Delta Employee Benefits Review: Why Delta Could Be a Great Employment Option

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Delta Employee Benefits Review: Why Delta Could Be a Great Employment Option

Delta Air Lines, Inc. (aka Delta) is one of the oldest airlines in the U.S. Experts tie the airline’s success to several factors, including its phenomenal aircraft fleet and the employee benefits program (Delta employee benefits are quite the industry benchmark today).

Delta started out as a crop dusting service in 1924. In 1928, Collett E. Woolman – one of the founders – bought Huff Daland Dusters (as it was then known) and renamed it Delta Air Lines. The inaugural flight took place in 1929, between Dallas, TX and Jackson, MS.

Today, Delta, together with its global partners, runs around 15,000 flights every day.  In 2017, it stood at number 3 among the world’s top 10 airlines in terms of revenue, recording $41.24bn in operating income. As of 2019, Delta employs over 86,000 skilled individuals and sits at number 69 on the Fortune 500.

If you’re interested in building a career with the major airline, continue reading to learn about what makes Delta employee benefits stand out.

Delta Employee Benefits Team


Joanne D. Smith, Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer at Delta

Joanne Smith joined Delta in 2002, as the VP of Marketing & Customer Service at Song (one of Delta’s former low-cost carriers). She went on to become the VP of Marketing at Delta in 2006 and Senior VP of In-Flight Service in 2008, before reaching her current role as Exec. VP and Chief Human Resources Officer in 2014.

Smith is responsible for maintaining employee engagement, along with consistently developing Delta’s mighty workforce. Having spent more than a decade at Delta, she understands its people and what drives them better than anyone else.

Find Joanne D. Smith on:


What are Delta’s Employee Benefits?

Employee BenefitsDescription
Health InsuranceDelta offers health insurance coverage and flexible spending accounts to eligible employees.
Dental InsuranceEligible employees get dental insurance coverage from the company.
Vision InsuranceEmployees also get coverage for eye care.
Life InsuranceThe company provides affordable life insurance coverage to all eligible employees.
401(k) PlanWith fixed contributions of 2% and matchings of up to 5%, employees can plan for a comfortable retirement.
Employee Stock Purchase PlanDelta’s employees can contribute to the plan and purchase company’s stocks with their accumulated funds.
Maternity & Paternity LeavePregnant employees and parents who just had their child are eligible for a generous period of leave.
Military LeaveThe company grants leave to employees who take part in active and inactive programs of the US military.
Family & Medical Leave Employees who have to take leave from work due to certain medical and family reasons are eligible for FMLA.
Professional Development PlanA comprehensive professional development plan guides future leaders within Delta to better career paths.
Employee Discounts & Free FlightsEmployees can get free and/or discounted air tickets for themselves and their families.
Tuition AssistanceDelta offers college tuition assistance to its employees and their families.
Vacation & Paid Time OffEmployees can get up to 5 weeks of paid time off.
Mobile Phone DiscountsAll employees get attractive discounts on major mobile careers.
Bereavement LeaveEmployees who lose their loved ones are eligible for a bereavement leave.
Gym MembershipDelta employees get access to gym facilities.

What Employee Benefits Is Delta Known For?


A career at Delta comes with several rewards and exciting benefits. According to Glassdoor, the top 3 Delta employee benefits include employee discounts on flights, vacations and paid time off and a 401(k). Other benefits include:

  • Medical insurance plan including Dental and Vision coverage.
  • 401(k) plan is available with a 2% automatic contribution and a 100% match up to 6% of your salary.
  • 2-5 weeks of paid vacation. A paid week off for personal time and sick leaves are also available.
  • Adoption assistance is available.
  • 6 weeks of paid maternity leave is available.
  • Employees can opt for Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA).
  • Employee discounts.

Employee discounts come in the form of free flights (subject to availability) and discounts on airfare to its employees and their families. To become eligible for this incentive, an employee needs to serve at least a month.

The company is known for offering financial benefits including a profit-sharing program. Employees become eligible for the program from the day they join the company. There are also Shared Reward programs with payouts every month.

Employees can also sign up for the insurance plan, which offers coverage up to $50,000.

How does Delta Help with Student Loans?

Delta currently does not have a student loan assistance program in place. However, it does offer tuition assistance to its eligible employees and their family members. It does so by partnering with various organizations and colleges (such as Excelsior) to offer scholarships and discounts on tuition costs.

