Last year Delta launched the latest in its recent series of black and white TV ads called “Up.” Have you seen the ad posted above on TV (I’ve seen it at last three times in the last week.) There are some great cameos of ATL and Sky Clubs that should look familiar to business travelers.
Donald Sutherland smoothly tells us that Delta is “raising the bar on flying.”
And I have to say, I think he’s right. Delta really has improved over the last five years, especially when compared to its peers. Sure, it has its share of technical malfunctions (hello award booking site), grumpy staff and aging aircraft. And everyone’s taken a jab at its new revenue-based SkyMiles program. Flyers in captive hubs like Atlanta, Detroit or Salt Lake City love to complain about the 800-lb-gorilla out at the airport.
But that’s changing. More often than not, I’m pleased when I ride on a shiny, clean new plane or enjoy a bright new Sky Club. I like getting some sleep in lie-flat business class and appreciate the smile and sincere hospitality of a southern accented flight attendant. I’m especially cognizant of it after flying Delta’s legacy competitors. And I hear praise for Delta from folks in cities with broad airline choice, like New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco.
I’m not alone in my appreciation of Delta’s improvements in recent years. The stock market loves Delta. Corporate travel managers consistently say that Delta is their most valuable airline partner. It made the largest net profit in airline history in 2013. It was the highest ranking legacy carrier in the widely discussed “Airline Quality Rating” for 2013.
The media and analysts are pretty much sold on Delta, too.“They did a great job, they delivered a great product, and they’re getting paid for it,” said Helane Becker of Cowen & Co regarding Delta’s recent string of profits. Among airline observers and pundits, Delta is now considered the current king of the hill…the one to beat.
What do you think? Has Delta improved? Is it really raising the bar on flying? What do you think of the “Up” campaign? Please leave your comments below.