Delta Weighs in on United’s PR Nightmare

Delta Weighs in on United’s PR Nightmare

It’s been a rough week or two for United Airlines, and that opened up a prime opportunity for another airline to cash in and grab some clients. Enter Delta.
After the debacle of the “volunteer” getting dragged off a United Flight, one of the biggest questions being asked is, “Why didn’t they just offer them some cash to see if anyone was willing to take a few bucks to stay an extra few hours in the airport?” United still hasn’t answered that question, but Delta beat them to the punch.

Directly on the heels of the United PR disaster, Delta released a statement saying customers can now be offered nearly $10,000 for giving up a seat on an overbooked flight. Now, that doesn’t mean everyone who volunteers will be given the ten grand, only that Delta representatives can now offer UP TO about ten thousand dollars.

That total is quite a jump from the previous number of around $1,350. Now, that’s not saying anyone will ever be offered the top price of $9,950, but that is an interesting way for Delta to get attention in a week where their competition is absolutely being hammered for horrendous customer service. The point here, though, is not the specifics of the total, but the optics of the release. Delta is taking the opportunity to tell flyers, “hey, look, we have your best interests at heart. We care about you…” the unspoken addendum, of course, is “we care more than they do…” No need to explicitly say which “they” is in question.

Of course, Delta was not just taking advantage of a competitor’s misfortune. The airline needed a PR win of its own after a recent rough patch. A spate of bad weather messed up Delta’s flight schedules going in and out of one of the country’s busiest hubs, Atlanta International. Thanks to the weather and the compounding delays, Delta got way behind, and the flight plans grew increasingly messed up. In the end, the airline had to cut more than 3,500, aggravating tens of thousands of customers, some resorting to extreme rants and constant social media updates to express their frustration. Delta finally got back on track, and they have begun trying to patch things up with affected customers, mailing out cash vouchers and airline miles. No word yet on how well this gesture is being received, but you can bet Delta is happy to be in the news for a positive reason these days.

About Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations. He is an experienced leader in the public relations industry with over 20 years of experience. Ronn Torossian has been named as Public Relations executive of the year by the American Business Awards, and has run countless award-winning Public Relations programs.

ronn torossian 5wpr ceo

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and Chairman of 5WPR, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company’s growth, overseeing more than 275 professionals. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named “PR Agency of the Year” by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world’s most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine’s Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country’s foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations,” which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.

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