Delta Air Lines issues travel waiver for July 4 weekend

Customers planning to travel between July 1 and July 4 can rebook flights before or after the bank holiday weekend with no fare difference or change fees.

ATLANTA — Delta Air Lines is taking additional steps to alleviate flight disruptions ahead of what is expected to be an incredibly busy July 4 travel weekend.

On Tuesday, Delta issued a system-wide fare difference waiver for July 1-4, meaning customers wishing to travel on these dates can rebook their flights before or after the holiday weekend without fare differences or change fees.

Rebooked flights must be made by July 8, 2022 and travel must be between the same origin and destination as the original flights.

In a statement on its website, Delta said the company is “working around the clock to rebuild Delta’s operations while making it as resilient as possible to minimize the impact of disruptions.” The airline said it expects to handle a passenger volume over the July 4 weekend not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic, which has significantly slowed air travel.

Kyle Potter, editor-in-chief of Minnesota-based Thrifty Traveler, said he’s never seen an airline offer such a waiver, except perhaps for a specific storm event.

“This is unprecedented,” Potter said. “I think Delta is hoping that this is some sort of release valve to relieve some of the pressure they’re under to carry all these passengers in hopes that it gives them a little extra breathing room to get around.” to recover.”

On Thursday morning, Thrifty Traveler reported that hundreds of Delta flights still have no assigned pilots, according to an airline official familiar with internal flight planning. The issues primarily affect Delta’s Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 fleets.

Flights can be changed using the My Trips feature on or through the Fly Delta app.

Delta waivers are typically only issued for limited geographic areas in the event of weather events causing widespread flight disruption. Tuesday’s surprise move underscores the ongoing stress affecting the airline industry. For weeks, flight delays and cancellations have impacted thousands of flights across the country.

Earlier this month, Minnesotans traveling home from Vancouver, British Columbia, were stuck after Twin Cities-based Sun Country canceled their return flight.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, Delta was responsible for the most cancellations, with more than 800 canceled flights in five days. Earlier this month Delta said it was reducing cancellations by hiring more pilots and flight attendants and scheduling crews to quickly adjust to disruptions.

Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the department could enforce additional measures against airlines that fail to meet consumer protection standards.

Meanwhile, Delta pilots plan to picket Thursday at airports across the country to protest protracted contract negotiations, including Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport.

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