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The latest news on Delta from Business Insider

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    trump boeing

    That was fast people, I'm almost impressed.

    On Thursday, Boeing petitioned the Trump administration to investigate its Canadian competitor, Bombardier, in an anti-dumping trade case.

    Basically, Boeing is accusing Bombardier of unfairly undercutting it on price in order to win deals. This all goes back to a Delta deal that Boeing lost to Bombardier because Bombardier priced its C Series planes at $19.6 million per plane while they cost the company $33.2 million per plane to make.

    "Propelled by massive, supply creating and illegal government subsidies, Bombardier Inc has embarked on an aggressive campaign to dump its C Series aircraft in the United States," Boeing said in its petition, according to Reuters.

    What this all means is that someone in American business has figured out how to make the Trump administration's hyperaggressive posture on trade work for them. Boeing could easily take this issue to the World Trade Organization itself, but why do that when the president is willing to bully for you? Maybe it'll even stick a tariff on the Bombardier planes.

    The beauty for Boeing, here, is that it's anyone's guess.

    I'm against bullying

    This isn't to say American business hasn't benefitted from government trade action before. Let's take another Trump trade case, the current countervailing duty case against Canadian softwood lumber, as an example. The administration believes that because timber logged on state-owned lands in Canada is cheaper than American timber take from private lands, that counts as an unfair advantage in the marketplace.

    And so this week, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced a 20% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber.

    Now, the US has tried to argue this public vs. private advantage pointn on Canadian lumber before, and it's lost every time. The most recent go was 1991, under George H.W. Bush — a time when Peterson Institute expert Chad Brown says the "industry hardly needed the effort."

    Of course, Canada still went to the table and negotiated. And when it did, Carl Grenier, a former executive vice-president (1999-2006) of the Free Trade Lumber Council and current professor at the University of Leval in Canada, was around to see it.

    "The only thing they [American lumber companies] want is more money," Grenier told Business Insider. "When they bring countervailing duties the price of lumber and land goes up in the U.S."

    Oh.

    "This would be catastrophic for Canadian lumber producers," Grenier continued. "We've been supplying your market for a long time... There simply isn't enough lumber in the US to satisfy demand..."

    (Kind of the point of trade.)

    "The fit is perfect but the US lumber industry has found a quick way, a cheap way, and an easy way to make money," Grenier said.

    Trump will seek a hard cap on lumber imports. American lumber must be thrilled. 

    Pick on someone your own size

    As a point of reference, the Bush lumber case took four years to get through. Bombardier doesn't have 4 years. The entire company is only limping along because of a Quebec government bailout which the government defended as a "commercial partnership."

    In other words, the C Series sale to Delta was a life or death situation.  

    As Business Insider's Ben Zhang wrote:

    The decision to enter the market with the C Series was a major financial gamble for Bombardier, with a program price tag of $5.5 billion. Since its inception more than a decade ago, the aircraft has been beset by a series of development delays and slow sales.

    Last year, the airplane maker was forced to write down $4.4 billion and take a $1 billion bailout from the Quebec government. Even as it struggled to close a sale, Bombardier was credited with building an aircraft that's one of the most capable on the market today — besting rivals Boeing and Airbus in terms of efficiency and ability.

    The funny thing is, again, Boeing could just go ahead and initiate this investigation itself. The company could take its fight to the World Trade Organization and argue it out. That's actually more common than the government intervening in what's called a "self-initiated" investigation. Boeing already has a case going before the WTO against Airbus SE, which it also accuses of benefitting from government subsidies.

    Of course, what Boeing can't do is potentially throw up a tariff — something this administration seems willing to do.

    So why not give it a shot? All it will do is insult one of our neighbors and biggest trading partners, right?

    Great job everyone.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Airlines are facing tougher scrutiny over their customer service practices after David Dao, a passenger on a United flight, was dragged off a plane by three Chicago Aviation police officers on April 9.

