Being a long time NWA flyer, I am still accustomed to the old NWA culture and customs. Each time I come across a nuance, I’m thrown through a loop, especially when I have a hard time wrapping my head around it. This week when flying to Maine, I encountered another round of irregular operations (IROPS) and my flight from DTW to BGR was delayed 2.5 hours. Normally a delay wouldn’t bother me very much, but this time the delay occurred around 10pm and lasted till well after midnight. And ANYONE who travels via the Midwest or east coast knows that most airports in the Midwest close down after 10pm because there are no scheduled flights. After all, due to their geography, redeyes to either coast do not exist nor make much sense.
This week, my 9:55pm flight to Maine was delayed until 12:21am, and along with my delayed flight, at least 12 flights were delayed well pass 11pm and even until the wee hours of the morning. Back in the NWA days, at least one airport Skyclub would remain open, providing a spot for premium passengers to relax, snack and drink free of charge. As a long time NWA flyer, I assumed things would be the same. Yet to my surprise, I learned that since the merger and the dissolving of the union, Delta no longer freezes their employees. In fact, according to the only gate agent I spoke with, ONLY essential staff, including airport ramp and gate agents are froze and required to work mandatory overtime. So instead of staying open until the last flight took off, the Delta airport workers decided to pack up and close the clubs at 10pm. Kicking out everyone inside and sending them to sit at the gate.
I understand that these policies are good for employees and can raise morale because there is no longer mandatory overtime, but I think these polices can also hurt flyers impression of Delta. Instead of ensuring that customers are comfortable and well kept, passengers are instead sent to gate areas where there is no free Wi-Fi, no refreshments, and limited power outlets. What are your thoughts? Should Delta keep the Skyclub open until the last flight departs or should they close at their regular schedule time, even during IROPS?