News that Delta Air Lines has taken initial steps to trademark the slogan “The World’s Most Trusted Airline” was met with cheers, sneers, and jeers across the interweb. I seem to remember another airline that called itself the world’s favourite airline or something like that, and I guess things turned out OK for them. Still…trust and airline are not two words that have historically appeared in the same sentence, and that’s not a knock against Delta. In fact, I do trust Delta. I trust Delta to

  1. operate as safely as possible,
  2. make an earnest effort to fly its published schedule,
  3. employ people focused on providing good service, and
  4. make every effort to make things right when things inevitably go wrong.

That’s about it. What more should I want from an airline? An airline is not my spiritual advisor or life coach, it’s a provider of transportation. I love my God, my wife, and my mother. I like my airline, my miles, and flying places. Perhaps Delta is trademarking the slogan just to keep someone else from taking it. Perhaps they actually intend to use it. They have a case to make from an operational integrity perspective, and I think they are certainly operating the highest quality large U.S. airline right now. I’m just not sure America is ready to trust an airline at the moment, even if they might deserve it. Most importantly, I think a slogan like this almost invites trouble. Sooner or later, something will happen and I can only imagine the late night comedy routines about trust. How do you feel about this potential new slogan?

Edited to add: All of this is likely for naught as I see that Wandering Aramean is reporting that Delta’s trademark application has been rejected. Might be the best thing that could’ve happened for everyone. 

-MJ, June 23, 2014