Delta is the least-respected brand in the world of business, beating out the likes of cigarette maker Philip Morris, says a survey by the research firm CoreBrand.
After looking at corporate brands that have been publicly traded for at least five years, CoreBrand determined the 100 brands with the greatest familiarity, then named those with the highest and lowest ratings from the survey.
Coca-Cola and Pepsi tied for first; Delta was at the bottom of the pile, just edging out Philip Morris, Denny's, and Best Buy.
People's hate for Delta is well-documented online, on websites (NeverFlyDelta, DeltaReallySucks, and HateDelta are the first three that come up in Google), Facebook pages, and numerous comment threads on Yelp. Most complaints seem to focus on flight delays, poor service, and high luggage fees, but those are the same complaints that have been directed at the airline industry at large for years.
So how did Delta climb the ranks of suckiness to become the least respected of all?
Here are a few unique complaints against the airline:
It allegedly killed a cat
In early 2011, Delta allegedly killed a woman's cat, then offered her the standard $50 lost luggage fee to make amends. Reports said the cat froze to death when a door latch malfunctioned in the cargo hold, exposed the poor guy to the cold.
It broke a vintage Gibson...
In January, the guitarist and singer for the Hanukkah-themed rock band The LeeVees was forced to check in his $10,000 vintage Gibson guitar on a flight from Buffalo, N.Y., to Detroit, Mich. When workers retrieved the luggage, the guitar got caught between the service elevator and a rail on the loading dock, causing damages to the bridge, neck, and tail that totaled almost $2,000.
...and Kenny Perry's lucky driver
Just this week, pro-golfer Kenny Perry said Delta broke his lucky driver, "the one I won all my tournaments with this year."
The golfer told The Seattle Times, "It broke the head right off the shaft. I’m very upset at this point."
“I represent Southwest Airlines and it’s in a Southwest (bag), and I flew Delta out here from New York and they snapped my driver. I’m pretty bummed out,” he said.
Sewing needles were found in their turkey sandwiches
The FBI opened an investigation into the airline last year when two passengers flying from Amsterdam to the U.S. found sewing needles in their turkey sandwiches. The airline stopped selling the sandwiches, which were assembled at Gate Gourmet's kitchens in Amsterdam. A search later uncovered two more needles. Delta now serves sealed prepackaged food on these flights as a precaution.
A quick Twitter search also reveals some strong anti-Delta sentiment, for varying reasons:
Here's Hank from Breaking Bad on the topic:
Back on shit hole Delta 2nd flight 3 days delayed cause missing flight attendant!!!what a horseshit company hub system=no choice=fucked— dean norris (@deanjnorris) March 6, 2013
And Business Insider's Josh Barro:
Ugh no Campari on Delta. #obamasamerica— Josh Barro (@jbarro) August 4, 2013
And this tennis commentator:
Hey @Delta -last week on your flight I ordered a cheese omelette and got a warm cannoli instead! You guys have a weird sense of humor.— Jill Bream (@JillBream) February 28, 2013
Comedians have covered the subject, too. Here's Eugene Mirman's story (fast-forward to 5:57), which starts with Delta mistaking him for someone named Barbara Riddle:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- California's epic drought
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
Subscribe to the Week