With a network that spans six continents and a far-reaching alliance relationship with Air France-KLM, Alitalia and the SkyTeam, as well as a flexible schedule through 13 worldwide hubs, Delta Air Lines came in for the swoop and took the Best Airline for Travel Agent Support award right out of Southwest Airlines’ hands—last year’s winner in this category.
“Delta is honored to have been named the Best Airline for Travel Agent Support in Recommend’s Readers’ Choice Awards,” says Steve Sear, v.p., global sales, Delta. “Delta’s performance is a testament of the hard work of our sales professionals and Delta employees worldwide. Delta values our relationship with travel agents and the vital role they perform in supporting our mutual customers.” In fact, continues Sear, “Communication with the agency community is a key deliverable for Delta Sales. Our objective is to help travel agents serve our mutual customers by communicating policies, news and timely updates.” The airline does this through its Newslines, EMAIL extras, and its agent-only website, worldagentdirect.com.
Coming up for spring and summer of 2011, says Sear, is new and expanded service to cities in Asia, Europe and Latin America, including service to Tokyo (Haneda) from Detroit and LA, along with London (Heathrow) service from Boston and Miami. But according to Sear, it’s not just the addition of flights that will keep Delta at the top of its game.
“Delta is known for gracious customer service and an excellent customer experience, but we must continue to improve. Delta is investing more than $2 billion in product and service enhancements,” he says. Indeed, by 2013, Delta will offer full flat-bed seats on more than 100 trans-oceanic aircraft as well as personal, in-seat entertainment for both BusinessElite and Economy class customers on all widebody flights.
And harking back to Sear’s comment on how communication with the agency community is key, Delta “…will be active in soliciting feedback from our agency partners,” he says, “in order to identify additional areas of opportunity.”