Delta Air Lines Inc. is offering hundreds of thousands of customers $200 flight vouchers or 20,000 bonus frequent-flier miles as part of an apology for flight cancellations earlier this month.
The April 5 storm system that shut down Delta’s operations came during heavy travel due to spring break and was made worse by a breakdown in the airline’s crew location and assignment systems, Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian said in an email to customers. About 4,000 flights were canceled after severe storms disrupted operations at its Atlanta hub.
“I have heard from many of you who feel like we let you down. In acknowledgment of what you endured, 20,000 bonus miles will be added to your SkyMiles account in the next 48 hours,” Bastian said in the emails, which were seen by Bloomberg. “I am sorry for what you experienced.”
Delta’s massive cancellations have been overshadowed in the airline industry this week by a backlash against United Continental Holdings Inc., after a passenger was dragged off one of its flights. Lawyers for David Dao say he suffered a concussion, broken nose and two lost teeth, and will probably pursue legal claims.
The aftereffects of Delta’s storm-related disruptions lasted as many as six days for some travelers, as they struggled to rebook flights or shelved getaways while the airline attempted to recover from the breakdown. Delta said this week that the flight cancellations, lost revenue and other costs including travel vouchers and bonus mile giveaways will reduce second-quarter pretax profit by $125 million.
Some Delta customers who are not SkyMiles members are getting emails offering $200 flight vouchers.
As the second-largest U.S. airline, Delta runs about 6,000 flights a day during peak summer months. The airline has more than 800 planes and flies about 180 million passengers a year.
Delta has suffered a series of setbacks in the past year. In January, customers were marooned at airports when flights were grounded due to a computer system breakdown. In August, Delta canceled about 2,000 flights over a three-day period after its worldwide computer system failed.
Delta spokesman Anthony Black declined to comment on the voucher and SkyMiles bonus gesture.
“As always, any customer who feels the specifics of their flight requires additional attention should contact Delta Customer Care,” Black said.
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