|Commenced operations||April 15, 2003|
|Ceased operations||May 2, 2006|
(re-integrated into Delta Air Lines)
|Alliance||SkyTeam (affiliate, 2003—2006)|
|Parent company||Delta Air Lines|
|Key people||Joanne Smith|
Song, LLC, was a low-cost air service within an airline brand owned and operated by Delta Air Lines from 2003 to 2006. All Song flights were operated by Delta. Song's main focus was on leisure traffic between the Northeastern United States and Florida, a market where it competed with JetBlue Airways. It also operated flights between Florida and the West Coast, and from the Northeast to the West Coast.
The Song brand was placed on more than 200 flights a day which carried over ten million passengers. The airline was notable for affordable prices and luxury amenities, including leather seating, increased legroom, personal entertainment screens, and an emphasis on branding.
The Song brand was dissolved in 2006 following Delta's bankruptcy restructuring, with all of Song's aircraft, routes, and staff reverting to Delta. Many of Song's more popular features, including leather seating, personal entertainment systems, and simpler booking system, were integrated into Delta's flights as part of its post-bankruptcy rebranding. Song's last flight took off on April 30, 2006. On January 1, 2008, Delta began repainting the last aircraft bearing the Song livery into mainline Delta Air Lines colors.
Before Song began service on April 15, 2003, as a low-cost Delta brand, the service engaged in a long-term branding strategy that identified a particular strata of hip, style-conscious professional women as their target market. Song was the first airline designed to target women. Portions of this branding process were documented in the 2004 Frontline episode "The Persuaders" and in the episode's additional materials. The name, brand identity, cabin interiors and airport environments were designed by Landor Associates in New York. Marketing for the launch of Song included a promotional tie-in with The Apprentice television show, as well as a brick and mortar boutique store called "Song in the City" the SoHo district of New York City and a storefront location in Boston's Prudential Center.
Song was able to launch quickly and easily by repurposing Delta's aircraft, flight attendants, booking systems, and airport resources. Song's aircraft were fitted with leather seats and free personal entertainment systems at every seat, with audio MP3 programmable selections, trivia games that could be played against other passengers, a flight tracker, and satellite television (provided by the DISH Network). Song offered free beverages but charged for meals and liquor. Both brand-name snack boxes and healthy organic meals were offered. The flight safety instructions were sung or otherwise artistically interpreted, depending on the cabin crew. Song flight also included crew uniforms designed by Kate Spade, customized cocktails created by nightlife impresario Rande Gerber and an in-flight exercise program designed by New York City fitness guru David Barton.
On September 14, 2005, Song's parent company, Delta Airlines, filed for bankruptcy, citing rising fuel costs. Following the bankruptcy, several of Song's key supporters left Delta, and the company was unable to support two brands. In addition, Delta faced pressure from their unions, who were unhappy with Song and the loss of seniority privileges among its flight attendants. On October 28, 2005, Delta announced plans to discontinue the Song brand and incorporate its aircraft into Delta's mainline domestic long-haul operation beginning in May 2006. Eventually, the 48 Boeing 757-200 airplanes were converted to include 26 first-class seats and repainted with Delta colors. The eradication of the airline was seen by aviation analysts as a move to reduce costs and emerge from bankruptcy.
Song was officially removed from future Delta schedules on February 22, 2006. Song's final flight was #2056 from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport to Orlando International Airport, which departed at 11:48 p.m. on April 30, 2006.
In 2006, Song's fleet consisted of an all–Boeing 757 fleet.
|Aircraft||Number of aircraft||Passengers||Notes|
Throughout its history, Song flew to 22 destinations in the U.S. and the Caribbean.
The following destinations were operated when Song merged operations back into Delta.
- Caribbean islands
- Puerto Rico
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- United States mainland
- New York
The following destinations were discontinued prior to the merging of operations.
- Bahamas - Nassau
- United States - Atlanta, Newark, Washington–Dulles
- ^ a b "Song airlines fleet".
- ^ "Delta Air Lines, Inc. - Delta Begins Welcoming Song 757 Fleet into Mainline System to Create New, Long-Haul Domestic Product by Fall". Ir.delta.com. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
- ^ "Sad Song: Delta to eliminate discount unit". NBC. Associated Press. October 28, 2005. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
- ^ Mendis, Sean (November 11, 2002). "Delta's new Low Cost Carrier". Airwhiners.net. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- ^ "DEBUT OF NOTE: SONG TO LAND IN LAUDERDALE". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2022-01-03.
- ^ "DELTA'S SONG IS MUSIC TO EARS OF BUDGET FLIERS". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2022-01-03.
- ^ a b c "Delta Song: The Day Music Died". The Harbus. March 27, 2006. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
- ^ "The Persuaders". PBS.
- ^ "Shaping a New Brand". PBS.
- ^ "To Do or Not to Do". 2004-03-15.
- ^ "Song Airlines: How Delta Tried to Beat Southwest... And Lost". International Aviation HQ. 8 July 2020. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
- ^ "A Hard Landing". NYMag.com.
- ^ Ramos, Rachel Tobin (September 14, 2005). "Delta files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy". American City Business Journals.
- ^ "Delta to Discontinue Its Low-Fare Song Airline - The New York Times". The New York Times. 2021-07-16. Archived from the original on 16 July 2021. Retrieved 2022-01-03.
- ^ "Delta to Close Song, Its Low-Fare Airline - The New York Times". The New York Times. 2021-10-30. Archived from the original on 30 October 2021. Retrieved 2022-01-03.
- Song (Archive)
- PBS Frontline episode - The Persuaders (viewable online) prominently features Song's expensive branding and advertising efforts to separate itself from the "clutter."
- Song fleet
- Song aircraft
- Brand Strategy: Differentiating An Airline—The strategy behind Song Airlines