In a surprise shuffle in May 2016, Richard Anderson, 61, retired early as Delta’s CEO, ending the reign of the top leader in the industry’s revival. It was Anderson who orchestrated the successful merger with Northwest in 2008, who nurtured the best labor relations in the business, and built a premium brand in and industry where a seat is a commodity. His successor–Anderson remains executive chairman–is former COO Ed Bastian, who’s sworn to maintain Delta’s industry-leading performance in the metrics for consumer service, including on-time arrivals and fewest cancellations. Delta boasts the most lucrative mix of traffic among the Big Four because it attracts the highest proportion of business passengers paying premium fares. In the first quarter, revenues for every seat flown one mile easily topped all of its rivals. Still, Delta’s revenues fell 4% for the quarter, hit by flagging demand in Europe and Asia. That’s not stopping Bastian from pursuing Anderson’s long-term strategy of expanding in foreign markets with the greatest potential for growth–a pursuit that’s leading Delta to switch its top Asian hub from Tokyo to Shanghai.
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The airline has since apologized.
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With the help of biometric technology like facial recognition and fingerprinting.
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