Why Your Delta Flight Was a Bit Fuller in July
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.
Full flights are a hallmark of summer, as Americans take to the airways for their vacations. Delta Air Lines flights, however, were a little bit fuller than normal.
The Atlanta-based carrier managed an elusive 90% system load factor, or the percent of available seats that are full, in July. This means fewer open middle seats and more difficulty getting upgrades.
For comparison, US airlines achieved an average domestic load factor of 84.5% in all of 2018, according to US Department of Transportation data via Diio by Cirium schedules. The average load factor was 87.4% for the peak June-August summer travel season.
Glen Hauenstein, president of Delta, speaking during the airline’s quarterly results presentation in July, said both “leisure and business travel demand remain robust” from the second quarter into the third. This was buoyed by a strong US economy and, as Cowen analyst Helane Becker noted last month, “spillover demand” from carriers affected by the Boeing 737 MAX grounding.
August is likely to look a lot like July at Delta. The summer travel season continues through Labor Day Weekend that begins on Aug. 31, and the MAX remains grounded until at least the fourth quarter.
Featured image by Alberto Riva/TPG.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.
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 after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- 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.
- 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