Airline Promises Luggage in '20 Minutes or Less'

By: Freelance Contributor

In February Delta airlines ran a pilot project ensuring that customers on domestic flights would receive their checked luggage in 20 minutes or less.

While this was done on a trail basis, the airline has just announced that the 20 minute luggage guarantee will become a permanent feature.


Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant says “Customer response was positive and our employees are rallying to achieve the 20-minute mark, so it’s here to stay,”  when he spoke to USA Today. The guarantee covers all itineraries where a traveler’s last leg is a domestic Delta flight – including those operated by Delta’s regional Delta Connection affiliates.

Chris Parypa Photography /
Chris Parypa Photography /

The consolation for those whose luggage takes longer than 20 minutes to reach the carousel is 2,500 bonus SkyMiles, however the guarantee comes with a fair amount of fine print:

-Customers must be traveling on a domestic U.S. flight. International flights are not included. However, a passenger traveling from Paris to Chicago via New York would be eligible since the passenger’s last leg would be a U.S. domestic flight.

-Customers must be a Delta SkyMiles member in good standing at the time of travel.

-The offer is limited to one request per passenger per outbound or return travel. Fliers will be eligible only for 2,500 miles, regardless of number of bags they’ve checked.

-Lost, mishandled, and damaged bags are excluded. Oversize and overweight baggage and special items also are not eligible.

Alaska Airlines has long been offering a similar 20 minute luggage guarantee where customers are given 2,500 bonus miles, but unlike Delta, Alaska Airlines offers an alternate choice of a $25 travel voucher instead of the miles. We think it’s nice to see some positive press on airline customer service as of late!