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Delta Lets Travelers Change Flights for Free Over Fourth of July Weekend

Carrier is offering more flexibility as it expects some challenges despite efforts to reset operations

Delta’s broad waiver underscores the challenging conditions that travelers could encounter this weekend.

Nervous about flying during a busy holiday weekend? Delta Air Lines Inc. has an alternative: don’t.

Delta is allowing customers to change flights for free, letting them rebook trips before or after potentially challenging weekend days without paying a higher last-minute fare or a change fee.

The waiver will apply across Delta’s entire network for July 1 through July 4, as long as customers travel between the same origins and destinations by July 8.

Delta said it expects some challenges this holiday weekend, despite efforts by the company and its staff to reset the carrier’s operations.

Excerpt from WSJ
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Wasn’t Airline Customer Service Supposed to Be Fixed by Now?

For some customers, online chatting or sending a DM may be a quicker way to reach the airlines

It’s the recorded message no traveler with flight troubles wants to hear. “Due to an earlier technical issue we’re receiving more calls than we typically do and are unable to take your call at this time,” United Airlines told callers Sunday afternoon.

Travelers trying to reach American Airlines’ toll-free customer service line the same day were put on hold and offered the option of a callback that ranged from one hour and 14 minutes to one hour and 42 minutes.

And this was on a relatively calm travel day.

Airlines have promised reduced hold times this summer because of robust customer-service hiring and a plethora of self-service tools. Yet reaching an airline representative can still take a long time. These waits are particularly harsh when bad weather and other issues drive cancellations and delays as they did over the long weekend that included Father’s Day and the Juneteenth holiday.

Excerpt from WSJ
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Demand for Air Travel is Back. Are Airlines Ready?

Throughout the pandemic, airlines have had a tough time figuring out when travel would return and how strong demand would be. But now that demand is rebounding strongly, airlines are facing challenges trying to meet it. Wall Street Journal airlines reporter Alison Sider joins WSJ What’s News host Annmarie Fertoli to discuss.

Annmarie Fertoli: Throughout the pandemic, airlines have had a tough time figuring out when travel would return, how strong demand would be and how long it would last. After a couple of dips, another rebound in travel is upon us. Airlines and hotels are boosting hiring, but the labor market is even tighter now, so will they be able to meet soaring demand? I'm Annmarie Fertoli from The Wall Street Journal, and joining me now with more on this is Wall Street Journal airlines and air travel reporter, Alison Sider. Hi, Alison, thanks for being here.

Alison Sider: Hi, thanks so much for having me.

Annmarie Fertoli: Alison, we've heard from a number of companies, this earning season who report that a travel rebound is here. What metrics are they using to figure that out?

Excerpt from WSJ
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Spirit Airlines Rejects JetBlue Bid, Sticks With Frontier Deal

Spirit Airlines Inc. rebuffed a $3.6 billion cash takeover bid from JetBlue  Airways Corp., saying a deal likely can’t be completed, and it is sticking with plans to merge with rival budget carrier Frontier Group Holdings Inc. 

JetBlue’s offer for Spirit came with a higher price tag than Frontier’s cash-and-stock offer, which was originally valued at $2.9 billion. However, Spirit’s board said it believed there was too much risk that regulators would bar a merger with JetBlue, even after JetBlue pledged to shed assets to win regulatory approval and to pay a $200 million breakup fee if it was unable to complete the proposed acquisition for antitrust reasons.

“After a thorough review and extensive dialogue with JetBlue, the Board determined that the JetBlue proposal involves an unacceptable level of closing risk that would be assumed by Spirit stockholders,” Spirit Chairman Mac Gardner said Monday.

Excerpt from WSJ
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