 32):
Please...

Again.. The only reason Delta has superior on time arrivals and departures is because ATL out of the 12 months out the year, the hub itself has a month a bad weather delays of that



Come now. As if DL flies flights from ATL to ATL. DL still has to fly to other airports that don't, notably, have as favorable weather conditions as ATL does. I don't think this has the effect you think it might.

ATL would have to have perfect weather, year round, to compensate for the weather delays in the rest of the system, to come up with the results they have shown.
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commavia
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:16 pm

As others have said - "best run" is very highly subjective, and very highly dependent on the perspective of the person asking the question. "Best run" from the perspective of employees? (Unionized or non-unionized?) "Best run" from the perspective" of passengers? "Best run" from the perspective of shareholders?" Each of these questions arguably has a very different answer.

In general, I would personally agree that Delta is certainly among the "best run" carriers in the U.S. these days in terms of creating value for its various stakeholders (including customers, employees and shareholders). But there are other companies who are also quite strong and well-run by these measures - including Alaska, Spirit and Southwest.

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 4):
UA has a much-stronger gateway to Asian in SFO, than anything AA has; but AA has a much stronger gateway to LatAm in MIA, than anything UA has. It's pretty much a wash between the two of them.

DL is lacking a powerful hub in the SouthCentral, which somewhat hurts them, but they do have the unassailable multi-purpose powerhouse that is ATL.... the advantage of dual major hubs in the MidWest, where they have nearly complete control over both of them.

So again, sort of a wash.

  

The "big four" U.S. carriers today all have very strong networks overall, but each has unique strengths and weaknesses - which is unavoidable. United is relatively weaker in the southeastern U.S. and to Latin America, but a powerhouse across the Pacific Asia. Delta is weaker in Texas and the south/central U.S. AA has minimal presence in the mountain west and up and down the west coast, and is weaker to Asia. Southwest, obviously, is miniscule internationally compared to the other three.

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 11):
Southwest:
-Consistently makes money even when others were filing for bankruptcy
-Consistently steps ahead of peers in the domestic market
-Largest domestic carrier
-Almost always the least complained airline in any survey
-More space, 2 free bags, NO CHANGE FEES, free snacks
-Actually has some class left and keeps air travel humane
-Staff who actually like their jobs and care

Objectively, Southwest has its shortcomings, too. I think it's arguable that Southwest waited too long to invest more in IT, and banked too much on fuel hedges to hide a multitude of proverbial sins with its business model (including labor costs and productivity). Internationally, Southwest has some major catching up to do - and not just with AA, Delta and United, but also Spirit and JetBlue.

Quoting TusDawg23 (Reply 17):
I think what I like about DL is that they are aggressive. They are not afraid to compete in many markets and the SEA expansion has been fun to watch from an outsider's perspective. Airlines like UA seem comfy resting on their laurels and adding a flight or two here and there at their hubs, but not really willing to stick their neck out to expand in some markets where they are not top dog.

True, although again - I think some perspective is necessary. While I don't disagree at all that Delta has been exceptionally well-run by both its management and front-line employees in recent years, it seems a bit myopic to not place that in the context of the larger competitive landscape in which Delta has been operating. Put bluntly - it's been a lot easier for Delta to act "aggressively" when its chief rivals have both been consumed with their own internal issues (restructuring/bankruptcy, merger/integration, etc.). Having to worry relatively less about AA, United and even Southwest has given Delta's management the freedom of motion to act more assertively in competitive situations, not just against those two competitors, but also against Alaska, etc.

But those days are now coming to an end. Delta's largest rivals are arguably in a far different - stronger - position today than any of them were a few years ago, and as such they're now far more capable of responding aggressively, if not acting offensively, against Delta - as we have, indeed, already started to see.

In short - I continue to expect that Delta's outperformance relative to its peers is going to continue to narrow considerably as its rivals once again find their footing.
 
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flybynight
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:19 pm

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 18):

How many years ago, exactly? Thirty?

Funny, and you're almost right  
I'd say up until about 2000 or so. UA had a good product, at-that-time modern fleet (first with the 777), diverse routes and (still) Star Alliance.
But that's 15 years ago.
My how they've diluted themselves.
Heia Norge!
 
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flybynight
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:28 pm

Folks, best run overall. If you factor in all the measurements, you'd get an overall score.
It seems to me that DL currently has good moral (and lets face it, happy employees is a very key measurement), good business strategy (expansions, profits, investment, debt, etc), good advertisement, good product (fleet, comfort, amenities, etc) and management.

A few years ago no one would have made this claim for DL, but I think one could say so now.

I think Southwest and AS would follow closely. To me, though, living in Seattle, I still worry about AS being able to stay profitable as they grow an fight off DL. It has been proven before that the smaller guy with a niche can likely win, but they also loose-out easily as well.
Heia Norge!
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:11 pm

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 21):
Quoting phillyramp270 (Reply 32):

Youve never lived in Atlanta then. The summer is the worse time of year its not one month. Thunderstorms are almost a weekly occurance (sometines 2-3 times per week) throughout the summer months that brings arrivals/departures to a crawl and closes the ramp more times than youd imagine.
What gets measured gets done.
 
CplKlinger
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Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:05 pm

RE: Is DL The Best Run US Airline

Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:49 pm

They've got to be doing something right. One, to get a tentative new conract with the pilots union 6 months before it's up is to me, downright amazing. In 8 years working in a unionized business, we regularly took 6 months after the end of a contract to get a new one.

And it might be anecdotal, but I grilled my wife about her flights (all on Delta) last night after I got her from the airport. Before this week she had never flown commercially and doesn't know a Bowing from an Airbus. She said the planes were clean, sharp, and felt/looked new. When I pressed her on it, she said it looked like a brand new car does from the dealership. And only one plane was really, really new (the 737-900 was a 2013 delievery, the oldest was a '98 build MD-90). The service was professional, kind and sincere. When her first flight out of IND was delayed, she said people came out of the woodwork to start getting folks taken care of. The staff at ATL were amazing getting her pointed in the right direction.

Then came the big question - would you fly them again. "In heartbeat. Even if it's a bit more expensive, if that's the service I'm going to get, it's worth it." To me that says a lot.

And now I'm trying to find a reason to fly somewhere so I can try them out. After my last WN flight, I'm feeling a bit turned off on them.

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