Delta flight attendants smiling while walking down flower and tree lined pathway with their luggage

Compensation and Benefits

Delta’s Total Rewards Package

Delta’s mission of connecting the world starts with more than 100,000 employees who deliver an unparalleled and award-winning travel experience each day. Delta fosters its workplace culture by investing in employees with industry-leading total compensation, holistic wellbeing programs and career development opportunities.

Our overarching philosophy is to provide industry-leading total rewards for industry-leading performance. It is our firm belief that when Delta achieves our financial, operational and service goals, every employee shares in the company’s success.

No one deserves to share in our success more than the 100,000 Delta people who make it happen every single day. It’s our people that set us apart, and their hard work, professionalism and commitment to excellence that makes this well-deserved profit sharing possible.”

Ed Bastian Chief Executive Officer


In support of our philosophy of industry-leading total rewards for industry-leading performance, we announced a base pay increase of 5% for ground employees and flight attendants and a pool for merit 1 (corporate, commercial and management) employees for 2024. Our recently announced base pay increase – which will take effect in June 2024 – complements our 2023 increase, also 5%, and a 4% increase in 2022, further cementing Delta’s commitment to providing industry-leading compensation for our people.

Frontline (customer-facing) employees are paid highly competitive hourly rates based on fixed pay scales by role. Over the course of up to their first 12 years at Delta, our frontline employees will receive anywhere from 75% to 100% of cumulative increase in base rates in addition to our annual base pay increases as they move along the pay scale.

This progression supports our desire to have Delta people, regardless of their role, build a career with Delta and stay with us over the long term.

In addition to annual base pay increases, Delta made investments in pay across frontline workgroups in 2022 and 2023, including industry-first boarding pay for flight attendants, line and license premiums for mechanics, and lead and specialty premiums for agents taking special or leading roles in the operation.

A combination of individual performance, market competitiveness and internal equity influence base pay for merit employees. In each year, the merit increase budget has been set equal to the general increase in pay scales for our frontline employees.

In addition to a 5% base pay increase for domestic and international scale 2 employees in 2024, Delta continues to invest in our people by increasing the starting rate to at least $19 per hour for Airport Customer Service agents, Reservation and Care agents, TechOps Stores and Stock Attendants.

  1. Merit contributors are paid a salary based on benchmark data from their peers at Delta and across multiple industries and are evaluated on categories spanning skill and experience to innovation and leadership.
  2. Scale employees are paid an hourly wage while also receiving competitive pay offerings and flexible benefits driven by performance. Scale employees include pilots, flight attendants, maintenance technicians, customer service and reservation agents, baggage handlers and more.



Paid to employees from 2023 profits

(inclusive of 401(k) contributions and payroll taxes)

= 10.4% of each employee’s eligible earnings


Shared with employees since 2015 through industry-leading profit-sharing program


Our Profit Sharing program is fundamental to sharing our success with our employees and recognizes their hard work and dedication. Delta sets the bar by sharing more of the company’s profits with employees than any other airline.

Annual profit sharing payouts are calculated based on our Profit Sharing Plan formula. Each year Delta earns a profit, 10% of adjusted profits up to $2.5 billion and 20% of adjusted profits over $2.5 billion are paid out to eligible employees worldwide on February 14 (our annual Profit Sharing Day). Since 2015, Delta has shared over $8 billion in profit with employees worldwide. For the most recent payout in February 2024, we celebrated sharing $1.4 billion of our profit with employees, exceeding the $1 billion milestone last reached in 2019.


Another way we share our success is through our Shared Rewards program. This monthly operational incentive is tied to operational goals related to baggage handling, completion factor, on-time arrivals and domestic Net Promoter Score. Eligible employees can earn up to $1,200 annually.

Retirement and 401(K)

Our primary 401(k) plan includes an automatic company contribution equal to 3% of eligible earnings for most ground and flight attendant employees. We also match 100% of employee contributions up to 6% of eligible earnings, resulting in a total retirement savings of 15% – a target many financial advisors recommend – for employees who contribute 6%.

Shared Rewards


In Shared Rewards paid in 2023


  • 93%

    Of ground, flight attendant and merit employees made 401(k) contributions

  • 86%

    Received the full 6% matching contribution in 2023


Delta is committed to ensuring all employees are compensated equitably for comparable duties, responsibilities and skills. Frontline employees are paid an hourly rate based on length of service in their respective roles, and all employees are informed of where they stand on the pay scale. We routinely benchmark against peer companies and conduct pay equity analyses for merit employees.

Other Total Rewards Programs

Our comprehensive Total Rewards program extends beyond compensation. In addition to paid vacation, personal time and maternity and parental leave, we offer multiple medical insurance plans and holistic wellness programs to help our people thrive. Please see the Employee Wellness section for details on our best-in-class portfolio of employee wellness benefits.

Delta employees can take advantage of several travel-related perks, including unlimited standby privileges to any Delta destination; discounts on Delta-confirmed airfare, Delta Vacations and Delta Cargo; and savings on hotel reservations and car rentals. Additionally, Delta provides basic life insurance to all domestic employees (other than Officers) as well as access to other voluntary benefits at group rates.

Union Representation and Collective Bargaining

Delta is widely recognized as a great place to work – and a great airline to fly – because our unique culture is centered on taking care of our people so that they can take care of our customers. From historically providing industry leading total compensation, including sharing more of the company’s profits than any other airline, to benefits that address our employees’ physical, emotional, social and overall financial wellbeing, Delta supports our people throughout their career.

We respect all employees’ legal rights, including the right to collective bargaining. This includes the right to decide whether to be represented by a union or to remain union free. Our U.S.-based employees are covered by the Railway Labor Act (RLA), the federal law governing labor relations between air carriers and their employees. Under the RLA, employees have the right to decide whether they wish to be represented by a union or to reject union representation.

Because this is an important decision, it is necessary that Delta people have accurate information when making it, which is why, in compliance with the law, Delta shares facts about union representation and the impact it could have on how we work together.

Delta also has written policies that support our people’s right to advocate for or against union representation:

  • Solicitation and advocacy activities by Delta people on Delta premises are permitted. These activities, including distribution of advocacy information, should occur in non-work and non-operation areas, such as break rooms and employee lounges. Advocates can of course conduct organizing efforts outside of Delta workspaces on personal time.
  • Employees may display their support for a union or other cause on their uniform via a lapel pin of the appropriate size. Other items (such as clothing) that express support for or opposition to a union may be worn or displayed in non-work areas.
  • Delta does not tolerate harassment, bullying or intimidation of any employee, whether advocating for or against a union.

Only two groups of Delta employees are represented by unions: pilots and dispatchers. Certain employees outside of the United States are also represented by unions, work councils or other local representative groups.

In 2023, Delta pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, ratified a new Pilot Working Agreement that runs through December 2026.