Delta paid employees a record $1.1 billion in profit sharing bonuses for 2014 performance, amounting to more than 16 percent of Delta employees' pay.
The change to the formula means as Delta's profits continue to grow, Delta pays out less in profit sharing than it would under the old system.
On the other hand, employees could benefit from the new formula if profits fall well below $2.5 billion and the company recovers.
The shift of some compensation from profit sharing to base pay is similar to what Delta negotiated with leaders of its pilots union earlier this year. However, the pilots voted against the proposed deal. Some pilots said the pay increases, including an immediate 8 percent hike, were not high enough to reflect the company's increased profits and to make up for concessions made by pilots during Delta's financially-challenged past when it went through bankruptcy restructuring.