Entries in Delta Airlines (11)


Delta Air Lines CEO Asks TSA Not to Allow Small Knives on Planes

Delta Airlines(ATLANTA) -- Reacting to the Transportation Security Administration’s recent decision to allow small knives back on planes, Delta Air Lines’ CEO Richard Anderson complained that the decision adds little value to passengers and increases safety risks.

In a letter addressed to TSA Administrator John Pistole, Anderson wrote that though the Atlanta-based carrier has a strong relationship with the TSA, he disagreed with the agency’s recent decision and shared the “legitimate concerns” of flight attendants.

“We continue to support a risk-based approach to security,” he wrote. “However, we must object to the agency decision to allow small knives in the aircraft cabin.”

Pistole said earlier this week at an aviation security conference in New York that the TSA will allow small pocket knives and certain sporting goods on planes.

The move came following a recommendation by a TSA working group that such items were not a security threat. The move will conform to international rules that currently allow the small knives and sporting goods.

In his letter, Anderson pointed out that small knives have been banned from commercial planes for the past 11 years, and argued there are more effective ways to streamline checkpoint flow.

The Flight Attendants Union Coalition, which represents the 90,000 flight attendants on carriers nationwide, has called the announcement allowing small knives “poor and shortsighted.”

The policy, which also allows items such as souvenir baseball bats and golf clubs on board aircrafts, is set to go into effect April 25.

Razor blades and box-cutters like those used by the 9/11 terrorists will still be banned.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Delta to Debut First-Ever Outdoor Airport Terraces

Delta Airlines(NEW YORK) -- Delta Air Lines has partnered with Architectural Digest to develop the airline’s first-ever outdoor airport terraces.

Called The Sky Deck at Delta Sky Club in Concourse F of Atlanta’s new international terminal and in New York’s redeveloped Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, the terraces were designed by Thom Filicia, who was selected by Architectural Digest for the project.

“Amid the hustle and bustle of the airport experience, we seek to create a refuge, which represents Delta’s dedication to elevated design and pays homage to an elegant lifestyle of travel and the spirit of flight,” Filicia said.

The terraces, Delta said, will offer “distinctive spaces with unprecedented outdoor runway views at two of the most globally significant airports in the world.”

But getting access to those terraces might be harder than you think. Delta recently announced it would change its frequent-flier program, SkyMiles, to require minimum money spent as well as miles flown.

The new space in Atlanta will be adjacent to the Delta Sky Club in Concourse F and will open this summer. At JFK, the space will be a rooftop terrace at the club in the airline’s new $1.2 billion expansion of Terminal 4, scheduled to open in May.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Airlines Face $6M Lawsuit for Wrongful Death of 'Morbidly Obese' Woman

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A $6 million lawsuit has been filed in New York City after an obese woman died while waiting for a flight to bring her from Hungary to her home in New York.

The three airlines named are Delta Airlines, KLM and Lufthansa.  They are being charged with wrongful death, among other things.  The deceased woman's husband is the plaintiff on the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, Vilma Soltesz and her husband Janos Soltesz flew from New York's John F. Kennedy Airport in mid-September to Budapest, Hungary, connecting through Amsterdam.  They purchased three seats -- two for Vilma and one for Janos.  That portion of the trip was completed without incident.

In early October, Vilma began to feel ill.  Her doctor in the United States said to come see him as soon as she returned to New York.  The lawsuit calls Vilma "morbidly obese."  She also had an amputated leg and was wheelchair-bound.  ABC News previously reported that Vilma weighed 407 pounds.

The couple was to return from Hungary to the U.S. on a KLM flight departing from Budapest on Oct. 15, 2012.  The lawsuit states that the couple was issued boarding passes and boarded their flight, but once on the plane, found the seatbacks of two seats in their row were broken, preventing Vilma from maneuvering her wheelchair into her assigned seats.  They were not offered new seats.  Instead, the captain told them they must disembark, the suit claims.

Five hours later, the lawsuit states, KLM employees told the couple the airline had made arrangements for them to take a Delta flight to New York from Prague the following day.  The couple said in court papers that they drove 4.5 hours to Prague that night and were issued boarding passes for the flight to New York.  They confirmed with the airline that proper arrangements had been made concerning Vilma's weight and medical condition.

They attempted to board the aircraft, but the airline did not have the proper wheelchair to transport Vilma.  They were forced to get off the plane, the lawsuit claims.  Janos said the airline told him it "did not have access to a skylift" to transport his wife and there was nothing more they could do.

