Delta has just announced a series of new measures which it hopes will help passengers to continue practice social distancing in the air as well as on the ground. These measures include pausing advance complimentary upgrades and blocking seats in most cabins across the airline's remaining route network.
It's no secret that a significant number of airlines around the world have been attempting to circumvent or ignore regulations that order them to offer passengers full cash refunds when their flights are cancelled by the airlines. Actions taken by these airlines have resulted in passengers being fooled or frustrated into accepting vouchers for future travel when the cost of their trips should have been fully refunded, and a sudden rise in complaints to the authorities has seen some regulators take action.
Up until now, American Airlines has been waiving change fees for bookings made through 31 March 2020 (today) but with no sign that anything around us is getting any better soon the airline has now extended that booking period by a month.
I've long thought that most airlines (not all) are run by people with little or no soul and by people who have little to no regard for their customers. Sadly, it's taken a worldwide pandemic to prove me right.
A worrying number of airlines are currently doing their very best to either make it very hard for customers to request the full refund that the law says they're entitled to, or they're offering passengers incentives to accept travel vouchers in place of refunds. This is not good news for flyers and you should almost certainly refuse a travel voucher if a refund is due to you.
One of the bigger recent news stories surrounding the effect the current crisis is having on businesses has been the news that airlines worldwide are begging their respective governments to bail them out now that most people are not flying anymore.
Right now there are a few corporations in the travel world that aren't doing a very good job of looking after their customers but there's only one that's actually taken measures that will very obviously make their customers' lives worse...and all at a time where the very opposite is what's needed - meet United Airlines.
Marriott has just issued a release from its President and CEO Arne Sorenson in which it outlines what it is doing to keep guests safe during their stays, how it is changing its cancellation policies and what steps its taking to minimize the losses by Marriott Bonvoy members.
The latest big changes to hit the US airlines are the ban on travel between select European countries and the US (which comes into force tonight) and the ban on travel between the US and Argentina that the Argentinian authorities have announced. In response to this very fluid situation, American Airlines has moved to reduce the number of flights it plans to operate in the coming months very significantly.
With a lot of people about to fall foul of a ban on travel between most European countries and the US, we're starting to see airlines updating their waivers to include transatlantic travel and British Airways has been one of the first out of the blocks.