US carrier says it is cutting departures to ‘build additional resilience in our system and improve operational reliability’
La semaine dernière, les nous Compagnie aérienne Delta announced that it will be cutting around 100 flights a day during July and August cette année.
The carrier is slashing its schedules ahead of time in order to minimise travel disruptions throughout the summer, said senior staff.
Along with many airlines in the US and worldwide, Delta has seen operational issues as the travel industry emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic, including staff shortages and sicknesses making it difficult to operate at full capacity.
So what has the airline said, and what can you do if the slashed flight schedule affects your trip?
Voici tout ce que vous devez savoir.
Why is Delta cancelling flights?
In a nutshell: the airline is cancelling them in advance because it anticipates it may have to cancel them eventually anyway, due to operational issues. This will both give customers more time to rearrange journeys and minimise the amount of journeys and passengers impacted.
Staff shortages due to an increased number of employees calling in sick during the pandemic – as well as extreme weather – have taken their toll on American carriers, including Delta, in recent months.
En réponse, the airline is removing planned flights from the schedule, in anticipation of being able to operate dozens fewer than they usually would.
Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airways have also proactively slimmed down schedules this summer in the US, with the former culling capacity by 2 per cent until July, and the latter axing 8-10 per cent of flights in May.
pendant ce temps, au Royaume-Uni, British Airways has been pre-emptively cancelling more than 100 vols par jour in recent weeks.
What has Delta said about it?
In a statement last week, Delta said the move was designed to “build additional resilience in our system and improve operational reliability for our customers and employees.”
“We deeply appreciate the energy and efforts of our people and the confidence of our customers as we adapt and pivot to ensure we provide the airline-of-choice experience we’re so proud to be known for,” added Delta’s chief customer experience officer Allison Ausband.
My flight was cancelled in the pre-emptive cuts. What can I do about it?
Airline passengers booking with carriers in the US have far fewer rights than those in the UK and the European Union if their flight is delayed or cancelled.
In Europe, a cancellation – for any reason – triggers a series of entitlements including an alternative flight as soon as possible, plus meals and hotel accommodation if the passenger is stranded at an airport or abroad.
inversement, American carriers typically offer no direct support if the cause of a delay is out of their control (corresponding with the UK’s concept of “extraordinary circumstances”).
American carriers flying from UK airports, pourtant, are subject to the much tougher British and European rules, known as EC261.
If a US airline like Delta chooses to cancel your flight and it’s not departing from the UK or Europe, it will likely rebook you on to the next available flight on that route. But you are entitled to ask for a full refund instead.
“A consumer is entitled to a refund if the airline cancelled a flight, regardless of the reason, and the consumer chooses not to travel,” reads the Department of Transportation’s US consumer rules.
Numerous people choose the latter option if the flight they are rescheduled for arrives too late for the event they were travelling to, par exemple.
If you’ve booked directly through the airline, you can contact them by phone or go into your booking to request a refund or change your amended flight details.
Delta’s website clarifies that: “If there is a qualifying significant schedule change after booking and your new itinerary no longer fits your travel needs, you have the following cancellation options:
- Receive an eCredit for the value of the ticket;
- Adjust your itinerary in My Trips; ou alors
- Request a refund to your original form of payment”
If your flight was set to depart from a UK or EU destination, such as London, you are covered by EC261 passenger rights legislation. As these flights are being cancelled over a month in advance, you won’t be entitled to compensation for the cancellation (only cancellations within 14 days before travel qualify) – but you will be entitled to be rebooked on alternative flights on the same day.
If Delta does not have any departures on your route for your intended day of travel, it should cover the cost of new flights booked with a rival airline. This does not apply to your return leg if it does not depart from the UK or an EU country.
If you’ve booked through a third-party travel agent such as Expedia, they will be processing your refund from the airline’s cancellation. If you need to chase up your refund, you’ll need to chase that website’s customer service team.
Expedia’s website states: “Most refunds are issued within 12 semaines. pourtant, depending on the airline, some refunds may take longer.”