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Delta Bumps Employee Pay, Raises Minimum Starting Wages

The airline says it is making a roughly $500 million investment in its workforce.

A Delta Airlines Airbus A320 in Boston. (Photo: AirliineGeeks | William Derrickson)

On Monday, Delta announced plans to raise its minimum starting wage to $19 per hour and provide a 5% pay raise to eligible employees worldwide. The move represents a roughly $500 million annual investment in the company’s workforce, the Atlanta-based carrier said in a news release.

This announcement comes on the heels of a $1.4 billion profit-sharing payout to employees earlier this year, which amounted to 10.4% of their eligible earnings. The profit-sharing program has now distributed a total of $11 billion to employees since its inception in 2007, outpacing both American and United’s respective plans.

The pay raise and minimum wage increase are scheduled to take effect on June 1, 2024. Delta CEO Ed Bastian stated in a memo to employees that the company is committed to offering industry-leading total compensation to recognize operational excellence and customer service.

According to the airline, these investments follow cumulative increases of 20-25% in compensation for Delta’s largest frontline workgroups since 2022. Delta was the first U.S. airline to offer boarding pay to its 28,000 flight attendants.

“Delta’s leading position comes thanks to a simple concept that dates back nearly a century – invest in our people first, and they will deliver great service and experiences for our customers,” Bastian said in the memo. “That’s exactly what you do, and it always sets us apart.”

Delta’s pilots and dispatchers are the company’s only unionized workgroups. On March 1, 2023, the airline and its pilots – represented by ALPA – ratified a new $7 billion agreement, followed later by American and United.

Ryan Ewing
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  • Ryan Ewing

    Ryan founded AirlineGeeks.com back in February 2013 and has amassed considerable experience in the aviation sector. His work has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including CNN, WJLA, CNET, and Business Insider. During his time in the industry, he's worked in roles pertaining to airport/airline operations while holding a B.S. in Air Transportation Management from Arizona State University along with an MBA. Ryan has experience in several facets of the industry from behind the yoke of a Cessna 172 to interviewing airline industry executives. Ryan works for AirlineGeeks' owner FLYING Media, spearheading coverage in the commercial aviation space.

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