Delta is working with American to scrap worldwide ticket trade charges
Delta Air Lines Airbus A330 aircraft on final approach to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands.
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Delta Air Lines removes $ 200 international ticket exchange fees and joins American Airlines to fuel demand for travel decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Delta, American, and United all cut change fees for domestic flights in August. American expanded that to international travel last month, including long haul.
According to the Department of Transportation, US airlines brought in change and cancellation fees of $ 2.8 billion last year. However, since passenger traffic is around a third of the previous year’s level and once lucrative international travel is particularly hard hit, airlines are trying to relax the guidelines that would encourage travelers to book.
“They are gone for good,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said Wednesday during an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” when asked if fees would return when business recovered. “We don’t want just one more reason why customers are nervous when they book and make advanced travel plans.”
Exceptions are Basic Economy tickets, which are non-refundable. However, Delta has a fee waiver for all tickets through March and travel outside of North America. The passengers also have to pay price differences.
Bastian said December travel demand would likely be around a third of the previous year’s level, where it’s currently hovering, but sales should rise in the spring.