Delta said the airline was physically unable to board Vilma on the aircraft.

The couple then returned to their vacation home in Hungary and contacted their travel agent in New York.  The travel agent made arrangements for the couple to return to New York on a Lufthansa flight from Budapest with a connection in Frankfurt on Oct. 22.  On that day, the lawsuit states, the couple arrived at the airport and were issued boarding passes for all legs of their journey.  On this flight, as for all prior flights, the couple had purchased three seats.

Lufthansa medics and local EMS/firefighters helped Vilma into her row of seats.  When the embarkation was nearly complete, the lawsuit states, the captain came out of the cockpit and ordered the couple to disembark the plane, because "other passengers needed to catch a connecting flight and cannot be delayed further."  The disembarkation process took another 25 to 30 minutes, the suit claims.

The couple again returned to Hungary and called their travel agent to make arrangements to get home to New York, but Vilma died of kidney failure before arrangements could be made.

The lawsuit states that at every instance, the airlines were told and reminded of Vilma's condition by both the travel agent and the couple.  It states that the defendants acted in "willful, wanton and reckless disregard" for Vilma.

"We believe the suit is entirely without merit.  After the operating carrier in Budapest was physically unable to board Mrs. Soltesz on its flight, and despite a determined good-faith effort by Delta in Prague, we were also physically unable to board her on our aircraft on Oct. 16.," Delta said in a statement.  "Delta employees did everything possible to assist the Soltesz family with their travel, but unfortunately Mrs. Soltesz' physical condition was such that she was unable to be boarded on the aircraft."

KLM and Lufthansa did not return ABC News' request for comment

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Delta Increases Pet Travel Restrictions

Delta Airlines(NEW YORK) -- If you have a ticket on Delta Airlines and you're planning to bring a dog along, you may have to find other arrangements.
Delta is no longer allowing pets as cargo or checked bags on its Boeing 767 planes.  The airline plans to add bunks below the passenger cabins for crew members to rest on long overseas flights, filling the cargo area where dogs fly.  

The company contacted the affected customers offering alternative options such as moving to earlier or later flights or making use of its airline partners, according to The Seattle Times.

Delta, which has around 95 Boeing 767s, has already banned carrying dogs on international flights. The airline installed lie-flat seats in business class restricting the amount of space available for pets and their carriers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


CEO Escorted Off Flight for Using Own App

Delta Airlines(NEW YORK) -- The CEO of the company that developed the smartphone app Viber was escorted off a Delta plane when it landed in New York for making a call with his app during the flight, reported Gizmodo.

Viber CEO Talmon Marco used his own app to make a call and text over VoIP through GoGo, the in-flight Wi-Fi service offered by Delta Airlines.

Marco sent a series of tweets related to the incident Tuesday, apparently as the situation was unfolding.

“@Delta @DeltaAssist on a delta flight, trying to use Viber, crew says VoIP is banned by FAA for safety (it’s not). No such issue on United!" Marco tweeted. "@Delta @DeltaAssist crew of DL1204 says they are calling the port authority because I used Viber.. This will be my last DL flight. Ever."

Marco later continued to tweet, "Can you believe@DeltaAssist is going to call the cops when we land because I used Viber on Gogo inflight wifi?? Nuts.."

"was using Viber on a DL flight.. Crew says banned by FAA (not true). They Calling cops at LGA,” he said on his Twitter profile.

His final tweets on the matter say he just wanted to test the app and that he was not arrested.

In a statement to ABC News, a Delta spokesperson said, “The use of any voice application, such as a Web-based VoIP service, is prohibited by the GoGo Terms of Service."

“Delta fully supports a ban on cell phone voice transmissions. We are not however, opponents of in-flight data transmissions (i.e. text and e-mail messages) provided they do not interfere with flight deck navigational equipment.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Delta Airlines Buys Pennsylvania Oil Refinery

Delta Airlines(TRAINER, Pa.) -- Airlines everywhere have been suffering due to high fuel prices.  Now Delta Airlines has decided to purchase its own oil refinery from ConocoPhillips -- a move the airline says will save around $300 million a year in jet fuel costs.

The deal between Monroe Energy LLC, a Delta subsidiary, and Phillips 66 was announced Monday.  As part of the deal, Monroe will receive $30 million from the state of Pennsylvania for creating jobs and improving infrastructure, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Gregg Laskowski, a senior petroleum analyst at, says Delta's purchase makes sense.

