Delta is suing its own Delta connection partner – Republic Airways says NOT in Breach

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delta connection renes points blog

I have blogged many times about Delta regional partners. That landscape has changed a bunch since 2012 when I attempted to break down the current list of jets that all look like “real” Delta Air Lines jets (as you can see above) but are not what most call Delta “mainline” jets.

Delta-CORP-OCC-opperations-customer-center regional board renes points blog

Delta does track, help coordinate and work really closely with all their regional partner airlines. When Delta invited me for a personal tour of their OCC center in Atlanta, they showed off how they focus on their completion, on time percentage and partner flights right next to the Delta ones that they closely track (fyi the Delta ones are just about always better).

Well it seems, according to Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ), that Delta is not pleased with their partner Republic on a number of levels. Notice what they tell us:

“Indianapolis-based Republic has been unable to fulfill an unspecified number of flights for Delta’s regional operation, Delta Connection, according to the suit filed Monday in state court in Atlanta. That led Delta to find replacement flights and occasionally rebook passengers and issue refunds, costing direct damages exceeding $1 million, Delta said in the suit.”

Ouch. And on the investor page on the Republic Airways site they counter with:

“Republic can confirm that the Company is not in breach of any of its capacity purchase agreements with any of its mainline partners, including both Delta Connection Agreements.”

republic airways stock chart from republic home page

Republic’s stock price sure has gotten hammered over the past year and, at least according to IBJ, they are having pilot shortage issues and adding more flights with other major airlines during this time period that Delta is complaining about (disclaimer: I own no airline stocks of any kind).

How does any of this impact us? Delta needs it’s partners to shuttle you and I from the smaller airports to Delta hubs. If you happen to see DGS on folks dressed Delta-ish they are not working for Delta but “Delta Global Service” that is a contractor that does a ton for Delta on the ground. Bottom line is Delta needs help to bring us to them both in the air and move us along the way once in the system. All of these parts can impact Delta Air Lines ability to do their part of flying us from A-B successfully.

But these contract people and jets are NOT Delta Air Lines. This is also why, whenever you are booking with Delta reps on the phone, they are very specific and read off to you that you are booked on a connection carrier flying “whatever airline” operating as a Delta connection. They have to do that so as to not have you “confused” to think you are really on a Delta Air Lines jet (despite the paint job on the outside).

This past weekend I alerted you to another round of schedule changes to hit us. Delta does a really bad job of alerting us to these changes especially when we are simply bumped out of our favorite seats due to an equipment change or something similar. I personally check ALL my flights on many times a month to make sure I have not been auto-moved, or someone else has been auto-moved, and I can nab a better seat on the flight. But when it comes to schedule changes, I have found partners tend to change much more and more dramatically than Delta mainline flights. This can work to our advantage, sometimes, when we want to pick a better schedule. Just be alert to this and see this past weekend’s post for more details.

I do find it interesting Delta is willing to go so far as to take a partner to court and drag this mess into the public view. One would think that Delta would want to keep this “inside the family” if you will. I have no idea how bad the situation really is but for Delta to take this step I would have to guess things have gotten really bad and are looking much worse moving forward. It will be interesting to see what happens next! – René


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  1. seems as though Delta wants to suit every company it has business with … when will they start suing frequent fliers for not flying as much as they think we should?

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