The NYTimes had an interesting data point last week: “Delta Air Lines lost $755 million in the fourth quarter, bringing its losses to nearly $12.4 billion in 2020, a year in which the airline industry was battered by a pandemic that crippled air travel.”
Sounds like this type of failure arises out of wrong motivation ... if Delta's core motivation was to keep people safe, then they would act differently. But it sounds like their core motivation is to leverage a pandemic to garner goodwill, which has resulted in the illusion of safety instead of true safety. Check your heart, Delta :(
Professor Allon, I too recently flew Delta and I have to say my expectations of service flying in the US are quite low. I personally was in fact quite impressed with Delta.
I agree with you that when it comes to flying airlines need to look at the life cycle of a passenger from airport arrival to airport departure. There are numerous touch points along the way and any single one can have a very negative impact.
My experience was super at check in, yes I had to do a check in at airport due to covid requirements. My onboard experience was great too. The only part I felt there was a bit of a drop was boarding when the communication was bad. Btw I was also delayed for two hours while sitting on the plane and YET I was satisfied because there was constant communication and the captain seemed quite apologetic.
Granted I didn't notice what you noticed. I agree that the middle seat being empty was honestly such a comforting "feature" of my flight.
What was inconsistent was departing the plane clearly had issues if one was considering distancing. It's a bit difficult though with that many people and such few flight attendants who can't even move down a single aisle plane easily when it is packed.
Overall I thought good job by Delta given the circumstances and I've already booked two future trips on the airline.
One last thing...I think flyer attitudes, behavior, and patience has improved in covid times. Don't you think?