The new policy will go into effect on June 2.
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Delta flight attendant
Credit: Courtesy of Delta

Delta Air Lines will begin paying flight attendants during the boarding process in the coming months, a move that adds valuable billable time for each crew member.

In a letter to employees that was shared with Travel + Leisure, Delta said it will start paying flight attendants for the time spent boarding all planes and will be based on the length of the scheduled boarding time. The new policy will go into effect on June 2.

"The addition of boarding pay to flight attendant compensation is a testament to Delta's longstanding commitment to deliver industry-leading pay to our industry-leading team while enhancing our operational reliability for customers," a Delta spokesperson told T+L. "Customers know that Delta is different: not just because it's what we promise, but because we set the bar high and deliver the best experience for them each and every day. Flight attendants are critical to ensuring a welcoming, safe environment onboard, and we are excited to bring this new benefit to our people and improve on-time departures and arrivals for both crew and customers."

The new policy is notable since flight attendants typically only get paid from the moment cabin doors close and don't usually get paid for delays.

The new boarding pay will depend on the type of plane — like the domestic widebody or transoceanic — and the time it takes to board.

In addition to Delta's new policy, the company said flight attendants will receive a pay increase on May 1. And on June 2, the airline will also expand the ability for flight attendants to sign in for work without having to first go to a flight attendant lounge.

While boarding and operating a flight may feel like a seamless experience, flight attendants are constantly communicating with each other through a secret language and even by using lights to let each other know what is happening on the plane.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.