Delta rolls out special Airbus A321 livery to thank employees at profit-sharing event
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
“Valentine’s Day to us now is not red, it’s green, because it’s profit sharing day.”
That was the message Delta Air Lines’ CEO Ed Bastian delivered to employees Friday outside the company’s Atlanta headquarters Friday.
About 900 employees from across the airline filled a hangar at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), and cheered as executives praised their hard work and announced that they should see a sizable boost in their bank accounts heading into the weekend.
The airline has distributed shares of its profits to employees since 2010. For the last six years, the annual disbursements have each been a billion dollars or more.
On Friday, Delta distributed $1.6 billion among its 90,000 employees. For most employees, that represents about two months of pay.
Also in the hangar Friday was an Airbus A321, partly hidden behind white sheets. After the executives’ speeches and a short video presentation, the plane became the star of the show when TechOps employees pressed a button to drop the sheets, revealing giant red letters that spelled out “thank you” on the sides of the aircraft.
Delta’s TechOps took about a week to affix the decals to the A321, and the letters contain the names of every Delta employee. The plane was scheduled to return to service shortly after the event. Delta said the special livery is expected to fly on the aircraft for the next year.
On the airline’s internal website, employees can get instructions on how to find their names on the plane.
The aircraft also has a thank you message to customers, because “it’s the customers who are paying the profit sharing,” Bastian said.
Profit sharing has become a common practice across the aviation industry as airlines have returned to profitability in the last decade. Most major U.S. carriers now give their employees such bonuses. Delta, however, stands out for routinely topping the pack when it comes to the size of its profit sharing pot. For comparison, Southwest is distributing $667 million, United $491 million and American $213 million in profit sharing this year.
The union is distributing candy hearts that say “like it?” and “lock it in” to Delta flight attendants Friday.
“Profit sharing is an industry standard because it is a union negotiated contractual benefit across every major airline, including Delta pilots,” Sara Nelson, the head of the union said in a statement. “The only way to lock in current benefits is to organize for the union.”
It’s unclear, though, if there’s enough appetite to organize at Delta. Previous efforts to unionize attendants there have failed.
Featured photo by John Paul Van Wert for Rank Studios, courtesy of Delta Air Lines.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees