Business Travel News’ annual survey has named Delta the top-rated airline among corporate travel buyers for the 13th year in a row.

Delta’s big win comes during a difficult year for airlines, with several suffering pilot and staffing shortages and needing more air traffic controllers, per The Associated Press.

The Business Travel News survey noted that several airlines have faced additional issues with New Distribution Capability, a program designed to enhance communication between airlines and travel agents, but added that Delta has “thus far has stayed out of the NDC fray.”

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How did the survey rate airlines?

The rating given to Delta by Business Travel News is not based on overall performance among consumers. Instead, it comes from information gathered from corporate travel agents, who are responsible for booking travel for another business’ employees.

The survey assigns airlines scores on a scale from 1 to 5 based on a number of factors, including flexibility in pricing and negotiating, quality of data and reporting tools, customer service, quality of communication and overall price value.

Delta scored highest on all but two criteria — overall price value and relationships with account managers and sales representatives — and scored 4.36 overall.

Although Delta was rated first out of all the airlines surveyed, its rating has decreased over the past several years. In 2022, it received a score of 4.43, and in 2021, it scored 4.66, per Business Travel News.

How did other airlines do?

Southwest was close behind Delta with a score of 4.19.

According to Business Travel News, Southwest was the only airline to improve its score over the past year — in last year’s survey, it scored 0.4 points lower. It came in second place in all but three categories, and was rated first in the two categories Delta did not top.

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United came in third with 3.78, and American trailed behind with 2.33, 1.35 points lower than last year’s score.

Bob Somers, Delta’s senior vice president of global sales, said in a press release that Delta hopes to build upon this momentum with new improvement and offerings.

Delta has announced its largest-ever trans-Atlantic schedule for 2024 and has plans to open new Delta Sky Clubs in addition to the five opened this year.

“In a year of monumental change in the industry, Delta has maintained our steadfast commitment to our corporate and agency partners, and this historic win is validation that we’ve taken the right path,” Somers said.

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