Delta Air Lines is working quickly to increase staffing in Reservations and Customer Care, Airport Customer Service and Cargo, Flight Operations and Tech Operations in support of customers’ speedy return to travel.
Reservations and Customer Care has handled record-breaking customer volumes all year, reaching 96 percent of 2019 levels as more leisure travelers return to the skies and need assistance. With staffing that was diminished by 50 percent when Delta people took voluntary early retirement or separation packages that helped the airline survive pandemic-driven challenges in 2020, call wait times have caused customer frustration. The Res & Care team is working quickly to return to service excellence levels that customers expect.
Res & Care will have 1,300 Reservation specialists trained and ready to serve customers by fall. The division will also welcome back about 200 Delta alumni in short-term contractor roles by the end of July to deliver the Delta Difference, as only Delta people can. The team has also contracted with a trusted travel agency partner to assist with customer service messaging over the next several months. Res & Care continues to partner with teams across the company to quickly diagnose tech issues and find real-time solutions to optimize the customer experience.
Delta encourages customers to delay calling if their travel need is not urgent or if their departure date is more than a week away. Instead of calling, customers can also use delta.com and the Fly Delta app to change or cancel a flight, find baggage information, manage SkyMiles® and more. A recent update to the self-service option within the app now allows customers to select and change an existing trip within 24 hours of departure using Same-Day change and browse from an array of alternative flight options.
Airport Customer Service and Cargo hiring has been underway for several weeks with more than 200 hiring events resulting in 2,000 new hires on board and another 1,200 hires in the recruitment pipeline, who are expected to start with Delta very soon. Additionally, nearly 1,200 positions are being recruited to support Global Cleanliness in key locations, including Atlanta, Detroit and Salt Lake City. The division is also supplementing key customer service issues such as wheelchair staffing. They’re continuing to discuss staffing levels with our partners – TSA, FAA, ATC – to provide our customers with a positive experience across the travel journey.
Also, effective July 1, ACS and Cargo will sunset the Ready Reserve program, transitioning 7,000 people to CSA benefit-eligible roles and creating more flexible staffing options with an employee group that can work 20-40 hours based on operational demand.
Flight Operations will begin hiring pilots beginning this month, starting with candidates who currently hold conditional job offers from before the COVID-19 pandemic and have already been through our screening and interview process. Delta plans to hire more than 1,000 pilots before next summer, supporting Delta’s efforts to grow our domestic and global network to meet customer demand.
Flight Operations also announced the reopening of the application for Propel Advance – Delta’s pilot career path program for employees who wish to pursue a career as a pilot.
In-Flight Services will begin recruiting and hiring in Fall 2021. Additionally, about 1,300 Flight Attendants are returning from LOAs/PLOCs this October. With these additions, we will see the lowest schedule values in nearly a decade. Additionally, the division plans to bring back more than 1,600 candidates who were previously in training or had a conditional job offer prior to the pandemic.
Tech Ops plans to hire as many as 1,000 new mechanics, technicians and other team members by the end of 2021 to support the growing operation – ensuring that Delta continues to lead the industry in on-time arrivals and zero-cancellation days. The roles are a combination of operational and support roles for the TechOps division, including merit, Technician and related positions within Avionics, Maintenance Operations and Engineering. The airline is also hiring for positions that support its MRO business and subsidiary businesses, Delta Flight Products and Delta Material Services – all in an effort to continue delivering the world-class products and experience customers have come to know and love from Delta.