Delta Air Lines is conducting an interesting experiment. Early Valet, as it is known, is a test in place for certain flights where Delta staff actually pre-place your carry on bag above your assigned seat prior to boarding. The goal is to reduce the amount of time spent boarding the aircraft. Every minute of delay costs money, and it appears that Delta is looking for ways to eliminate as many of those delay minutes as possible.


According to, “Early Valet will be offered through August on some departures from Delta’s busiest airports — Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and Seattle.” Apparently, the focus is on leisure oriented flights where I suppose less experienced travelers might be prone to taking a little longer to board than ideal.

MJ’s Take

This is actually an intriguing little experiment to me. While I don’t know the particulars, I would speculate that Delta is not using its highest paid employees to conduct this trial, which might make it easier to get to a respectable ROI. While my experience might be a little dated, having some knowledge of airline operations, I can vouch for the fact those leisure flights can be a bear to get boarded on time. There might be a way to make this pay for itself if it is targeted at the right markets at the right time.

On the other hand, I wonder if there are any premium class passengers in non-leisure markets that might find a similar service to be useful and a differentiator when it comes to purchase decisions? I would not be one of those, but someone with a bigger wallet might be? I don’t know, but it is interesting to ponder.

-MJ, June 3, 2015

Logo image courtesy of Delta Air Lines