American Airlines and Delta appear to be restoring their interlining relationship. Here’s why that matters to customers.
Interlining, at a basic level, allows airlines to work closer together. There are multiple reasons but one of the most important involves when things go wrong. If your plane breaks or there’s a weather delay, an interline agreement can allow the agent helping you at the airport move you to a different airline.
They effectively “buy” you a last-minute seat on another carrier. This is usually done only in cases of severe delays or for high-value customers on more “normal” delays.
In days of old (when Southwest was a much smaller carrier) one of the risks of flying Southwest was that they had no interline agreements with the bigger carriers. Without a robust schedule of their own or interline agreements to rely on, a single canceled flight could lead to excessive delays reaching your destination.
For decades, American and Delta had an interline agreement. Delta and United still do, as do American and United. But, a few years ago, Delta decided they didn’t need American anymore. They felt American pushed too many passengers to Delta and Delta wasn’t making enough money from the relationship.
So, Delta terminated their interline agreement with American. They must have figured that their Skyteam partners and United would be enough to deal with weather and system issues.
Now, JonNYC, a reliable source of information on American Airlines is reporting that Delta and American have reestablished their interline agreement.
— JonNYC (@xJonNYC) January 24, 2018
That’s good news for customers of both Delta and American. Knowing you have 2 other huge networks to get you on your way when things go wrong is a big plus.
The Final Two Pennies
It was short-sighted of Delta to terminate this relationship to begin with. Planes are as full as they’ve ever been. Even though their fleet is in a good state of repair, recent massive IT failures prove their tech isn’t. It’s not surprising that this move comes shortly after the devastating power outage in Atlanta. That crippled Delta for days. Being able to use some of American Airlines’ empty seats to catch up from the outage would have cost money but made a lot of customers happy.
As a customer of the Big 3 legacy airlines, know your options the next time you have a delay. All 3 carriers have interline agreements with each other again, which should help you get home sooner when things go sideways (and, they will)!
The post American and Delta Restoring Key Interline Relationship To Help Get You Home Sooner was published first on Pizza in Motion