Cranky Weekly Review Presented by Oakland International Airport: Delta is Profitable, Spirit Not so Much

Cranky Weekly Review

Delta Ekes Out Q1 Profit

As it usually is, Delta Air Lines was the first major U.S. carrier to release its earnings report, and the airline squeaked out a $37 million profit for the first three months of 2024, a far cry from last year’s lost of $363 million during the same time period.

The profit came on nearly $12.6 billion of revenue, a 6% bump from last year despite being slightly below analyst projections. Delta expects its Q2 revenue to set a company record with as much as a 7% bump from last year forecasted. Delta says its corporate sales drove a lot of the demand in Q1, with a 14% YoY increase, and its strategy of selling domestic first class continuing to work — a 10% jump in premium revenues outperformed its sales for Main Cabin and — gasp — Basic Economy.

Delta ended the quarter with a cool $7.4 billion in liquidity, including assets stored in the magical Biscoff tunnel located between concourses B and C in Atlanta.

Spirit to Defer Planes, Furlough Pilots

Spirit is bringing the ‘F’ word back, something we hadn’t really seen since the pandemic, but the carrier says it will furlough 260 pilots and defer some aircraft orders to help improve its fiscal standing.

The airline has a liquidity problem and says that deferring its Airbus orders from 2025-26 to 2030-31 will save it about $340 million. The pilot furloughs will begin this fall with the Air Line Pilots Association first hoping to find volunteers before anyone is forced out of work involuntarily. There is no current plan for flight attendant furloughs at this juncture, although Spirit is closing its Atlantic City base which most people would probably consider to be an improvement in working conditions.

Spirit did not make any changes to aircraft it currently has scheduled for delivery between 2027 and 2029.

For more on this story, please visit Tuesday’s post on

SAS Announces SkyTeam Transition

SAS announced its intention to leave Star Alliance on August 31 and begin collaborating with SkyTeam at the stroke of midnight on September 1. The carrier stopped short of saying it would officially join the new alliance on the first of September but is expected to become a full member at some point. The delay in full membership is believed to be due to the amount of time it takes to scrape those Star Alliance stickers off the airplanes — they are really stuck on there good — and paste on new SkyTeam ones.

In addition to swapping alliances, SAS will eventually join SkyTeam’s transatlantic joint venture, which includes Air France, Delta, KLM, and Virgin Atlantic. The JV agreements will require approval of several governments, and despite their history of working swiftly and without delay, are expected to take some time.

What’s In a Name? SFO Threatens OAK with Lawsuit

The Port of Oakland is considering a name change for Oakland International Airport to be known as San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport, and the city of San Francisco is none too pleased.

San Francisco mayor London Breed along with the city attorney alerted the Port of Oakland board of commissioners this weekend that it strongly opposes the proposed name change. SFO director Ivar Satero said his airport was concerned about the potential for confusion from passengers should OAK include San Francisco in its name. San Francisco city attorney David Chu told the port that if it went through with approving the name change, the city would rename the entire bay to Oakland Bay and then change the airport’s name to Oakland Bay San Francisco International Airport.

OAK has argued that many outside the United States — and domestically too — don’t necessarily know that Oakland is in the San Francisco Bay area, potentially leading to challenges to maintain service and customer levels. At press time, no one from San Jose Southern San Francisco Bay Not Too Far from Oakland Mineta International Airport was available for comment.

Delta’s Streamlined Boarding Process Now Has Eight Zones

Boarding – the one thing that no U.S. airlines can really agree on what’s best. It seems most major carriers (besides Southwest) change up their boarding process every few years, if for no other reason that to keep us on our toes, and now it’s Delta’s turn.

Gone is the “branded experience” with SkyPriority, Comfort+, Main Cabin 1, 2, 3, and such and in is Zones 1-8. As always, this is just moving the deck chairs around on the Titanic — the process is the same, it just has a new name. The airline says this will make it easier for infrequent travelers and those with a language barrier, which… maybe. But at the end of the day, people are going to crowd around the gate regardless of what you call the boarding zones, and they’re still going to try and board when they damn well please.

In the new process, First Class will simply be Zone 1, which will be a blow for those seated in First who’s self-worth comes from standing proudly when First Class is called. The Zones behind it are numbered 2-8. Basic Economy passengers will be invited to board in Zone 8, but prior to being granted access to the aircraft they’ll be required to complete a financial literacy course in the gate area and apologize to their fellow passengers boarding in Zones 1-7 for their shortcomings in life.

  • Air Canada resumed service to Israel this week.
  • Air New Zealand is back in the Cairns business.
  • Air Serbia wants to bring Embraer’s back, but remembered it would first need pilots.
  • AirAsia is finally filling the vacuum that was the Kuala Lumpur – Jaipur city pair.
  • AirAsia X is finally filling the vacuum that was the Kuala Lumpur – Xi’an city pair.
  • Alaska elites will see their experience onboard American flights enhanced in the main cabin starting next year.
  • American is picking a fight with Breeze in Provo.
  • Azul‘s A350 operation is feeling blue.
  • bestfly Cabo Verde has suspended service while it awaits a new wet-lease agreement. For now it will be referred to as notbestfly Cabo Verde.
  • Breeze had a nice March.
  • Canada Jetlines COO Brad Warren is leaving the carrier.
  • Delta is feeling a little better about its Joint Venture with Aeromexico.
  • Etihad is now flying to Al Qassim in Saudi Arabia, its 76th A320 destination.
  • Frontier pilots who leave the carrier less than two years after being hired will be responsible for paying the carrier back a portion of their training costs.
  • Hawaiian signed a 10-year maintenance agreement with Air France-KLM.
  • LATAM could be back on the NYSE.
  • Lufthansa and is FA union will avoid a strike this time, an unusual course of action for the carrier.
  • Oman Air might simplify its operation.
  • Pacific Air Charters, like so many of us, would like to go to Lānaʻi City.
  • Qantas is adding more options to redeem loyalty points for flights.
  • SkyUp is TeamingUp with Wizz Air.
  • Southwest is adding the route that thousands have been clamoring for for years, adding service on the vital air corridor between Baltimore and Richmond.
  • TUI fans who want to get one more ride on a B737-700 or B767-300ER on the carrier better hurry, as you’ve only got three more years.
  • Vietnam Airlines is looking for some help this summer.
  • WestJet will begin flying between Calgary and Fredericton, otherwise known as the ‘Poutine Express” on June 20.

