In 2022, Delta hired its first chief sustainability officer. It experimented with new technologies like parallel reality. It launched a skills-first career development program to bring on new talent and reduce the barrier to entry for high-paying airline jobs. It was among the most on-time airlines in the country and had the second lowest percentage of cancellations, just behind Hawaiian Airlines. And amidst these initiatives it was named the top United States-based airline in the highly anticipated Skytrax awards.

Reliability metrics are important in the airline industry — especially when air travel hassle is at a high. But equally important is an airline’s commitment to sustainability. There’s no getting around the fact that long distance air travel is not environmentally positive, and likely won’t be for decades (if ever). But responsibility on the part of airlines is the first step, and Delta is leading the way while providing top-of-class customer service from the lounge to the in-flight experience.