Flying Highest

Delta is ready...

Corporate headquarters is a complex of drab brick buildings near an Atlanta airport taxiway. Some of the executive offices have linoleum tile, not a Bigelow, on the floor. The company even boasts of "zero paper-clip attrition" because it strips the clips from incoming mail rather than buying new ones.

Such a no-frills operation is unusual in the airline industry, which normally decorates its offices with the glamour it sells with its nights. But that has helped make Delta the highest-flying airline in the sky. Last year total passenger traffic in the...

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