Delta Thanks Employees With Two Free Travel Passes Each

Every Delta Air Lines employee is getting a sweet Christmas bonus, in the shape of two flight passes to anywhere in the world. All staff members are getting a pair of tickets each, even those who are on leave from the airline at the present time. CEO Ed Bastian said the offer is a thank you for all the efforts employees have put in during the COVID pandemic.

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Delta employees are being thanked with two free flights to anywhere. Photo: Vincenzo Pace |

Free flights anywhere in the world

Delta Air Lines wants to make 2020 a year to remember for its employees, and for better reasons that might have been expected. While the airline has struggled with sizeable losses, it wants to thank its employees for all their efforts during the COVID pandemic. As a thank you to staff, the airline is offering every single person two tickets to fly anywhere in the world.

The generous gift was revealed in a memo obtained by Fox News today, in which Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian stated,

“I hope these passes will help with your own healing as we move into the future, whether it’s to connect with family, experience a brand-new part of the world, or embark on an adventure with a loved one.”

The flight passes, called the ‘Delta Difference’ passes, will be extended to all employees of the airline, including those who are on leave from the company. They will be valid for travel anywhere, either domestic or international, and have no expiration date, meaning staff can hold on to them until they feel comfortable to travel again.

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But don’t Delta employees get free flight perks anyway?

Some might argue that this is a regular perk of the job for Delta staff, but the Delta Difference passes are a whole step better. Delta employees can access free flight benefits on a select range of flights, and discounted fares on others. However, these are ‘standby’ flights, or ‘non-revenue’ travel, which means they will only get a seat if one is still free once all paying passengers have boarded.

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Delta employees could use the passes to go far away, or just to get home during a busy period. Photo: Delta Air Lines

The Delta Difference pass is more like a pre-paid ticket. It is what’s known as a ‘positive space’ pass, so employees will be able to book a specific seat on a specific flight, with no concerns about not getting on the plane. That lends a valuable level of creditability to the offer by Bastian. The CEO told his workers,

“Those of you who have worked consistently throughout the crisis have done so under conditions that were unimaginable a year ago, and you still provide the best service and professionalism in the industry.”

While a travel-hungry Delta worker might be tempted to go as far as possible with these free tickets, somewhere like Cape Town or Shanghai, for instance, these very long-haul flights are typically the easiest to get non-revenue spaces onboard. An experienced flier will be more likely to cash in this perk for domestic travel during peak periods, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Either way, it’s a generous offer from the airline boss, particularly given its current challenges. And with the middle seat blocked until the spring next year, they can even guarantee a whole group of three seats to themselves.