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 addressed 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.”
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.