Delta Airlines Raises Starting Pay to $19 an Hour

Following a payout of $1.4 billion in profit sharing bonuses earlier this year, Delta is investing in frontline employees by raising the minimum starting wage to $19 an hour and providing employees across the company with a 5% pay raise.

With this investment, which will take effect on Jun 1, 2024, Delta continues to lead with industry-leading total compensation for industry-leading performance in all work groups. Including this 2024 raise, Delta has made cumulative investments of 20-25% in compensation in each of our largest frontline workgroups since 2022.

“Delta’s leading position comes thanks to a simple concept that dates back nearly a century – invest in our people first, and they will deliver great service and experiences for our customers,” Bastian said in a memo to all employees. “That’s exactly what you do, and it always sets us apart.”

Delta created its profit-sharing structure after the turbulent period the airline industry underwent in the early 2000s, as leaders worked to boost employee morale and cultivate a workplace of gratitude and teamwork.

The pay increases complement profit-sharing, which has paid out over $11 billion to employees since the program’s inception in 2007.  Like profit-sharing, wage increases remain an important part of Delta’s efforts to reward the people who make Delta America’s most awarded airline. In the last 15 years, Delta has provided 12 base pay increases that add up to an average of 85% increase in base pay.

Delta continues to lead the industry in profit sharing and total compensation, with this year’s total greater than the pool of all U.S. peer airlines combined.  And in the first quarter of 2024, Delta is already tracking ahead of last year – accruing $125 million for profit sharing.

Profit sharing and competitive base pay are just the beginning of Delta’s employee financial wellness commitment. Delta also matches up to 6% plus a fixed contribution of 3% to 401(k) retirement savings; pays up to $100 monthly shared rewards for achieving operational goals; offers free financial coaching with the ability to earn $1,000 for emergency savings; and much more.