    Passengers seem to have become more vigilant about recording inflammatory interactions between airline staff and customers after graphic images of Dao's bloodied face circulated the internet. American Airlines and Delta have both faced public backlash in the last month as a result of viral videos that captured public altercations.

    Airline satisfaction chart

    Despite these viral instances, a 2017 survey by research agency J.D. Power found that overall customer satisfaction with North American airlines has reached its highest level ever in the 13 years since the agency started the assessment.

    J.D. Power collected responses from 11,015 passengers between April 2016 and March 2017. (It would be interesting, however, to see whether perceptions of customer service have changed since the United incident in April.)

    Respondents were asked to assess airlines based on seven factors: cost and fees; in-flight services; aircraft; boarding/deplaning/baggage; flight crew; check-in; and reservation. Among the four major carriers (United, American Airlines, Delta, and Southwest), United ranked the lowest for customer satisfaction.

    SEE ALSO: Angry lawmakers say it's an 'absolute joke' that there's competition in the airline industry

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Kasich criticizes United Airlines: 'I see a breakdown throughout that company'


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    Banning laptops from plane cabins could make flying more dangerous — here’s why

    WASHINGTON, May 11 (Reuters) - U.S. Homeland Security officials met with major U.S. airlines and a trade group on Thursday to discuss the impact of possibly expanding a ban on large electronic gadgets on planes to flights from some European airports, three sources briefed on the meeting said.

    The afternoon meeting included high level executives from Delta, United, American Airlines and trade group Airlines for America, the sources said. They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the confidential meeting.

    The airlines and group declined to comment.

    In March, the United States announced laptop restrictions on flights originating from 10 airports including in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey because of fears that a concealed bomb could be installed in electronic devices taken onto aircraft.

    Britain quickly followed suit with restrictions on a slightly different set of routes.

    The Trump administration is likely to include some European countries in the in-cabin ban on gadgets larger than cellphones and is reviewing how to ensure lithium batteries stored in luggage do not explode in midair, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

    Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan declined to discuss the meeting. He said on Wednesday that no final decision had been made on expanding the restriction and there would be no announcement on Thursday.

    One issue that had been expected to come up at the meeting was how much advance notice airlines would get to impose additional restrictions, which some airline officials say would require hiring more staff.

    In 2016, 30 million people flew to the United States from Europe, according to U.S. Transportation Department data.

    A broader ban would have a significant impact U.S. and European carriers, which are concerned about the challenges of checking large numbers of devices. Some U.S. and European airlines have been planning for a wider ban, industry officials have told Reuters.

    Earlier Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly met with senators from relevant oversight committees in a secure Capitol Hill facility to deliver a classified briefing to discuss numerous security issues "including threats to aviation," Lapan said.

    A Congressional official said it appeared that Homeland Security was likely to expand the ban soon, but did not say when or to what airports.

    Kelly said last month the ban was likely to expand, given the sophisticated threats in aviation and intelligence findings that would-be attackers were trying to hide explosives in electronic devices.

    (Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Yara Bayoumy and Richard Chang)

    SEE ALSO: Here's how major airlines rank when it comes to customer satisfaction

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Kasich criticizes United Airlines: 'I see a breakdown throughout that company'


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    Delta Bag Drop facial recognition

    On Monday, Delta Air Lines announced that it is testing the first bio-metric-based baggage drop system in the US.

    This summer, the Atlanta-based airline will experiment with four new automated baggage machines at its Minneapolis/St. Paul hub. One of these machines will have facial recognition capabilities that can match customers' faces with their passport photos, according to Delta. 

    The experimental self-service system will allow customers to completely bypass human Delta employees, which the airline believes can double the number of passengers processed in an hour. 

    The four machines represent a $600,000 investment by Delta to increase the speed and safety of its checked baggage process.

    "We expect this investment and new process to save customers time," the airline's SVP - Airport Customer Service and Cargo, Gareth Joyce, said in a statement.  

    "And, since customers can operate the biometric-based bag drop machine independently, we see a future where Delta agents will be freed up to seek out travelers and deliver more proactive and thoughtful customer service."

