New book examines Delta's recovery, rise

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

Delta Air Lines' journey from bankruptcy to billions in profits is the focus of a new book to be released next week.

The book, "Glory Lost and Found -- How Delta Climbed from Despair to Dominance in the Post-9/11 Era" by Airline Weekly managing partner Seth Kaplan and publisher Jay Shabat, explains how Atlanta-based Delta made its way in the post-Sept. 11 period, through Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and a merger with Northwest, and on to become one of the world's leading airlines with record profitability.

"For a long time, the blueprint seemed to be Southwest [Airlines]. Southwest was for decades the most successful airline in the history of the world, and everybody thought that the more you could be like Southwest, the more profitable you could be," Kaplan said. "Delta kind of questioned a lot of that... A lot of what they've done is just very unorthodox."

Kaplan expects the book to be of particular interest to Delta employees, retirees and frequent travelers interested in the airline. He and Shabat started working on the book in late 2011.

The book, published by Airline Weekly Corp., will be released Jan. 11 and is now available for presale.

Delta did not endorse or participate in research for the book, which Kaplan calls "a positive but unauthorized biography."

Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter declined to comment. "We haven't had a chance to review the book," he said.

Kaplan said the book may help some people understand the airline industry better. "When they think, 'Why in the world doesn't an airline do something?' -- they may or may not agree with it, but they [could] understand what the airline is thinking."

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

About the Author