The D In Delta Stands For Dirty: Passengers Say It’s Time The Airline Cleans Its Planes [Roundup]

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Amazing story the world’s first commercial flight occurred when Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941 and a Pan Am captain had to fly Westward back to San Francisco from New Zealand.

  • Time for Delta to start cleaning and maintaining its planes again. Otherwise the D in Delta stands for Dirty?

  • United doesn’t have ‘family leave’ from status, the way that Delta does and Hilton does.

  • It’s pretty bad when a United Global Services member has to take to social media because they can’t get answers from the airline about their luggage.

  • “Open season.”

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. Former TWA (and AA) employee here. In our waning years we were looking for any way to survive and have a competitive advantage (we obviously failed, but we tried) and that was a program called S.C.O.R.E or Safe, Clean, Ontime, REliable. As a result of that program Safety was obvious. Clean-we had a deep cleaning program where every plane was rotated into a station that did a deep clean in conjunction with a Maintenace check focusing on steam cleaning the fabrics and inspecting every last corner of the plane inside. Ontime-we had the highest on time performance of any airline in our final years, and Reliable, we didn’t cancel a single flight on several days, including our last day prior to being taken over by AA. It is possible to keep planes clean, but management needs to commit to doing so and not only support the efforts but hold people accountable. As passengers, we pay a lot of money to fly, and so having an airline that meets these standards is a reasonable expectation.

  2. You might want to adjust the statement about the first commercial flight since I believe it’s off by a couple of decades.

  3. BUT, it’s premium diet. Not any of that pedestrian stuff you’d find on AA or United.

    I wouldn’t GIVE him status either until he learns how to keep his feet off the wall.

  4. I thought the D in Delta did not stand for “dirty” but instead stood for “disgusting”, “dusty,” or “disheveled.”

  5. @ Ken A
    In reference to the average passenger onboard their planes? Yes, all are accurate descriptions of the barnyard explosion that has become the traveling public.

  6. I thought it was that Delta is a premium airline for premium people. Is it going to be Dirty Delta: a dirty airline for dirty people (dirty people after flying on Delta)?

  7. Honestly, what do we expect?

    Plane lands, everyone gets off. Maybe a change of crew, then next group gets on in matter of minutes.

    No time to do any cleaning

  8. Calling Tim Dunn. Calling Tim Dunn.

    I thought Delta was the world’s only PERFECT airline. LOL

  9. Feet on bulkhead and that posture? His whole account should be closed and forfeited for good measure.

  10. Aren’t both, not just one, feet against the wall required for lotalty status extension? I mean, guests in my private home don’t put their feet onto my living room wall, and, if they did, I doubt that I’d extend another invite over. But airline guest status standards of behavior are different, and I dont know if DL would require premium footwear on the wall like UA.

    Anyway, for what it’s worth, as a loyalty flyer and occasional premium flyer, I’m all in favor of liberal extensions of loyalty status, (for whatever little extra respect such status seems to garner, these days.).

  11. @NedsKid: When an airline scraps an aircraft, they should offer the bulkhead for sale to interested frequent flyers. Frequent flyers with million-mile status should receive a complimentary aircraft bulkhead instead of 25,000 bonus elite status miles. Owning an aircraft bulkhead in your living room makes a bold statement to your guests that you care about their comfort and that it is permissible for guests and their kids to practice resting their bare and smelly feet on an official aircraft bulkhead just like they do when they travel on Delta Airlines, American Airlines and Spirit Airlines.

  12. Delta is a premier airline that caters to sophisticated, discerning, and premium customers that cook meals in the lavatory’s sink.

  13. @Patti

    Southwest modeled its turn times on the NASCAR pit stop and figured out how to turn an aircraft in 25 minutes and still get it properly serviced. They literally have someone boarding the back of the plane as everyone is getting off and cleaning as the last person moves forward on the plane. By the time everyone is off, it is cleaned and serviced, and they are ready to board. Delta’s problem is a management problem, nothing more. That said, I enjoy flying Delta and haven’t run into this problem, though I haven’t flown through Atlanta lately, but rather Salt Lake City where people are proud to work there and won’t let a disgusting plane be.

  14. Gary,

    I’m surprised you didn’t ding the dad for putting his foot up on the bulkhead!

  15. @Matt: You wrote, “Delta is a premier airline that caters to sophisticated, discerning, and premium customers that cook meals in the lavatory’s sink.” I agree. Although passengers pay a premium price for premium service on Delta Airlines, they can still afford to go to Wal-Mart to purchase some frozen shrimp and potatoes as part of a nutritious meal. Delta cares about food safety. Therefore, I recommend cooking seafood meals in the toilet instead of boiling shrimp in the Delta Airlines aircraft sink for proper sanitation. The “blue juice” in the toilet bowl helps give your boiled shrimp a festive blue color while imparting a unique flavor. Here is a video link for Delta in-flight gourmet foodies to learn how to properly use an aircraft toilet or sink to prepare your next succulently steaming Delta Airlines seafood meal. Please post photos of your in-flight meal success with View from the Wing readers. Happy Holidays and Bon Appétit.

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