American and Delta have called it quits – Photo: John Nguyen | AirlineReporter
Some parts of the airline industry are very “cloak-and-dagger,” but once in a while something rears its ugly head and seems like it could be a bad thing, if only you knew what the heck was going on. Such is the case now, as two of the largest airlines in the world, who also happen to be bitter rivals, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, abruptly ended their interline agreement on September 15.
Why would direct competitors have such a partnership in place, and what does it mean for the flying public?
For my birthday this year, I planned a trip to Ireland, Scotland, and England, and since Delta had no award availability in coach, I decided to splurge and spend 62,500 Alaska miles to fly business class (since re-branded Delta One) for the first time ever.
My leg was from Atlanta (ATL) to Dublin (DUB) on flight DL176, which was operated by a Boeing 767-300ER. I have been watching, for years, others flying in a premium product and I was jealous. When I was a poor graduate student, I couldn’t really justify the expense in miles or money, but now it seemed like it would be worthwhile.
I was so excited that I planned my trip far in advance and I was looking forward to this flight for nine months. But when the time came, I have to say that I was a bit disappointed, as it just didn’t live up to my expectations.
A Delta plane getting boarded by the Seahawks as they head to Phoenix for the Super Bowl
Sunday morning in Seattle, people should be drinking their morning coffee, reading a paper (or this site, obviously) or going for a morning run. But when the Seahawks are headed for the Super Bowl, the city takes on a different vibe. Streets are lined with people along the drive from the team’s offices and training facility at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center (VMAC) in Renton, to SeaTac for their journey to Phoenix.
The airport was surrounded by fans, family, and friends of airport staff who were plane-side to wave farewell. But their departure leads to a bigger, more important, question for AvGeeks: who, and what, were they flying?
Delta Air Lines unveils the next phase of a Terminal 4 expansion at JFK – Photo: Michelle McLoughlin | Newscast Creative
As part of their $1.2 billion effort at improving their space at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s (JFK) Terminal 4B, Delta, along with the JFK International Air Terminal LLC (JFKIAT) has completed the second phase of expansion of the terminal and held a media event to show off and officially open the new space (a soft opening occurred last week).
BONUS: Delta Previews JFK T4 With T4X In Lower Manhattan
In attendance, and speaking on behalf of their organizations, were Gail Grimmett, Delta’s senior vice president for New York; Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ); Gert-Jan de Graff, president and CEO of JFKIAT (the operator of Terminal 4); Kyle Kimball, president of the NYC Economic Development Corporation; Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company; and Melinda Katz, the Queens borough president.
Press entrance for the special Terminal 4 event – Photo: Doug Wint
The expansion adds 75,000 additional square feet and 11 new gates to Terminal 4B, and will allow 80% of Delta Connection operations to move from Terminal 2. These new gates are enclosed and climate-controlled, and can handle mainline narrow-body jets, if needed. The new addition provides access to a renovated Sky Club, iPad stations, and world-renown eateries.
The carrier has also added a third stop to its Jitney shuttle service, which carries connecting passengers between its two terminals to the new terminus on the B side. This is to help alleviate the walking for connecting travellers (65% of Delta’s JFK passengers) between opposite ends of Terminal 4B.