As the Italian government is taking precautions to limit the spread of the coronavirus, Delta Air Lines is reducing service to Rome. At the same time, the carrier is also giving passengers greater flexibility by waving more change fees for passengers traveling through April 30th.
Extension of change fee waivers
Delta is now offering passengers greater flexibility when it comes to booking flights. Previously, Delta did offer change fee waivers for customers who purchased tickets between March 1st and 31st.
Now, however, Delta has announced that is extending that change fee waiver to include all tickets– international and domestic– for travel through April 30th for tickets booked before March 9th. Change fees are waived for flights to Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, and all Italian locations through May 31st.
Part of Delta’s move is likely to encourage passengers to continue to book travel with flexibility in mind given the changing situation. Airlines are noticing a drop in demand across the board.
Delta’s seeking to assuage wary travelers
Myself and many other Delta SkyMiles members received an email letter from CEO Ed Bastian describing some efforts Delta has taken to reduce any anxiety from travel.
One of the things highlighted is Delta’s experience with dealing with the H1N1 and Ebola outbreaks. In addition, Delta has worked with the CDC, WHO, and FAA to create guidelines and policies that will keep both travelers and crew safe.
In addition, Delta has reduced some of its international frequencies. This includes reducing flights to Italy, Japan, South Korea, and suspending flights to China. Much of this reduction coincides not just with a drop in demand, but also notifications and warnings from the United States Department of State.
Keeping aircraft clean
Amidst the coronavirus outbreak, airlines are becoming more transparent when it comes to enhanced cleaning measures. Delta is doing the same. More aircraft are undergoing fogging, more cabin areas such as tray tables, seats, seatback pockets, lavatories, etc. are undergoing a rigorous disinfection process to limit customer-to-customer spread. And, Delta is also separating some silverware and dishware from others to avoid cross-contamination.
Ultimately, it is up to each person themselves to decide whether or not they want to travel. Delta is offering passengers some flexibility by extending change fee waivers for more passengers through April 30th and offering customers greater flexibility if they purchase flights between March 1st and 31st. However, as the situation develops, Delta could continue to alter its policies– hopefully for the best.
Will you take advantage of Delta’s change fee waiver? Let us know in the comments!