Delta Plans To Share Crew Names With Passengers A Day Prior To Travel

Delta Air Lines will be sharing the names of flight crew with passengers a day in advance of travel. Passengers will be able to recognize crew for their service.

In an internal memo explaining the program, Delta told staffers that no other identifying information apart from their first names would be shared and that the system would only forward positive comments and compliments to crew members.

Delta is telling employees,

The secure site will allow customers select from a list of the first name of the crew members (pilots and flight attendants) on flights where the customer has a confirmed booking only.

Sara Nelson’s Association of Flight Attendants, part of the AFL-CIO’s Communications Workers of America, is trying to organize flight attendants at non-union Delta. They are blasting the plan to share first names (and there are 25,000 flight attendants at Delta!) as a violation of privacy and a risk to crewmembers, even though employees will be able to opt out. Delta isn’t sharing last names, layover hotels, or other flights they’re working. Just first names.

The union says the opt out process is “complicated” as well as “insufficient and insulting.”

Delta management claims that this program is a way for customers to recognize great service. The reality is that this is a thinly-veiled attempt to manage us without being on the aircraft, implemented without our knowledge or input.

Moreover the union also objects to it because “[n]o other airline does anything like this.” The airline, for its part, is trying to encourage great service and connect passengers to the service they’re receiving, driving up net promoter score.

At many airlines there’s little differentiation between how a front line employee is treated, whether they give their all on board or phone it in. In fact, those who do even less than what’s expected are often not penalized, adding work onto the shoulders of their more conscientious colleagues. When passengers get great service it’s the result of the internal motivation of the employee to deliver that experience, not because they’re rewarded for it or penalized for not giving it.

Showing passengers who their crew were, and giving them an opportunity to comment directly on the things that went well (and only sharing the positives!) is one way to really make that above and beyond feel appreciated, and reinforce continued delivery of that level of service. It’s not surprising that the AFA-CWA would speak out against it, even if sharing first names on an opt out basis hardly seems to present real risks. Airline crew often have name tags, and AFA-CWA doesn’t appear to have a history of fighting this in contract bargaining after all.

Delta flight attendants are well-treated, and a union won’t make them better off though I can’t say the same necessarily at several other carriers. One Mile at a Time, who describes himself as “pretty liberal, and…also pro-union” but understands that this manufactured outrage represents the “kinds of tactics that make a lot of people anti-union.”

Update: rollout of this project has been “paused.”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Busting the FA unions would be a worthwhile venture. Hopefully the airlines band together and try during the next R Admin.

    It’s an unskilled, extremely entitled labor force that treats passengers like crap, and whines every time the airline needs to actually make money. Be rid of it.

  2. I like being able to recognize good service by specific persons…I remember something like this on UAL long ago, when I had some sort of “certificates” issued by UAL, that you were able to give to someone whom you wished to compliment for good service. The employee would submit the certificates to the airline for rewards of various types if I am not mistaken. Like I said, it was long time back, but I liked the system. Does anyone else remember this??? Why did it go away?

  3. That was Eastern Air Lines, not United, and the tokens were in the shape of the Eastern logi could be redeemed for many items. We all sure miss Eastern…

  4. Just goes to show we don’t “talk” to people any more. Just ghost ride with their names to whine about. Grow up

  5. @Richard – yes, those were the Going the Extra Miles certificates. AA still have them for higher tier elites.

  6. Interesting. Are DL pax asking for this? (Silly question I guess…as these days I’m not sure if US airlines even listen to what pax want anyway).

    How does this impact the customer service experience *before* a trip? I guess I can understand having access to the names of your crew after a trip in case you want to comment on the service experience. It does seem like this is a way to obtain more feedback from pax…which might be a good thing if used appropriately. But what about the names of the gate agents and baggage handlers that work your trip? Now that would make for some interesting feedback perhaps! 😉

    FYI- Many workers in front-line service industries, (including several flight attendants that I know), never use their real names on their name tags…in order to protect their identity. I remember being on a domestic AA flight in 2021 where there were 3 FAs named “Susan”. I laughed about it to one of them and she smiled and said…”funny thing is that not one of us is a Susan.” I wonder if DL will allow them to use a pseudonym?

  7. The company is able to identify those working the trip. Even one who’s name tag says, ” O. Miss”

  8. “The union says the opt out process is ‘complicated’ as well as ‘insufficient and insulting.’”

    I wonder how Delta’s opt out process compares to the process for opting out of the union. 🙂

  9. I understand why Sara Nelson and the Association of Flight Attendants, part of the AFL-CIO’s Communications Workers of America, are concerned about this potential violation of the privacy of crewmembers. Premium airline information data compilers like Expert Flyer, Seat Spy,, or Seat Guru could add new helpful data metrics indexed by flight crew name, flight number, and other statistics such as if the flight attendant is Red Dress Qualified, also known as RDQ. Some passengers might want to intentionally select flights that almost never arrive on time if the flight has a high RDQ score.

    Previously, Delta Airlines offered the red dress uniform only to flight attendants wearing a dress size 18 and below, or they would be mandated to wear a less conspicuous blue color dress. After compiling RDQ data for each Delta Airlines flight, it will be easy for passengers to sort and select flights with the highest RDQ scores. Currently, Delta Airlines has not yet followed the lead started at Target stores by offering plus size flight attendant uniforms in the color of “Manatee Gray.” Instead, the Delta Sky Club® in Detroit offers passengers a bird’s eye perch to the SPANX® retailer on the floor below the Sky Club at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) as a unique perk and amenity.

    Read more:

  10. Can I opt out of the FAs knowing what my name is? I feel my privacy is being violated *rolls eyes*

  11. I’ve got to say this is one of the silliest ideas I’ve ever seen from an airline. Absolutely silly and pointless. Now giving pax an opportunity to comment on the service they received on board from a specific crewmember — that makes sense.

  12. FAs wear name badges and the captain gives all their names in his/her/their announcement onboard. What’s the issue here?

  13. Unfortunately, Sara Nelson and her unions have to troll the party line even if it kills their airlines. The airline business is boom or bust, but mostly bust…. TWA, Eastern, Braniff, Pan Am….and almost every survivor has been through a bankruptcy “reorganization “.

  14. @William, that’s very funny. I certainly didn’t see you in my training and testing classes last week. Oh that’s right, you were fired because you couldn’t hack it.

  15. Union is gonna be union. Those who can’t establish a business created union.

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