Delta. It's really the only airline I prefer to fly ... domestically. Yes, grant me access to Air France or Virgin and I won't complain. But domestically, out of Atlanta, I'm attached to the hometown favorite for reasons that have little to do with the company being, "Atlanta." Yes, it took some weathering of challenges in the past ... record late arrivals, tired 727s and even a middle of the road experience, all of which I can remember bantering about with my Uncle Bob, a long, long-time Delta employee on the tarmac. At some level, I flew with Delta because of his loyalty. Then that loyalty gained strength and commitment because of their loyalty program. Other than AMEX, my experience with Delta Skymiles, even through the changes ... has been consistently rewarding. It's what loyalty programs are supposed to be ... tangibly rewarding.
Then they did what great brands do. They became innovative with their marketing and productizing. It seems like a no brainer to create another tier of seating between first (the elite) and coach (where we sometimes feel like prisoners recently released), but I get there's a good bit of revenue analytics work that needs to be done to justify the expense in the seating and the amenities. But it works. It's an upgrade and it's approachable. Great productizing. Then Delta took a progressive leap by placing humor into the otherwise taboo safety video. Maybe not the first irreverent style in the industry, but they did it and do it today with great creativity. And like a Chick-fil-A Cow, it has legs. So I applaud them today for a great flying experience ... from Delta Econ0my Comfort (I would suggest losing the word Economy) to the Skymiles program to an upgraded Sky Club experience (My suggestion here is not to squeeze the ultra loyalist with a $29 fee for guests).