Hoeven Calls on Delta Air Lines to Address Flight Delays in North Dakota

Airline Expects Performance Improvements in Mid-July, Working to Address Staffing Issues & Improve Consumer-Facing Technology

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week called on Delta Air Lines to address ongoing service disruptions affecting both business and consumer travel. Issues with staffing challenges at airlines and amongst air traffic controllers are causing service disruptions across the entire industry as air travel demand increases.

In a call with Heather Wingate, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at Delta Air Lines, the senator outlined the significant rise in complaints that have been filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation regarding airline service across all airlines and discussed Delta’s performance in North Dakota. During the discussion, Delta acknowledged the need to address these challenges. Wingate expressed that Delta is working hard to restore the airline’s reliability, and accordingly, is in the process of:

  • Engaging with the Federal Aviation Administration on improving processes for air traffic management, which will help make flights more efficient and reliable. 
  • Resetting their staffing model to include building in more safeguards and adjusting the airline’s summer schedule so that when challenges do occur, bouncing back will be faster. Performance improvements are expected in mid-July.
  • Accelerated hiring, including of Reservations and Care specialists, pilots, flight attendants, aircraft maintenance technicians and more.
  • Enhancing consumer-facing technology to allow customers to deal with flight changes more seamlessly.
  • Increasing communication to Delta customers regarding steps the airline is taking to alleviate travel delays and disruptions. 

“Reliable airline service is essential to local economies and our communities’ quality of life, supporting travel for both personal and business purposes,” said Hoeven. “Disruptions impacting air service in North Dakota have grown in recent months, and while staffing shortages have complicated many businesses’ operations, more needs to be done to ensure travelers can make their connections and reach their destinations as scheduled. I appreciate the opportunity to work on these important issues with Delta, and look forward to the implementation of the solutions we discussed and performance improvements soon.”