Delta Airlines the Airline Industry Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

S. And other nations (O'Neal, Jacob, Farmer, Martin, 2007). As a result, there is much dissatisfaction specifically in the areas of pricing, price discounting and the configuration of schedules to get optimal pricing. It has been common in the past for customers to be charged up to $300 to $400 more fares for alleviating a one-stop fare when a nonstop fare into a non-hub city became available. Customers have complained this is more of a factor of Delta's lack of flexibility in managing flight reservations and scheduling. Second, Delta has room for improvement in the boarding and deplaning process, specifically in how zones are defined and the planning & deplaning process is management. The queuing of this approach has at times been considered elitist due to the separate lanes and the cavalier attitude given to the most senior frequent flyers over just a customer (Wasmer, Bruner, 1991). It had been common for a full paying fare customer to be bumped from a flight just so a last-minute Medallion customer could fly with no reservation. This enraged regular customers and drove them away from the airlines. Customer began websites saying they had been fired by Delta for not flying with them enough.

Recommendations to make Delta more customer-centric

Key to Delta becoming more customer-centric is the further re-aligning of their most complex processes including flight reservations & scheduling, boarding & deplaning including baggage handling, and cost & fees. These are processes that require an inordinate amount of process re-engineering and optimization. Delta needs to focus on how they can use analytics applications including routing, scheduling, pricing and baggage handling optimization to better align with customers' preferences (Garrow, Ferguson, 2008). The optimizing of these processes is also called Business Process Management (BPM) and Business Process Re-engineering (BPR). Delta still in fact has these processes more focused on internal process efficiency first. To attain greater levels of customer centricity, the main processes that are included in each of these core areas will need to be continually reviewed and updated over time to keep up with the customers' rapidly changing needs. The bottom line is that a continual commitment to improving these complex process areas are critical for Delta to continue to be trusted by those who are now loyal and to earn the trust of new customers (Field, 2006).


Customer centricity is never a one-and-done proposition. It requires continual efforts to align the core processes in an organization to those touch points where customers gain experiences from working with the company. Delta's commitment to customer service today often includes the integration of new yet proven technologies to enhance the experiences customers have with them. Due to these factors it is clear customer centricity is inherent in their marketing plans.


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Dan Fitzpatrick (2005). Embattled mainline carriers move to cut costs and fares. Knight Ridder Tribune Business News,1. Retrieved December 12, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Dateline database. (Document ID: 819814151).

Garrow, Laurie and Ferguson, Mark (2008). Revenue management and the analytics explosion: Perspectives from industry experts. Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management, 7(2), 219-229. Retrieved December 12, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 1479596291).

Higgins, Kevin T (1996). Flying high. Marketing Management, 5(3), 6-11. Retrieved December 11, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 10698149).

Lisa LaMotta (2006, April). Delta rebranding push takes page from Song. PRweek, 9(17), 3. Retrieved December 11, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry database. (Document ID: 1033197541).

Jerome W. O'Neal, Michael S. Jacob, Adam K. Farmer, Kristi G. Martin. (2007). Development of a Codeshare Flight-Profitability System at Delta Air Lines. Interfaces, 37(5), 436-444,497-498. Retrieved December 11, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 1381612551).

James Ott (2003, May). Check Out This Check-in Delta, faced with travelers' discontent, retrains staff and employs high-technology to alter airport environment. Aviation Week & Space Technology, 158(19), 44-46. Retrieved December 9, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 336948121).

Wasmer, D.J., Bruner, Gordon C., III. (1991). Using organizational culture to design internal marketing strategies. The Journal of Services Marketing, 5(1), 35. Retrieved December 11, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 7482902).

Benet Wilson (2008, August). Delta Plans to Offer Wifi on…

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