The object of golf is to play the least amount of golf. 

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17 comments on “Cranky Weekly Review Presented by Oakland International Airport: Delta is Profitable, Spirit Not so Much

  1. Once there’s a few months of data available on WN’s RIC-BWI route, it will be interesting to see what % of pax connect through BWI. To be fair, that would not be a fun drive with DC area traffic, but given the door-to-door time of the flight I don’t think anyone expects to see many people flying that route without a connection in BWI.

    There are plenty of other < 200 mile routes that connect a medium-sized city to a big city hub for the purposes of connections; MKE-ORD is one that I've flown that comes to mind.

    1. I would also expect it to be mostly connections. They’ve flown ORF-BWI for a long time, and that’s a similar route where it doesn’t make much sense to fly between the two. Even if you’re going somewhere in the Baltimore or Norfolk areas, you very likely need a car once you’re there, which would add travel time and hassle.

      When I’m flying from ORF, the 4x daily flights to BWI actually make me more likely to book Southwest even for flights that aren’t through BWI. For example, I recently flew ORF-MCO on Southwest, which is a route they only fly 1x/day on the day I traveled. I deliberately booked Southwest instead of Spirit or Frontier, because I knew that even if the nonstop was cancelled, that they’d almost certainly be able to get me home via Baltimore.

  2. Isn’t that a load of nonsense regarding the name of Oakland airport? It has become so common to include distant city names with some airports. Quite common in Europe too! Then there is Chicago Rockford airport – a cool 90 miles from downtown Chicago!
    As for confusing names? How about Ontario Airport? It has a Canadian connection, having being founded by two brothers who emigrated from Ontario, Canada to California!

    1. Yeah, but the Oakland Airport is actually pretty close to San Francisco. And the airport is technically right up against the actual bay, so that lawsuit won’t hold up in court.

    2. Anonymous – It does seem fairly silly to me as well. I didn’t know somebody could sue over calling something San Francisco Bay when the runway is quite literally built on that bay.

    3. It takes about the same amount of time to get to Embarcadero BART from OAK as it does from SFO. Additionally, a lot of people discount the East Bay’s significant population.

      For those concerned about confusing international travelers:
      1. How many international flights does OAK have? Let’s revisit that problem when OAK has as many international flights as SFO.
      2. If someone were to accidentally book a flight to San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport instead of San Francisco International Airport, one would access San Francisco exactly the same way they would from SFO: board BART in the San Francisco direction and arrive there in about the same amount of time. I think a lot of people worried about this think Oakland is somewhere in the Central Valley.

    4. I can’t imagine the City of SF has any actual legal standing to sue. SF residents also practically demand people in Northern California call them “the City” so there’s also that.

      But I think Oakland should call SF’s bluff and call it Oakland Golden Gate Int. Airport.

      1. Oakland Golden Gate is actually a better name!

        The main issue on legal standing will likely come from whether or not “San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport” can cause confusion with “San Francisco International” with consumers or with SFO’s trademarks on the name, if they have any. They may have case on the confusion issue, at least in the short run until passengers get used to the new name.

        The probable legal remedy, if it came to that, would going with “Oakland – San Francisco Bay…” or “SF Bay – Oakland” instead, to avoid having both names start with “San Francisco”.

        I do wonder if the Port of Oakland has done any work to see how the people of Oakland feel about this?

  3. I was laughing before even opening the email at the sponsor today!!! The use of the San Francisco name for not-in-SF spots includes the San Francisco 49ers playing in Santa Clara; and the San Francisco Premium Outlets in Livermore (I’ve been asked where they are by tourists in SF & there is no public transit option to get there!).

  4. I am a huge fan of AA having 9 boarding groups because in my experience it DOES result in at least some clearance at the gate because when you know you’re group 8 there really is no reason to be crowding around while group 3 is boarding.
    As a very rare user of Delta, I found their “branded boarding” to be the worst because while “main 2” made it seem like I’d be boarding soon, you were actually the last group. I find that Delta gates have ALWAYS been very crowded because nobody knew when they might be next.

    So dare I say this and invite the ire of our resident Delta fan, but look at Delta copying something AA has done better :)

    1. Hov, do not fret. T D will be on soon to tell us that since Delta is doing this it is the greatest thing ever. I would even guess that this boarding process, now adopted by Delta, will cause Delta to greatly outpace the earnings by all other carriers. Let’s see! “That’s not the way we did it at Delta!”

  5. I can’t wait to see this getting renamed to “Cranky Weekly Review Presented by San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport” Do it! Do it now!

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