Even though tuition assistance can allow employees to pursue further education it doesn’t, however, help them pay-off their previously-incurred student debts. In the US, the collective student loan debt is estimated to be $1.53 trillion dollars. According to another source, it takes an average Bachelor’s degree holder around 21 years to pay off their student loans.

Because of the financial burden student loans cause, job seekers prefer employers that have a student loan benefit program. This means the rest of the employers may not have their pick of the best talent. That is why most companies are thinking of implementing the student loan repayment benefit.

However, the question is how to implement the benefit efficiently. The best solution is FutureFuel. The platform lets employees set up their accounts and manage their student loans with ease. Employers can also send their contributions through their FutureFuel accounts and help employees pay their student loans back faster.

How Do Delta Employee Benefits Change for Different Jobs?

Delta employee benefits vary across positions. Like most other companies, they improve as an employee progresses in their career.

Here’s how these benefits change over time:

  • Free flight tickets are only offered if there are available seats. If seats are available (and this is according to some actual reviews from employees on Glassdoor), senior employees and their family members are given priority.
  • New employees start with 2 weeks of paid time off – which increases over time. Once an employee hits the 10-year mark, they become eligible for up to 5 weeks off. At this point, the paid time off stops adding up.
  • As per some reviews, part-time employees find it a lot harder to get their paid time off requests approved.
  • Some benefits, such as vision insurance, aren’t offered to ready reserve employees.

It’s safe to say that full-time and more experienced employees enjoy better benefits than their part-time, less experienced, and/or ready reserve counterparts.

How Has Delta Improved Its Benefits Packages Over Time?

Delta has always strived to reward its employees for keeping the business going. The perks and benefits haven’t changed much, except for when Delta filed for bankruptcy in 2005.

The airline hasn’t always been at the top of its game. After enduring several unprofitable quarters, the airline started to brace itself for bankruptcy in 2004. This was the result of years of poor management decisions.

Finally, in 2005, the company filed for bankruptcy.

To recover, Delta underwent a mass restructuring. They had to cut salaries of non-unionized employees and lay off a significant portion of the workforce. They also had to cut down on employee benefits.

One of those benefits included the retirement savings plan, which they later reintroduced.

In 2005, Ed Bastian, the then-CFO (now CEO) at Delta, introduced a profit-sharing program to tackle disengaged employees and help the company survive. This is regarded as one of the factors that contributed to Delta’s escape from bankruptcy.

Are Delta Careers Worth It?

Delta offers competitive growth opportunities and a positive work environment, along with some of the best benefits packages to its employees, making it one of the most sought-after companies for candidates.

For those reasons and more, Delta was listed in the “Fortune 100 Best Companies To Work For” in 2019, and the “Best Places to Work” list by Glassdoor, in 2018.

If you’re looking to kick-start your career in the airline industry or want to take it to the next level, a position at Delta Air Lines might be the way to go.

Discover Delta Jobs and Careers

If you’re considering building your career at Delta, keep an eye out for job openings on the following platforms:

Delta Careers on ZipRecruiter

The Delta Careers page is an extensive online job portal that lets you discover and apply for all open positions. The portal allows you to search for jobs in different categories, including Pilot Careers, Delta Vacation Careers, Delta Material Services Careers, and Delta Flight Products Careers. You can also get a glimpse of what it’s like to work at Delta, get an idea of the perks and benefits you can expect, and read a few employee testimonials.

Delta LinkedIn

Delta frequently shares fresh opportunities on LinkedIn. These roles can range from General Manager to Customer Service Agent, or from Baggage Handler to Flight Instructor – across different experience levels. In case you don’t find what you’re looking for, set up job alerts to receive notifications whenever a relevant position is posted.

Delta Glassdoor

You can also search for available positions at Delta on Glassdoor. On this website, you can find managerial, technical, support, and instructor positions with ease. You can also filter results by job functions to narrow down your search.

Delta Indeed

Last, but not least, you can also browse through all of the available positions at Delta. The platform has an extensive list of filters like job type, salary estimate, location, etc. that can help you find the perfect opportunity. Some of the most recent jobs posted include Manager of Customer Experience and Engagement, Global Account Manager, and Department Manager – GSE.

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