Transport Airlines

Delta’s Improving Numbers Will Result in Raises for Nearly 80,000 Workers

Sep 05, 2013 5:24 am

Skift Take

The salary bumps will no doubt be welcomed by employees, as well as the rest of an airline industry that’s come to believe wages will stay stagnant forever.

— Jason Clampet

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 / Associated Press

Delta posts 2Q profit on lower fuel spending. / Associated Press

Delta Air Lines is giving pay raises to most of its nearly 80,000 employees next year after reporting record quarterly profits earlier this year.

Atlanta-based Delta said it will give customer-facing employees raises of up to 3 percent effective April 1, following previous rounds of pay increases. Meanwhile, other employees will get raises of varying amounts from a 3 percent merit pool, based on performance and other factors.

Unionized employees — at Delta, primarily pilots — get raises on different terms according to their contracts.

But one key factor will cut into employees’ take-home pay: An increase next year in Delta’s health care costs because of health care reform and health care inflation. Delta said it will absorb about 85 percent of the $100 million in additional costs. The rest will be borne by plan participants through premium increases ranging from $3 to $22 per month in account-based plans, along with other changes, according to a memo from Delta Chief Executive Richard Anderson.

The company said it will restore a benefit for employees with at least 25 years of continuous service: a fifth week of vacation. The benefit had been eliminated in 2005, the year the airline filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection before emerging in 2007 and following a bumpy road to recovery.

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