Known For Reliability, Delta Faces Disruption Again | WABE 90.1 FM

Known For Reliability, Delta Faces Disruption Again

Apr 10, 2017

Operations at Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines are just about back to normal. On Monday the airline expected only a handful of canceled flights.

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That's after the airline faced days of flight cancelations following last Wednesday's severe storms. In total, Delta had to ground about 3,500 flights.

The disruption could be an issue for Delta’s brand, which focuses on the airline’s reliability and allows the company to charge more than its competitors. It also comes after a computer outage last summer which led to more than 2,000 canceled flights.

“I'm sure by a few days from now Delta will again be the most reliable airline, just on a day in day out basis, it'll be more punctual, it'll lose fewer bags,” said Seth Kaplan, managing partner at the trade publication Airline Weekly. “But it has had a couple of these very spectacular failures.”

Kaplan said the airline can have only so many blunders before its reputation and bottom line take a hit.

Delta’s Chief Operating Officer Gil West apologized Thursday for the company’s slow recovery after the storm.  

He said Delta's hub at Atlanta's airport faced a nearly all-day ground stop because of the weather. Then, the airline dealt with staffing issues, since flight crews can work for only so long before the law mandates they take a break.