Delta OCC is amazing! The “machine” that keeps the machines up in the air. Delta Points visit to Delta CORP.

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main entrance to Delta CORP ATL delta points blog (1)

I was so looking forward to this visit to Delta’s corporate office located right next door to the Delta Museum (more on that later this week btw) and the airport.

main entrance to Delta CORP ATL delta points blog (2)

I had missed an earlier invite that did not quite work out due to some weather issues and missed flights. Also, as a bit of a disclaimer and so it is clear, none of my trip was comp’ed by Delta CORP. I used Lisa’s Skymiles (low level award, naturally) to fly down to ATL and stayed at the Westin on my own SPG points (net 2500 after 500 back as a Platinum). However, I do deeply appreciate the private guided tour from two outstanding Delta PR reps who I have known for years and very much respect and appreciate.

We started the tour at the PR department and I was shown their work area and got to say hello to a few of the folks I had not yet had the privilege of meeting. I will say this about Delta folks, they are all really good people and I would expect nothing else. But at the same time I was teased with some bits from the work behind Skymiles 2015. 🙂

twitter - facebook and more socal space at Delta CORP Delta Points blog (2)

The next stop was the social media lab or the home of the amazing @DeltaAssist team. There are few months that go by that I don’t tout how great this team is when you need them.

twitter - facebook and more socal space at Delta CORP Delta Points blog (1)

This team does much more than just Twitter as Facebook, Pinterest and others are all covered here. Still, for most of us, Twitter is what affects us most (maybe I am just biased – nahhh)!

Delta CORP OCC opperations customer center delta points blog (1)

Then on to the OCC or the Operations / Customer Center. Let me just tell you this place is amazing. Not just the overwhelming technology there but the people and what they do.

Delta CORP OCC opperations customer center delta points blog (2)

They are real time tracking and working to get 100% of all flights completed each and every day. Clearly that is impossible depending on the goal. For the day I visited, after a rough weather day the day before, was 99.5% of all flights and they were beating that goal mainline! Translation into normal English – we flyers are getting to where we want to be thanks to these folks’ hard work!

Delta CORP OCC opperations customer center delta points blog (3)

They are tracking everything. From news, to all the many regional partners that all have their own control centers that then communicate with our mothership – this is an amazing amount of data flowing into one place to be sorted out. The dance to make this all work is impressive.

Delta CORP OCC opperations customer center delta points blog (4)

Then there are the weather folks that are a major part of the daily operations as you can guess. Not just for the day, but for days ahead and they can even share the data they find with all the other bits of Delta, even Trainer Oil, if it can have an impact on operations. Brilliant and a great use of valuable data that can help us and the company.

Next what I simply call parts (yeah that sounds dumb, but for us, bits that keep jets running are just parts, right). Seriously, when something breaks on a jet you have to get a replacement. That may mean flying a jet to a hub or location that has the part or in some other way getting the part to where the broken jet is. Many of these folks have been on the front line of repairing jets so they know not just logistics but often the part they are working with. This all just cooks my brain and so builds my appreciation for all that goes in to making all 1000+ takeoffs and landings work each and every day. Humbling to say the very least.

Delta CORP OCC opperations customer center delta points blog (5)

Then there is stuff that just makes me giggle. They, like every company on the planet, have break room, but a toaster out in tech room – really? – too funny to me.

Delta CORP OCC opperations customer center delta points blog (6)

Lastly there was the situation room. Not just for meetings but if things go wrong you are going to see the people that matter all in this room.

So what to take away from all of this? One is there will just about never be a time Delta is not “up and running”. They have a fully TESTED backup in case “whatever” happens. The airline’s operations is truly overwhelming and stunning. I have always been uber impressed how just about perfect Delta “works” and now I see why they truly are THIS good. Wow factor is off the charts.

