I was so looking forward to this visit to Delta’s corporate office located right next door to the Delta Museum (read about that experience here) and the airport.
I 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 whom I very much respect, appreciate, and have known for years.
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. 🙂
The next stop was the social media lab or the home of the amazing @Delta team. There are few months that go by that I don’t tout how great this team is when you need them.
This team does much more than just Twitter; 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)!
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.
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!
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.
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 into making all 1000+ takeoffs and landings work each and every day. Humbling to say the very least.
Then there is stuff that just makes me giggle. They, like every company on the planet, have a break room, but a toaster out in tech room – really? – too funny to me.
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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