    Over the past year, Delta has also invested in automated security screening lanes and baggage tags with RFID transmitters to streamline its customer experience. 

    SEE ALSO: Here's how to avoid the most dreaded seat on a plane

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    NOW WATCH: This one room in Atlanta acts as a mission control for all of Delta's planes


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    airport check inThe INSIDER Summary:

    • Delta is planning on using facial recognition so you can check your bags faster. 
    • The self-service system would match the passengers with their passport photos.
    • Similar systems have been introduced at popular airports like JFK and Heathrow. 

    Delta is investing in a facial-recognition system that could make checking your bag at the airport twice as fast.

    Testing this summer at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, a self-service bag drop machine will use facial recognition technology to match passengers with their passport photos.

    Passengers will scan their passports, and then facial recognition will scan their faces to verify their identity. They can then drop their bags and proceed to security.

    “We expect this investment and new process to save customers time,” Gareth Joyce, Delta’s senior vice president of airport customer service and cargo, said in a statement. “And, since customers can operate the biometric-based bag drop machine independently, we see a future where Delta agents will be freed up to seek out travelers and deliver more proactive and thoughtful customer service.”

    delta face recognition bag check in

    The airline is spending $600,000 on four self-service bag drop machines at Minneapolis-St. Paul, although only one will be equipped with the facial recognition technology. Delta will collect feedback during the trial period before deciding whether or not to expand the system. Although privacy advocates debate the implications of facial recognition at airports, Delta says they will not store information or facial images gathered by the machine.

    Although privacy advocates debate the implications of facial recognition at airports, Delta says they will not store information or facial images gathered by the machine.

    It is the first time in the U.S. that an airline will use facial recognition for something other than security purposes.

    Facial recognition premiered at Dulles Airport security in March 2015. Border patrol at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport installed a facial recognition system in January 2016.

    In March, British Airways began scanning faces at London Heathrow airport at the boarding gate, allowing passengers to get on their planes without presenting any documentation.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    jetBlue

    JetBlue will soon let some customers use selfies instead of boarding passes to board a flight. 

    On Wednesday, the company announced it was partnering with the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and SITA, a company specializing in aviation IT, to be the first airline to use biometric facial recognition technology to match a person's identity with their ticket. 

    Here's how it works: When boarding a plane, a customer can opt to simply step up to a camera and have his or her picture taken, instead of scanning a boarding pass. The picture is then sent to the CBP database where it is matched with visa, passport, or immigration photos. Flight details for the passenger are also verified at the same time. A screen above the camera will let the passenger know when they have been cleared to board. 

    JetBlue said in a press statement that the process will enable its employees to get out from behind the counter and interact with the guests. The airline is equipping its employees with iPad Minis so that they can manage the check-in process while staying mobile, the company said. 

    The pilot program will launch in June, but it will only be available on flights from Boston's Logan International Airport to Aruba's Queen Beatrix International Airport. Any customer on this flight can participate and no prior registration or enrollment is required, the airline said. 

    While JetBlue is the first airline to use biometric facial recognition to enable people to board planes, other carriers are also experimenting with the tech for other solutions. 

    Delta announced earlier this month that it plans to begin testing a system that uses facial recognition to speed up the process of checking their bags this summer. 

    The company is using new automated baggage machines at its Minneapolis/St. Paul hub. These machines, which have the facial recognition tech built-in, take a picture of the person dropping the bags off. The picture is then matched with a person's passport image to identify them and sync with their boarding ticket. 

    SEE ALSO: Delta wants to use facial recognition technology to make checking your bags easier

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    NOW WATCH: This is America's most hated airline


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    Boeing 757 Delta Airlines

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • A passenger was badly bitten by an emotional-support dog on a Delta flight.
    • The passenger's status is unknown at this time; however, he is said to be badly injured.


    An emotional-support dog mauled a passenger on a Delta Airlines flight leaving Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport today.

