Ever heard the old saying, “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these carriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds?”
Don’t worry, the substitution of the word “carriers” for the original “couriers” in the Post Office’s unofficial motto was intentional.
It was done in honor of two of the nation’s biggest carriers — American Airlines and Delta Air Lines.
They’re reviving an old agreement that will once again allow them to accommodate each other’s stranded passengers when weather events or other obstacles jettison passengers far from home.
American and Delta team up once again
As of January 24, American and Delta will once again help the other’s passengers by seating them on their own planes if one airline becomes incapacitated at a hub because of bad weather or an intractable IT issue.
USA Today reports the two carriers had a similar agreement in place in the past, but that accord fell apart in September 2015.
Back then, Delta voiced concerns over taking on the lion’s share of responsibility and cost for accommodating passengers who were being rebooked from American. The Atlanta-based carrier wanted to be compensated for the unevenness of the situation.
Neither airline has disclosed how many fliers they’ve had to rebook when inclement weather or IT snafus arise.
They’ve also been silent on the financial terms behind this revised deal, though it’s believed the deal will be more fair and equitable to both airlines than it’s been in the past.
Agreement will actually be a second line of defense
In general, carriers try to rebook passengers on airlines that are part of their global alliance. Three main worldwide airlines alliances exist today — Oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance.
American is a founding member of Oneworld, which also includes British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and Qatar Airways, among others.
SkyTeam, meanwhile, is composed of Delta, Airfrance, Alitalia, KLM and 16 other airlines.
Finally, United, Lufthansa and Air Canada — along with more than two dozen other airlines — are the constituents of Star Alliance.
So while the revived agreement between American and Delta won’t necessarily be the go-to choice when passengers get stranded, it at least provides another option.
And let’s face it, anything the airlines can do to get people to their destinations when Mother Nature and technology don’t want to cooperate is appreciated!
Count this one as a real win/win for both carriers and passengers.