American Airlines and Delta Airlines are doing the impossible (or at least improbable): they’re making stock market gains in the tradtional September slide. The Dow Index has fallen by 400 points, the NASDAQ has lost 2.4 percent, and the S&P 500 has dropped 2.5 percent. But by Tuesday, American Airlines was up 1.13 percent and Delta Airlines was up 0.6 percent. Some are predicting that Delta Airlines is doomed to suffer a fall soon, but right now, everything looks rosy. The gains are especially important in the ongoing battle over whether Middle Easten airlines like Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways will expand into the U.S. and bring with them an impressive number of perks.
At least part of those gains was due to Deutsche Bank’s upgrading of both American and Delta stock from “hold” to “buy.” Most of the airline world has been struggling this year with fuel surcharges and various labor disputes. But both American Airlines and Delta Airlines have made gains despite this.
The news comes after a variety of different stories about what their airlines are doing to attract customers. Delta Airlines, coincidentally enough, just annouced a policy where they will refund business class flyers if their flight arrives after an American or United flight. They’re counting on their on-time position to make up for it: Delta is third in on-time arrivals after Hawaiian and Alaskan Airlines. If Delta falls behind American or United in those ranks, it will pay contracted buisnesses anywhere from $1,000 to $250,000, based on which ones suffered the most delay.
American Airlines has been competing in the customer atttraction race by a variety of things. When a mistake on the American site listed flights as almost 90 percent lower than the usual fee, the company said it would still honor the tickets. They’ve also ended a four year dispute with the Expedia site and have been listed there again.
Both airlines are also piling on the first class perks. American and Delta Airlines both offer chauffered rides to the airport. Delta has a private curbside entrance at LAX and is making private lounges.
American Airlines is currently the world’s largest airline by fleet size, and second to United Airlines in number of destinations. The airline earned $250 million in profits in 2014. Delta Airlines is currently the second largest airline by fleet size and largest by terms of passengers carried. Both American and Delta are the top two airlines in the country by revenue.
[Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images]