ATLANTA, Sept. 5, 2002 - Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) today introduced several new policies that more closely align its ticketing policies to the value customers realize as they purchase different fares.
Delta’s new policies allow the airline to continue to offer the low fares its customers want, while rewarding customers who expect added benefits and flexibility in exchange for their willingness to pay a higher fare. The new policies offer customers traveling on nonrefundable fares the choice of traveling on the flights ticketed, of paying certain fees to change their itinerary prior to departure, or of paying to standby on the same day of travel. The policies apply for travel in the 50 United States and Canada.
Effective for tickets purchased on or after Sept. 5, 2002, for travel beginning Oct. 1, 2002, Delta’s nonrefundable tickets must be used for the flights ticketed, except in cases where customers pay certain fees to change their itinerary prior to departure. After the departure date, tickets for nonrefundable fares will have no value and cannot be changed or used for any purpose. Delta will continue to offer customers the option to make changes to their itinerary prior to departure, subject to the payment of applicable change fees and some restrictions. This new policy applies for travel on Delta, Delta Connection, Delta Express and Delta Shuttle flights.
For tickets purchased beginning Sept. 5, 2002, for travel beginning Jan. 1, 2003, Delta will allow customers traveling on most restricted fares to standby for a different flight on the same day of ticketed travel for a fee of $100, except Delta Express, which will charge a fee of $50. Effective immediately, Delta Shuttle will charge a fee of $100 to standby on restricted fares from an off-peak flight to a peak* flight or from a peak to a peak flight. There will be no charge on Delta Shuttle for standby travel on any unrestricted fare, or for standby travel from off-peak to off-peak flights on any fare type.
Earlier this summer, Delta introduced a standby upgrade option on select flights in some cities to allow customers the opportunity to standby for First Class for a fee. Customers simply request the upgrade at the gate and pay a fee for the standby upgrade, available on many published fares.
Delta encourages customers to consider the options it offers to change their tickets or standby. Delta also now offers customers the convenience and added protection of purchasing travel insurance from American Express’ Global Travel Shield at delta.com. Customers may choose from a selection of packages or build the exact coverage they need at a price that is right for their trip.
These new policies allow Delta to cover the costs associated with customers who don’t show up for flights, while giving customers who are willing to pay a fee, the flexibility to standby on a different flight the same day of their reservations.
To encourage the use of electronic ticketing, effective today, Delta is changing its policies for customers who request paper tickets. The fee will increase from $10 to $20 for each paper ticket requested for all ET-eligible travel itineraries and now will apply to all customers, regardless of SkyMiles status or the type of fare purchased. In addition, the paper ticket fee now will be charged via all ticketing channels, including tickets originally issued, reissued or converted by a travel agent. This new policy applies for travel on Delta, Delta Connection, Delta Express and Delta Shuttle flights.
About 80 percent of Delta customers worldwide take advantage of the convenience of electronic ticketing, which is the most convenient, reliable, and time-saving alternative to traditional paper airline tickets. Using ET, customers can enjoy Delta’s time-saving technologies like virtual check-in; printing boarding passes at delta.com; over-the-phone exchanges and refunds; and self serve kiosks - all quick alternatives to check-in lines at the ticket counter. Plus, with ET there is nothing to lose; there is no paper ticket to misplace, forget or have stolen.
Also last month, as Delta continued to look for ways to simplify its processes and identify practices that do not provide the value they were intended to deliver, the company notified travel agencies that it had reevaluated certain sales practices offered in the past and would no longer allow waivers on published fare rules. This includes, but is not limited to, advance purchase/ticketing time limits; minimum/maximum stay requirements; refunding of nonrefundable tickets; and administrative service charge. Delta said that these practices were originally intended for rare occasions to provide a remedy for ticketing errors and certain situations outside a travel agent’s control, but they had come to be used routinely to circumvent the pricing structure, which impacted the integrity of its pricing.
Earlier this year, Delta eliminated corporate discounting on its lowest published fares in the Q, K, L, U and T inventories. In notifying customers of these changes, Delta cited the low published fares available to all purchasers, the weakened revenue environment and changing business travel marketplace.
Delta Air Lines, the world’s second largest carrier in terms of passengers carried and the leading U.S. airline across the Atlantic, offers 5,767 flights each day to 425 destinations in 76 countries on Delta, Delta Express, Delta Shuttle, Delta Connection and Delta’s worldwide partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. For more information, please go to delta.com.
*Delta Shuttle peak flights operate between 6:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and between 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and between 2:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.