"If an airline has the opportunity to try and control its fuel costs, certainly buying a refinery is one way to do it," Laskowski said.  

Delta expects that the jet fuel it will make at the refinery south of Philadelphia, along with a few deals for more, will cover about 80 percent of the fuel it needs for its planes in the U.S.

"If Delta can do that and keep that refinery operating, that's going to be very good news for consumers," Laskowski said.

There are currently three refineries in Pennsylvania, two owned by ConocoPhillips.  All three refineries represent 700,000 barrels a day of capacity -- more than half the East Coast refining capacity.  Not only could the deal reduce fuel costs for Delta, it could also save refinery jobs, Laskowski notes, emphasizing the deal's importance to both the public and private sectors.

"There's an awful lot at stake here.  And that's probably the reason why there's all kinds of effort from both the public and private sector to keep this moving," he said, adding, "The United Steel Workers can tell you there's hundreds of jobs at stake.  They certainly want to see those jobs retained at these refineries without interruption."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Delta to Upgrade Economy Seats, On-Board Entertainment

Photo Courtesy - Delta Airlines(ATLANTA) - International flights on Delta Air Lines are about to get a bit more comfortable. Delta announced plans Monday to install a premium economy section called "Economy Comfort" to all international flights.

The additions, which would be introduced this summer, include more comfortable seats and enhanced entertainment for an additional charge of $80-$160 per one-way flight.

"Just as Delta is investing in BusinessElite, which is among the industry's most competitive premium products, it makes sense to offer enhancements to our Economy Class service that provide additional comfort," said Glen Hauenstein, Delta's executive vice president of Network Planning, Revenue Management and Marketing. "Economy Comfort is one of many elements Delta is committed to delivering to our customers as part of a more than $2 billion investment we are making in the air and on the ground to improve the customer experience and position Delta as a leader in customer service."

The new seats, which provide more leg room and a bigger recline, will be installed in the economy cabins of more than 160 Boeing 747, 757, 767, 777 and Airbus A330 aircrafts.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Delta Air Lines Announces $1.4-Billion Annual Profit

Photo Courtesy - Delta Airlines(ATLANTA) – Delta Air Lines has announced a 2010 net income of $1.4 billion and has ended the year $15 billion in debt, a decrease of $2 billion from the year before.

Delta also noted a high end to the year with a net income of $158 million in the December quarter.

"These results are a direct reflection of the success of our merger, cost discipline and debt reduction strategy and give us momentum to deal with the rising fuel prices we face in 2011,” said Richard Anderson, Delta's chief executive officer.  "Our 2010 results are among the best in Delta's history.” 

Delta’s net income was bolstered by a 15-percent increase in passenger revenue, up $889 million, with a seven-percent higher passenger capacity than the year before.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Expedia Dumps American Airlines; Changes Coming to Online Booking?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- There could be some big changes coming to the way many Americans book their airfares.  Major airlines are looking to take back some control from online travel agencies like Orbitz and Expedia.  Feuds are breaking out between the carriers and the websites.

Expedia has dumped American Airlines from its site as American seeks more control over how its seats are made available online.  The nation's third-largest carrier would also like passengers to book through its own website.

Expedia downgraded American's prominence on its site recently after American pulled itself from rival booker Orbitz.  Now Expedia has gone all the way.  It's a pitched battle with potential damage for both sides.

The airlines can lose website exposure when consumers go shopping to compare fares, but the websites lose options for their customers.  That makes it that much harder to stay competitive.

Delta has pulled its fares from some of the smaller online bookers, but that is expected to have less impact than the American Airlines-Expedia feud.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Airlines Raise Fare Prices Amid Snowstorm, Rising Oil Costs

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As thousands of passengers were left stranded at airports along the East Coast during one of the worst travel disturbances of the year, United, Continental, American and Delta Airlines all raised ticket prices Monday, according to

According to the fare watcher website, United Airlines and Continental Airlines both added a $10 one-way ($20 roundtrip) "peak travel day" surcharge for many of their domestic flights for all future travel dates. 

Hours later American Airlines, added a $20 roundtrip airfare hike for much of its domestic route system.  Delta Airlines followed soon after.

FareCompare attributed the sudden increase in ticket prices to rising oil costs.  Monday marked a 26-month high for oil prices, consequently affecting jet fuel costs.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio´╗┐

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