American and Delta’s renewed interline agreement saves the day!

American and Delta’s renewed interline agreement saves the day!

American and Delta’s renewed interline agreement saves the day!

My Superbowl Sunday is saved less than two weeks after the two airlines reinstated their interline agreement. For those of you that aren’t familiar with this news, or didn’t click on the link above, I’ll provide a quick few notes.

  • An interline agreement allows airlines to re-book their passengers on the other airline when significant travel disruptions impact a passengers trip.
  • American and Delta had this agreement before it ended in late summer/early fall of 2015, and it quite literally save my entire trip to Korea with Kevin – our first major trip together!

The airlines cancelled their interline agreement in September of 2015 (courtesy of Loyalty Lobby).

I hope that’s enough background, and if it’s not, you can google the interline agreement and read about it all you’d like!

So, how did this renewed friendship save my butt just two days ago? Great question. My wife and I were flying home from Raleigh, NC, Sunday morning. We were up in the Tar Heel state to participate in and watch my buddy win the Krispy Kreme Challenge (for the 4th time in a row) – no big deal.

Anyway. We were originally on the 11:09am American Airlines flight from RDU-CLT, with an hour connection and then another hour flight to Jacksonville. We’d land around 2:45pm back in the Sunshine state and and be home by 3:30, latest.

Well, as our luck would have it, getting home on time wasn’t in the cards. There was bad icing in Charlotte which caused delays to and from the airport for almost the entire day. The first flight ended up being delayed over 90 minutes. This would obviously cause a missed connection in Charlotte. Even better? The next flight out of Charlotte, one that would get us back into Jacksonville about 2.5 hours late (5:13pm), was canceled. This day was shaping up to be a real doozy.

Then I remembered the new interline agreement and turned my focus to Delta! There was a flight via ATL that would leave at 3:00pm and land back into Jacksonville just before 7:00pm.

RDU-JAX

This unfortunately got us back home about 4 hours late, but it could have been more like 6-8 if we were stuck on AA. I called the AA Gold desk and told them I’d like to fly Delta on those flights unless they could find me a quicker way home on AA. As with every time I call an airline, I already knew the answer before I called. Turns out that Delta flight was the quickest way, and about 7-8 minutes later my wife and I were both re-booked on the new flights!

Delta Planes lined up in Atlanta!

Conclusion:
The biggest takeaway? Know your options! I can’t imagine the number of people in that same situation that didn’t know they could transfer to DL. The 9:30am flight to Charlotte, the one before mine, was deplane and delayed for almost 3 hours. That meant that two full planes worth of people were looking for ways out of Raleigh on a busy Sunday afternoon. Flights were filling up quickly and options running out. Knowing all the options available to you can sometimes save your entire day/trip. Do not expect the airline phone agents to give you all the best options – go to them equipped with what you can and can’t do, and if they push back? Hang up and call again.

Have you taken advantage of the new interline agreement? Has it helped save your travel experience?

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