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Who didn’t get any of Delta’s 1.1 Billion in profit sharing? Many wearing Delta colors!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

delta proft share

Last month Delta took out full page ads in major newspapers. They YELLED from on high everywhere they could how they have, in the past year, been able to pay out what amounts to about 2 months wages in profit sharing for Delta employees. This is, of course, thanks in part to selling huge amounts of SkyMiles to American Express, also charging a mind numbing amount of fees for bags and ticket change fees, 1st class up-sells, $29 Skyclub fees and more.

But you know who did not take part in this profit windfall? That would be all those folks who are not employed by Delta but often are wearing Delta “colors”. Wait, what? Like who? Let’s go down a short list of examples.

  • Many of us spend a great deal of time flying for the regional airlines. Yep, if you see Delta connection on the side of the jet it is not what we call mainline Delta and it is not Delta at all even though it “looks” like Delta. So, none of them are taking part in this massive profit sharing. Nice right?
  • I really respect and appreciate my local SBN station staff. I know them and fly out of my local South Bend airport a bunch each year. Many of them are basically paid minimum wage and work really long hours and wear many hats. None of these folks work for Delta and did not take part in the Delta bonus payday, but each day work REALLY hard to “represent” mother Delta.
  • Next, those high pressure and sometimes pushy Skyclub bar tenders – they don’t get any of the big bucks as they are also outsourced, but that may also explain their sometimes poor attitudes. I would rather have the old self serve bar but that is maybe just me.
  • What if you need wheel chair assistance? Those folks are NOT Delta either. They help you and often times push you in a DELTA branded wheelchair, but they don’t work for the airline and get a piece of the profit sharing pie. Keep that in mind when you tip them.
  • Skycaps are contracted out by Delta. So these folks, who sometimes get dumped even after being in Delta advertizing, do not get any bonus payouts either. Do think about tipping these folks as they are also low on the payment scale.
  • Cleaning crews. I know we don’t see them that often (if they are there at all) but they are contract folks that have very little time and do what they can to clean up a jet but do not get any profit sharing either.
  • Ground staff more and more outsourced. A growing trend, that we see in places like DTW, is that ground crews are NOT Delta people. They are working in all kinds of nasty weather but none of them get big bonuses from mother Delta.

We could keep going and going but I hope you see my point here. Delta is very proud that deserving Delta people got a nice bonus check last month, but do keep in mind how many folks are working equally hard for us and do so for so much less (even if they “look” like Delta people)! – René

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. I really wondered about this and you have confirmed it In many years of flying I have noticed that the regional carrier’s flight attendants are some of the most friendly. Also my local airport was one of those that Delta completely outsourced years ago and the staff there is very deserving of that bonus more so than those “mouthpieces” spewing Business Speak on a frequent basis. I am happy for the employees on the front line who got the well deserving bonus but am really disgusted that not all of them benefitted.

  2. Good points. I clicked on this thinking it was going to be the same old politically correct stuff about the big corporation shafting the worker. It wasn’t.

    You listed a lot of front line people that flyers see everyday wearing a Delta badge and Delta gets the credit when they do a good job. Having connected through Hartsfield, I think the contract employees at the small outlying stations often do a better job than the “real” Delta employees.

    Unfortunately, I think the savvy travelers who read you already knew that Delta has outsourced this stuff. The more casual travelers aren’t going to come here. My mother uses the Delta wheelchair service, as well as the skycaps. She always tips the skycaps generously. I’ll ask her if she tips the wheelchair guys. I’ll bet she’s never thought of that, I hadn’t.

  3. LonK in the ATL Reply

    Well now we all know…passengers are not the only ham sandwiches that Delta’s upper management is now enjoying! Getting their stock bonuses and hefty pay raises…
    You know the famous quote from the AJC 12-11-2011 Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s executive vice president of revenue management, marketing and network planning. “We’ve been starving, and sitting on a ham sandwich the whole time.” referring to how this management team was going to make money.

    They set out to maximize their profits and it now this shows how they did it!

    In 2013 Richard Anderson’s compensation rose to almost $12.6 million, up from $8.9 million in 2011, according to an Associated Press calculation … In 2014 the mothership’s board of directors rewarded Anderson with about $14.4 million in total comp

    He’s enjoying his ham sandwich

  4. Rene,

    I originally signed up for your Delta blog because I felt like it was all about helping educate Skymiles Delta travelers thru all the ways to benefit and know the system. As of late, mostly due to Delta policy changes… it seems like nothing more than one negative rant after another. Even something like profit sharing within a highly effective company like Delta can be spun into a negative about those shunned by the company. My humble suggestion is to look back at your original intentions with your blog and make sure of the balance between helping and hurting the image of Delta’s program. Otherwise, I guess I can choose to unsubscribe like anyone else. My 2 cents.

    • @Ian – Txs for your comment and I am a little shocked you said that about this post. After all, I did clearly say the hard working Delta folks are deserving of the money (and then some) but there are many who IMO should also be rewarded for working just as hard if not harder and “look” like Delta people.
      Next, Delta is and each day is TRASHING the frequent flyer program and elite perks. It is a BAD year and getting worse each week. We are now happy when things are NOT cut i.e. no news is good news. I am happy to YELL if Delta does good as I often did last week if you check posts. But bottom line is my focus for the blog in 2015 is this:
      I will help readers and myself and call Delta out for each #KeepDescending event week after week they roll out! Best – Rene

  5. @ian perhaps the blog seems to have taken a negative turn in your time frame. But consider that many of us have been saving our FF miles for many years (26 in my case) in order to take my wife on that “dream” vacation to travel Asia in FC as had been glamourized and encouraged by Delta for all those years – until just recently. I have been paying personally to maintain status in order to have “preferred access” to the low level mileage tickets for a few years now. Suddenly after I attain a balance of 700,000+ miles I find that I may now not have enough to fly my wife and I in FC to Asia. I have also stayed loyal to Delta all these years when it took extra effort in the market where I live. I stayed loyal when all of my friends switched away from Delta years ago. These negative changes seemed to happen over night and on a continuing basis.

    So @ian I can go on for many pages about all of this but I also think about the 700000+ points coming from flying and a huge financial outlay that has suddenly been devalued to almost nothing. Rene is much more positive than I would be on this issue.

  6. Rene, I believe you are fair and balanced in the long run. Also, if you reflect the current times for Delta Medallion members you are spot on in your analysis. Keep up the good word and the objective and subjective reviews of the “mothership”.

  7. I agree with everything you stated but the bartenders especially
    at ATL are rude and ungrateful think they should be tipped for
    Bad service they are the worst in the industry. I’ll gladly take an AA
    Bartender anywhere then what DL has at the ATL Skyclubs!!!

  8. Corbett Kroehler Reply

    Yet another great post, René! We can begin to turn the tide in favor of the underappreciated, outsourced airport staff by advocating for a living wage. SeaTac is supposed to pay $15/hr but Delta is fighting it, among other airlines. In parallel, an effort is underway to impose a $15 minimum in Minneapolis and there’s a petition which we can sign to help… I’ll tweet it to you as well.

  9. Rene,
    I have only followed Delta Points for a year or so, but greatly appreciate tips of the trade. I’ve learned a much! We do need to keep in mind that while we criticize Delta for the trashing of Skymiles, bitterness and anger can turn against us. As a DM I will continue to express my frustration and chagrin with Delta staff, just as you do Rene. I will stand with other Delta customers bending Richard’s ear as hard as we can. But I will also guard my own head and heart from thoughts and emotions that come back to harm my soul. Life is too short. But thanks for leading the charge, Rene. We stand with you.

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