I brag on Delta a bunch. I fly Delta just about exclusively year after year. I have history with Delta / NWA for a reason and this day showed me why I made the right choice! – René
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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  1. Interesting visit. Most readers would agree that Delta is well run and is arguably the best US legacy.
    However, given their obvious investment in all sorts of technology this makes me(and likely others) suspicious of why Delta insists on foisting its incredibly cumbersome frequent flyer program on their customers.
    Did you ask the tough questions to at least attempt to get them to come clean?
    I know you’re frustrated by SkyMiles too so I assume this would be of great interest.

  2. @Geoff – the FF program is clearly a subject DL & I disagree on. I think the changes are going to be very bad, they clearly do not. Time will tell who is right. They can always make changes if this go as I expect in 2015 (just look at the SDC rules that have had 3 changes or the back peddle on JFK non-upgrades).

  3. I think I need to get more educated on the 2015 FF program. I read many of your posts but they don’t seem to be that bad. If you had to enumerate the Top 5 reasons the changes are going to be “very bad”, could you share?

    As to the pics and description of this visit, very good info and very impressive. I went from Delta to Northwest to Continental to United and then back to Delta as far as loyalty goes. Each merger seem to mess up the airline I was with. I still believe Delta is the best though. Been back 4 years now AND, I live in Charlotte where US Air probably makes the most sense but… no thanks!

  4. I am amazed at what it taked to get the planes, routings, “parts” and people working as one. As I left DCA this morning I was reminded why I stay with DL 100%. Great people in the Sky Club, gate agents who know me by name (like Cheers) and if not by site, and crews who have a smile early in the morning. All businesses will play with their loyality programs to get the most for their profit line. If they do not listen then in the long run it is hard to backtrack and gain the trust of their customers who remain. Lets hope DL will not go that far. As the Washington Post said this weekend in the travel section loyality frequest flyer programs are drving flyers at all levels to any airline. Price is now king and not miles. Side note: my son-in-law works for a regional fixing CRJ200s. I understand “parts.” His station is closing. They lost a major contract due to reduction of the planes. Time for bigger planes!!

  5. Rene, You wisely did not accept compensation from delta for your airfare, hotel or other expenses on this trip to avoid any conflict of interest and you disclosed this in your post. Accepting compensation from delta and then writing this blog would undermine the faith your readers have in your integrity (presently unquestioned) and ability to make independent, unbiased reports. Journalism 101 I think. Skymiles 2015 presents similar conflicts of interest for many business travelers, the fliers it was designed to benefit most, by rewarding them based on the amount of their employer’s money they spend. This new rewards system creates an incentive for the employee to spend more money not less. That is precisely the type of situation corporate conflict of interest policies are designed to control. Depending on the policies and personalities involved, skymiles 2015 could land someone in hot water merely for failing to disclose this conflict on the annual forms. At the very least, it will be prudent for companies to keep a close eye on airfare purchases when employees fly delta. When it comes to conflicts, the saying trust but verify is apropos. Did this aspect of the program come up in Atlanta?

  6. Besides the OCC (which is amazing), the TOC (Technical Operations Center) where they repair planes & engines, paint planes, & do contract work is just as cool.

  7. The aviation geek in me is sooooo uber jealous that you were able to get a tour of the Delta OCC. As an IT specialist, I would love to work in Delta IT someday. I love their corporate philosophy and culture and would love to be a part of their “family!”

  8. @John – txs for all your kind words and for your input! It mean more than you can ever know. I did not press Delta folks much on Skymiles or other hot button issues with this visit. I can call them anytime and chat but most of the stuff I can print ie on the record I do. They do seem very willing to work with, not just me, but the rest of the blogs to put out as much info as they can. I hope to have more one-on-one time with Delta folks soon where I will be in a setting to ask more pressing questions.

  9. Solid post Rene! I’m glad you were able to take the time to do this on your own terms (sans compensation like John pointed out) and share it so quickly with us Delta flyers. I enjoy seeing what goes into what they do for us and I appreciate it. Wish I would have told you to high five the @DeltaAssist crew because they rock. And you rock too!

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