Delta is becoming known for its somewhat, how shall we say, juvenile behavior. This pattern began to emerge after they got #rekt in the enormous pissing match they had with American and Hawaiian over landing slots at Tokyo Haneda (a highly slot-restricted airport). In the end, they got landing slots at HND, allowing them to use the slots for flights from Seattle. However, they only operated this flight just enough to keep them from having to give up the route, and just ended up cancelling it after it totally failed at being profitable. The slots then went to American, who now uses them for their flights from Los Angeles.
After that, Delta kind of went downhill. Their humiliation in the HND fight, combined with the intensifying pissing match between the big three US airlines and the big three Middle Eastern Airlines (which Delta seems to take the most seriously out of the three big US carriers), lead them to just attempt to annoy their competitors as much as possible. This included threatening to cancel their flight between Minneapolis/Saint Paul and Tokyo Narita if Haneda officials converted some of the landing slots so that the flights landed at more convenient times. That threat doesn’t seem very relevant to the whole fight over HND, but Delta management made it anyway, and basically hasn’t been making any sense since. At one point, Delta’s CEO, Richard Anderson, even connecting the Gulf Carriers to 9/11 in some weird, nonsensical way which seemed straight out of those “Illuminati Confirmed” videos on Youtube.
Well, Delta appears to have hit a new low. They had, for over twenty years, been a sponsor of the Fox Theater in Atlanta (the city in which Delta has its main hub and headquarters). However, the Fox Theater hosted an event run by Qatar Airways to celebrate the beginning of the airline’s flight to Atlanta, the inaugural flight of which will be operated by an A380 (after the first flight, the route will be operated by a 777). The reason this detail is notable is that, in the words of Qatar’s CEO, Akbar al-Baker, the reason the airline operated the A380 on their first flight to ATL was to “rub salt in the wounds of Delta.” It’s not like Qatar’s management is very mature either, but what Delta did in response to the Fox Theater’s hosting of the Qatar event was just downright juvenile.
They withdrew their sponsorship of the Fox Theater. Seriously. Just because the theater hosted an event for one of their competitors, Delta ended a 20-year relationship with one of premier arts-and-culture venues in Atlanta.
This was a super dumb move coming from Delta. Delta has, recently, seemed to just be an airline dedicating to pissing people off, from Alaska in their fight over Seattle, to their weird threats regarding daytime slots at Tokyo Haneda. Delta’s maturity is just continually going downhill, and it seems as though they have hit a new low. I guess we just have to sit back and see what dumb thing their management will do next…