Delta Air Lines’ Bet on Premium

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Hello from Skift. It’s Thursday, April 13 in New York. Here’s what you need to know about the travel industry today.

Rashaad Jordan

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast covers Delta Air Lines’ earnings report, Philadelphia’s local tourism campaign and Prince Harry’s Google assistance.



Episode Notes

Although Delta Air Lines does not yet believe that Covid is a thing of the past, carrier finds consumers are increasingly shifting spending from retail to travel — especially, high-end travel, writes Madhu Unnikrishnan, editor of Airline Weekly, a Skift brand.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said during the company’s first-quarter earnings call on Wednesday that data from its co-branded credit card with American Express showed an increase in travel spending. He added that consumers, frustrated by long travel restrictions, are eager to spend the money they were able to save during the worst of the pandemic on travel and experiences.

Bastian said he was confident that Delta would continue to see growth in the high-end sector, which helped the company rebound. Delta said its March domestic revenue premium was 100% of 2019 levels and premium travel to Latin America and Europe made significant progress in its recovery. Additionally, Delta President Glen Hauenstein said the carrier expects to see further growth in the industry as more business travelers hit the road again.

We then turn to Google’s ongoing efforts to promote more sustainable travel options. The tech giant is using a new method to collect and display flight emissions data developed by Travalysta coalition founded by Prince Harry to encourage greener practices in the travel industry, reports business travel editor Matthew Parsons.

Google on Wednesday released a free “Travel Impact Model” for emissions estimates that details Travalyst’s methodology, which Parsons says is an initiative designed to encourage wider adoption. Metasearch engine Skyscanner, which like Google is part of the coalition, has also adopted Travalyst’s model, and the two companies will use the same data across all of their platforms.

Parsons adds that Travalyst’s other travel distribution partners – TripAdvisor,, Ctrip and Visa – have confirmed their intention to adopt and implement its model.

We end today in Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love has launched the first phase of a $3.5 million “Pack Light, Plan Big, For Philly” tourism campaign which heavily targets residents of nearby communities, writes Global Tourism Reporter Lebawit Lily Girma.

Neil Frauenglass, chief marketing officer for Visit Philadelphia — the city’s destination marketing organization — said the campaign focused on local residents in part because of the fierce competition Philadelphia faces to attract tourists. Frauenglass added that Visit Philadelphia targets people living in the area because it believes they are eager to support the local economy.

The city also aims to attract visitors from destinations such as New York, Washington, DC, Baltimore and Canada. Visit Philadelphia is placing campaign ads in Times Square and Penn Station in New York City, and plans to do so on Washington, DC and Baltimore buses as well as Amtrak trains.

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