Delta Air Lines giving customers 10,000 SkyMiles for cancellations during Thanksgiving
Delta Air Lines canceled hundreds of flights during the busy week of Thanksgiving, and now it's trying to make up for the unusual snafu with bonus miles (and even some flights credits) for many of the affected passengers.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Delta automatically deposited bonus SkyMiles in the accounts of those who had flights cancelled in what the airline called a "Holiday Cancellation Goodwill Gesture."
Delta ended up cancelling more than 500 flights the week of Thanksgiving, which turned out to hold some of the busiest travel days of the year since March, when the coronavirus pandemic sent traffic plunging.
Related: Delta cancels hundreds of flights during Thanksgiving
Delta spokesman Anthony Black told TPG during Thanksgiving week that a number of factors “pressured our ability to timely staff several dozen scheduled flights. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our customers.”
Related: Delta blocking seats through the holidays
According to pilots, schedulers and airline analysts, factors contributing to the cancellations included a dramatic surge in coronavirus cases, a lack of pilots available and trained on some airline types, shortage of crews, and the late addition of extra flights to meet better-than-expected demand.
I was among those impacted by the Thanksgiving cancellations. Even though I was rescheduled on a flight that arrived at the same time, I had the 10,000 SkyMiles deposited in my account just over a week later. I have Platinum status on Delta for the record.
Readers in the TPG Lounge had similar experiences. Mel told me that he got 10,000 bonus miles and then when he reached out to customer service, he got another bonus. Another reader — Ricky — told me he got 10,000 miles and his daughter got a $100 flight credit after their Thanksgiving day flight was cancelled.
Other readers pointed out that Delta has been just as generous in the past. After a 2017 thunderstorm in Atlanta led to a series of cancellations at the Delta hub, reader Jake said, "Delta gave me 20,000 miles then as a goodwill gesture."
Keri said, "I did have a flight cancelled on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and did get the 10,000 Holiday Cancellation Goodwill Gesture. Gesture appreciated, good job, Delta."
Charles told TPG, "My Thanksgiving day was cancelled and I was able to rebook to a really early flight. All 6 of us got 10k miles. I thought it was a great gesture because our round trip tickets CMH-ATL-MIA / MIA-ATL-CMH were only 10k each."
Not everyone was as lucky, though most readers caught up in the mess were given miles even if they weren't Diamond or Platinum status on Delta Air Lines.
Some readers said they didn't receive anything, but that was the exception. Ty got 8,000 SkyMiles for a cancellation back on Halloween.
Sarah said, "I had a flight cancelled the Monday before Thanksgiving. No points deposit but they did give me a cash refund even though it was booked with a voucher."
Delta last week also reiterated its commitment to blocking middle seats as a safety measure during the coronavirus outbreak. (It’s one of only a few airlines that are still doing this). Black said the seat-blocking policies remained in effect despite the “operational adjustment period.”