Interline Agreement Between Delta Air Lines and American Airlines Resumes as of January 24, 2018?

The interline agreement between Delta Air Lines and American Airlines resumes on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 after Delta Air Lines had discontinued it on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 — which is two years, four months and nine days ago — according to multiple sources.

Interline Agreement Between Delta Air Lines and American Airlines Resumes as of January 24, 2018?

One of those sources is the Twitter feed of FlyerTalk member JonNYC, who has a reputation for delivering reliable information pertaining to American Airlines:

“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,” Eric Phillips — who is the senior vice president of revenue management for Delta Air Lines — said in an official statement when explaining why the interline agreement with American Airlines was discontinued. “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.”

Since that statement was released, Delta Air Lines has suffered from a number of significant operational issues — including but not limited to an information technology meltdown which brought the airline to its figurative knees for several days in August of 2016; a significant weather event in April of 2017 from which almost a week elapsed until the operations of Delta Air Lines finally fully recovered; and the fire on Sunday, December 17, 2017 which caused an electrical power failure and completely halted operations at the international airport which serves the greater Atlanta metropolitan area for almost twelve hours.

Edward Bastian — who is the chief executive officer of Delta Air Lines — announced several days later that the airline was seeking up to $50 million as repayment for the losses incurred as a result of that power outage.


A interline agreement — which is also known as interlining, interline ticketing, or interline booking — between individual commercial airlines allows passengers who are traveling on itineraries which require multiple flights on multiple airlines to change from one flight on one airline to another flight on another airline without having to gather their bags or check in once again at the ticket counter. This completely voluntary agreement is especially useful and helpful when one airline is suffering from irregular operations and another airline is available to transport passengers.

Interline agreements are beneficial for passengers because the agreements help get them on their way to their destinations significantly faster during irregular operations — and as an added bonus, passengers have been known to collect miles from the frequent flier loyalty programs of both airlines for the same flight as a result.

Other sources of the unconfirmed news of the interline agreement reusing between Delta Air Lines and American Airlines include this discussion on FlyerTalk and this discussion at

At the time this article was written, no official announcement was released from either airline pertaining to this news — hence the question mark in the title of this article — but look for official confirmation from at least one of the airlines within the next 24 hours.

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

5 thoughts on “Interline Agreement Between Delta Air Lines and American Airlines Resumes as of January 24, 2018?”

  1. Wonderful Wanda says:

    Hahaha, so at the time when AA/US were getting ready for the SABRE cutover DL ended it immediately, right when AA was very vulnerable. Now that DL needs it they come crawling to AA to reinstate it? Before it wasn’t “beneficial” to DL so they ended it. Now it is very beneficial to DL so AA accepts it??? I’m at a loss for words.
    I hope this isn’t true. AA does NOT need DL. DL needs AA.

  2. EJ says:

    This is HUGE news for BOTH AA and DL flyers. Selfish decision by Delta to end it a couple years ago…especially with only 3 legacy carriers. It just makes sense for them to work together. Could have at least alleviated IRROPS issue during power outrage, IT outage, etc.

  3. DaninMCI says:

    Maybe AA can fix it’s internal baggage interline issues as well. They refuse to interline bags on separate PNRs even when on connecting AA metal flights. Sad. I’ve started moving my business to other airlines because of it.

    1. JAXBA says:

      Interline literally means “between lines” and not internal transfers.

      Rightly or wrongly, airlines are making a commercial decision not to transfer bags on separate tickets. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

      1. DaninMCI says:

        True but not through checking bags is a weak attempt to soliciate extra bag fees and add extra and unnecessary burden to tsa lines. This is especially true with oneworld carriers when they wont even through check on their own airline. It’s not customer friendly and adds to connection times. It also causes people to avoid checking bags altogether and not pay any baggage fees in general so I doubt it is generating much additional revenue as intended.

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