    Delta told Fox 5 Atlanta that the passenger was quickly assisted off the flight to receive medical attention.

    According to fellow passengers, the victim was severely injured from the dog bite. A passenger told Fox 5 Atlanta that the dog was possibly a lab mix weighing around 50 pounds, while another passenger explained that the victim was in the window seat, while the dog's owner was in the middle seat with the dog on his lap.

    The dog was not a working service animal, but an emotional-support dog. These types of pets — from pigs to cats — are becoming increasingly common on flights with an estimated 100,000 animals riding in passenger cabins each year, according to USA Today. People who approve of the animals argue that they can lower blood pressure and help with stress, while some critics say only trained service animals — including dogs and miniature horses — should be allowed in the cabin area.

    Delta claims the dog was put on another flight, where it was required to fly in a kennel.

    The status of the victim is currently unknown.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    julius caesar trump

    Delta Air Lines pulled its sponsorship from New York City's Public Theater on Sunday because one of its plays depicts the assassination of a politician who looks like President Donald Trump.

    The theater company's production of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" features actors wearing modern dress and a blond, business suit-wearing title character. The character is stabbed to death in a bloody scene midway through the play.

    "No matter what your political stance may be, the graphic staging of Julius Caesar at this summer’s Free Shakespeare in the Park does not reflect Delta Air Lines’ values," Delta said in a statement. "Their artistic and creative direction crossed the line on the standards of good taste."

    The play is running through June 18 as part of the Public Theater's popular "Shakespeare in the Park" series in Manhattan's Central Park.

    Hosts of the Fox News morning program "Fox and Friends" criticized the play earlier Sunday.

    "A disgusting New York City play depicting the president brutally assassinated, all while being funded by your taxpayer dollars," a Fox host said as she introduced a segment about the play.

    Donald Trump Jr. chimed in as well, tweeting a Fox News article about the segment and asking "Serious question, when does 'art' become political speech & does that change things?"

    Before pulling its sponsorship, Delta responded to the Fox News tweet with the statement, "We do not support this interpretation of Julius Caesar."

    A note on the play's website, from director Oskar Eustis, addresses the provocative scene.

    "'Julius Caesar is about how fragile democracy is. The institutions that we have inherited from the struggle of many generations of our ancestors, can be swept away in no time at all," it reads, in part.

    "The difficulty in determining the protagonist of 'Julius Caesar — there are at least four credible candidates — is not a formal weakness of the play, but rather essential to its structure. When history is happening, when the ground is slipping away from under us and all that is solid melts into air, leadership is as transitory and flawed as the times."

    SEE ALSO: People were left utterly confused by Sen. John McCain's bizarre questioning of James Comey

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    delta plane

    The INSIDER Summary: 

    • A man on a Delta flight from Seattle to Beijing became unruly and punched the flight attendants. 
    • When he lunged for the emergency exit, a quick-thinking flight attendant broke a wine bottle over his head, but that did not deter him.
    • The flight had to be re-routed back to Seattle for the passengers' safety.

    A Delta flight en-route from Seattle to Bejing received an unexpected and scary disruption on Thursday when a flight attendant attempted to quell an unruly and violent passenger who was attempting to open the emergency exit door at 32,000 feet by breaking a bottle of wine over his head.

    The passenger did not seem deterred by this action and continued to be disruptive by punching flight attendants. The plane was re-routed back to Seattle to ensure the safety of the passengers, Business Insider reports. 

    The criminal complaint acquired by The Points Guy identified the passenger as 23-year old Joseph Daniel Hudek IV who was traveling in the Delta One premium cabin on a "dependent pass" (his mother works for Delta). He was served one beer before takeoff but reports indicate he was not intoxicated.

    He went to the bathroom, asked a flight attendant a question and then “lunged toward the forward right exit door of the aircraft, grabbed the handle, and attempted to open it,” the criminal complaint read.

