This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

Delta Air Sees Detroit Differently

For Delta/Northwest passengers, connections occur in a gleaming new $1.2 billion, 122-gate terminal that opened in 2002, replacing an ancient terminal. Passengers on other airlines use a second new terminal that opened last year. An airport authority, affiliated with Wayne County, presides.

Pre-merger, Northwest dominated the airport. It had about 500 daily departures and a workforce of 2,000 customer service agents and ground service workers, while Delta had 14 daily departures to its hubs and a workforce of about 200. Delta's total Michigan employment, including crew bases, totals about 8,000.

Major transitional events occurred at the end of March. First, Northwest employees got new uniforms at an event staged by station manager Andy Zarras, a 25-year Northwest employee who is now a vice president of customer service for Delta. It included hot dogs, peanuts and an appearance by former Detroit Tigers player Gates Brown. The groundwork was laid in the fall, when workers selected their new uniforms at a fashion show: Employees modeled new styles; designer Richard Tyler offered consultations; and hair stylists, beauticians and tailors provided services.

On March 30th, the airport was transformed. Delta's logo, stylistic enhancements and navy blue color scheme took over, replacing Northwest red. "If you came in at 9 p.m. it was Northwest as far as you could see, red everywhere," Zarras says. "When the last flights left, the contractors came in."

Gates got new signage saying "Delta KLM AirFrance." Between the stanchions, blue ribbons replaced Northwest's black ribbons. Priority boarding lanes, formerly "Northwest Elite," were rechristened "Delta Breezeway." Screens on the airport kiosks changed, and the four World Clubs were rechristened as Sky Clubs.

Zarras describes the task of integrating the airport workforces using a family analogy. "Northwest in Detroit was like a big ethnic family, with brothers, sisters, cousins, etc.," he says. "I met with the pre-merger Delta people to welcome them to the Northwest family. I told them 'You come from a small family. You have one brother, one or two cousins. You just married into a very large family.' "

Delta shares closed down 69 cents, or 11%, to $5.56 on Wednesday.

3 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DAL $45.24 1.60%
GM $37.52 0.55%
AAPL $128.59 0.10%
FB $79.43 0.58%
GOOG $561.01 0.47%


DOW 18,231.20 +98.50 0.54%
S&P 500 2,109.39 +4.89 0.23%
NASDAQ 4,986.5790 +23.0520 0.46%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs