Delta Offers to Rescue Stranded American Customers, But American Says There Aren’t Any

After the shocking announcement that Delta will buy 20% of Latin America’s largest airline LATAM while that carrier will leave the oneworld alliance and their joint venture with American is off, strange things started happening.

  • American zeroed out inventory for their codeshares on LATAM flights. Doing this right away, even after promising a “seamless experience for customers” seemed petty.

  • Word went out that American wouldn’t through-check bags onto LATAM, or accept bags from LATAM, even where customers were on the same ticket. American said they didn’t do this, and that wasn’t their policy, however.

Copyright: artzzz / 123RF Stock Photo

American’s denial notwithstanding, there are reports of customers having problems with their itineraries already. Here’s one regarding a LATAM codeshare on American Airlines-operated flights:

Delta says don’t worry, if American sticks it to your itinerary that involves LATAM travel they’ll step up.

Following the recent announcement of a partnership with LATAM Airlines, Delta became aware that LATAM customers who had purchased tickets under their former partnership are seeing canceled flight segments or itineraries. To provide assistance to these customers, Delta will honor these previously purchased tickets.

…Delta is committed to doing right by people and will do everything possible to ensure that impacted customers are cared for.

American, though, denies anything is wrong.

  • They aren’t aware of anyone actually being denied travel. (Of course any itineraries with problems are likely for future travel.)

  • They continue to honor tickets and their interline agreement.

  • Their frequent flyer and club lounge agreements remain in place.

American insists that anyone booked with one of their tickets, for travel on LATAM via an American AIrlines codeshare, can continue to do so. Having zeroed out inventory on these flights, that means no new bookings can be made. If you want to make a change to an existing itinerary, and American serves the market, they’ll put you on the American Airlines flight instead of a codeshare.

This has certainly gotten interesting.

Update: American tells me they are “still marketing AA*/LA/JJ/4M/XL for legs requiring LATAM metal and has not restricted that availability. If the ticketed leg is AA*/LN/JJ/4M/XL and can be served by American the passenger will need to be rebooked on American metal.” So they’ve eliminated codeshare inventory only in markets where they offer flights also. Fewer options are less convenient for customers, and may cost customers more, but they haven’t eliminated destinations altogether.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. It’s their choice to be petty and that’s what they are doing, I’m not loyal to any airline anymore

    Off topic: Have sainali pick a better profile pic, can’t take anyone serious with straps on his chest and bunny ears

  2. Too bad DL wasn’t there to step in and offer to fly those folks home from LIM after the triple mx that was in the newspaper, huh.

  3. Delta’s Back Stabbing, Greedy business practice caused this. As much as I harp on American Airlines, I’m on their side this time around. It’s ALL Delta’s fault. Delta has become a Terrorist Organization.

  4. @Alan
    I am sorry but just because you use capital letters (inappropriately) and make egregious comments does not mean you are not stupid.
    Plus you can be sued for libel and blocked cause you are not actually important

  5. @Alan. Yeah watch what you say. You sound like an entitled prick, and your words are filled with pure and absolute stupidity. Good luck in life idiot.

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