    During the ensuing struggle, flight attendants attempted to subdue him and were punched in the face repeatedly by Hudek. After Hudek hit a flight attendant with a wine bottle, a flight attendant hit him over the head with two full-sized wine bottles, one of which shattered. The incident did not appear to slow Hudek who kept shouting incoherently, "Do you know who I am?" 

    During the flight, he had successfully twisted the emergency exit handle, which did not open due to the extreme cabin pressure. However, it could have conceivably been thrown open while the plane was descending, but luckily it did not. 

    Hudek remained combative during the entire diverted flight back to Seattle, and upon landing was arrested by police.

    He was charged with interfering with a flight crew, and could face up to 20 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine. One flight attendant and a passenger were hospitalized for severe facial injuries. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Ann Coulter

    Airlines are usually the ones at the receiving end of complaints, rants and trolls online.

    But Delta seems to have the upper hand in its ongoing Twitter war with political commentator Ann Coulter.

    According to data crunched by social listening firm Brandwatch, Coulter’s online sentiment is 55.9% negative, whereas Delta’s sentiment is 52.3% positive.

    The analysis is based on over 337,000 mentions of Coulter and over 410,000 mentions of Delta across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook over the past seven days.

    Screen Shot 2017 07 17 at 11.57.25 AM_BW

    This weekend, Coulter embarked on a multiday Twitter tirade, accusing Delta of giving away her seat on a flight on Saturday. According to Coulter, Delta gave away an extended-legroom economy-class seat, for which she paid $30, to another passenger.

    Screen Shot 2017 07 17 at 10.00.15 AM

    The dispute quickly escalated and subsequently went viral on Twitter, after Delta responded on Sunday evening.

    Delta criticized her for posting "slanderous comments and photos in social media” and Coulter responded by calling the airline "fascists."

    According to Brandwatch, activity around the Delta brand increased by nearly 1,400%, while activity around Coulter rose by nearly 2,700% on social media between July 14 and 16.

    Coulter has 1.6 million Twitter followers, while Delta has 1.3 million. The chart below shows how closely the two conversations are entwined. (It represents only 10% of the conversation)

    Screen Shot 2017 07 17 at 11.44.37 AM_BW

    In an age where airlines are frequently lambasted online for all things customer service-related and beyond, Coulter’s polarizing persona has actually turned the tide in Delta’s favor. Coulter didn’t help either, not just attacking Delta but also the other passenger that was given her seat. Coulter called her "dachshund-legged" and implied she's an immigrant when she tweeted, "Immigrants take American jobs (& seats on @Delta)."

    Critics are not only embracing the airline’s response, but according to Brandwatch, Delta’s sentiment is actually more positive than the numbers indicate. This is because a lot of the conversations around the topic are overrun with sarcasm (which the algorithm cannot read) and are negative reactions to Coulter that mention Delta in the same breath.

    Delta’s sentiment was as much as 80.3% positive on July 13, but its sentiment has taken a hit since Coulter's mentions have started to attach themselves around its conversation. Even though these mentions aren't directly guided towards Delta, its sentiment is going down as the algorithm can’t determine if people are discussing Coulter or the airline.

    “Delta is somewhat of the victim in this,” said Kellan Terry, senior data analyst at Brandwatch.

    Coulter's conversation, on the other hand, is quite negative regardless of the incident, because she is a polarizing regardless.

    Among those that rallied behind Delta included actor Matt Doyle, who said "I was impressed with your service recently. Most pleasant flights I've had in while. Oh and @anncoulter is evil, but what else is new," in a tweet.

    On the other end of the spectrum were supporters of Coulter who vowed to boycott Delta because of the incident.

    "You screw a customer then scold her for not being polite about it? Never flying Delta again. Plenty of other airlines to choose from," tweeted one user.

     

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Eligible Delta members can now use their fingerprints to board planes. Delta says this will make the process faster and more accurate than paper passes. This isn't the only new tech Delta is testing out, they are even implementing facial recognition machines for self-service baggage claims that match customers with their passport photos. Is this the future of air travel? 

     

    Join the conversation about this story »


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