Official Statement From Delta Air Lines Ending Interline Agreement With American Airlines
I found out about the news last night pertaining to the discontinuation of the interline agreement between Delta Air Lines and American Airlines.
I reached out to Anthony Black — who is the general manager of corporate communications at Delta Air Lines — before deciding to post this article; and here is the official statement he sent to me via e-mail message:
Delta and American Airlines (including US Airways) will no longer have an interline ticketing and baggage agreement beginning Sept. 15. The agreement provided, among other things, the ability for carriers to rebook their own customers on other airlines during irregular operations (IROPs).
The cancellation of the interline agreement with American also means that travel booked (primarily through travel agencies) on and after Sept. 15 can no longer include segments operated by Delta and American on the same ticket. Baggage transfers also won’t be accepted between the two carriers.
All ticket and baggage exchanges issued prior to Sept. 15 will be honored.
Interline agreements have long been an industry practice to help carriers support passengers during IROPs. These work through a standard rate that carriers agree to pay one another.
“Thanks to employees’ stellar operational performance, Delta customers enjoy an industry-leading experience. Unfortunately, we couldn’t reach an agreement with American that adequately address the number of IROPs customers that American transferred to us,” said Eric Phillips, Senior Vice President – Revenue Management. “In July, for example, American sent passengers to Delta for reaccommodation at a five-to-one ratio. At that rate the industry agreement was no longer mutually beneficial.”
Through employees’ efforts, Delta has run a top-tier operation for the past several years, and in 2015 has operated 91 days with 100 percent completion factor, meaning no flights were canceled. U.S. Department of Transportation statistics through July show Delta’s year-to-date completion factor at 99.3 percent.
Delta continues to have interline agreements with a number of other airlines.
“American appears to be blaming Delta’s efforts to negotiate special rates versus the industry standard numbers”, Seth Miller of Wandering Aramean wrote in this article. “And, while the reasoning is part of the story, the bigger factor is the impact it will (or will not) have on passengers.”
I am unsure as to who is at “fault” for the impasse which led to this news; but hopefully the impact on customers will be minimal. I personally have never flown on an itinerary which included both Delta Air Lines and American Airlines; and years have passed since I have experienced irregular operations on one airline which resulted in me flying as a passenger on another airline.
Come to think of it, I believe that last time was when I experienced irregular operations on Northwest Airlines; and flew as a passenger on AirTran Airways — the only time I ever flew as a passenger on AirTran Airways — as a result.
Before that, I experienced irregular operations on Continental Airlines; and flew as a passenger on — ironically — United Airlines. I was not only upgraded to the premium class cabin; but I also received full flight credit in both frequent flier loyalty programs for that one flight.
I suppose what I am attempting to say is that I do not expect to be impacted by this news; although I would prefer that the interline agreement between Delta Air Lines and American Airlines still existed after Tuesday, September 15, 2015 — just in case…