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Old Dec 28, 09, 8:55 pm   #1
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Status of DL/NW SOC?

Does anyone know the status of Delta/Northwest receiving a single operating certificate (SOC), which I believe is scheduled for later this week-- Dec. 31 or Jan. 1.

What does it mean operationally in the short-term? I know that, in the long term, DL/NW can begin operating as truly one entity, with flight and cabin crews mixed between legacy DL and NW. For example, the NW Atlanta satellite FA base will eventually close, and the flights on the 744 and A330s from Atlanta could be operated by legacy Delta flight attendants.

But what changes in the short term? I know with the FAs, they cannot begin integrating until the union vote is settled, so I believe legacy DL aircraft will have legacy DL FAs and legacy NW aircraft will have legacy NW FAs next week.

Will the "Northwest" call sign be retired on 12/31, and Northwest flights begin using the DAL indicator and Delta call sign? (Perhaps we'll start hearing "Delta XXX in Northwest colors," the opposite of the "in Delta colors" that we hear on ATC today).

Also, what is the status of integration for airport customer service employees (both above and below wing)? Have they been fully integrated? e.g., are legacy Delta ACS employees working NW flights today, and vice-versa?
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Old Dec 28, 09, 9:03 pm   #2
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Per a post from azj over on A.net, the Northwest callsign will still be around until reservations cutover, at which point everything NW (both customer facing and operationally) will fade. Starting on Jan. 1 though with SOC, pilots can be interchanged (and I believe that the first mixed DL/NW crews will be in February/March).

As you mention, the FA situation won't be done until a vote, which won't occur for a while (until the NMB figures out if they can change the rules or not).

With Airport C/S, I know at MSP check-in, they've had both legacy DL and NW employees at the Medallion counter - they'll often pull over a legacy DL agent when I've got some complicated DL issue (I seem to get a lot of airport reissues...) but it gets figured out in the end.
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Old Dec 28, 09, 9:03 pm   #3
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The certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration clears the two operations to use a single carrier code and combine operations, culminating more than a year of paperwork and reviews. For passengers, it enables Delta to present itself and function fully as a single airline. Among employees, pilots from both airlines will be able to fly together and other workers can begin to join forces...

On Jan. 1, the “invisible curtain between the two certificates” in flight control, aircraft routing and crew tracking will disappear, he said...

Northwest’s Web site, nwa.com, will disappear. Delta and Northwest pilots will be trained on each other’s aircraft and will be able to share a single cockpit, and the airline will gain full flexibility to schedule planes and routes from the two carriers interchangeably...

Flight attendants and ground workers will still work under different rules and job terms until representation elections are complete.
http://www.ajc.com/search/content//b...merge1227.html
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Old Dec 28, 09, 9:17 pm   #4
  
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Discussed in this thread: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...w-flights.html

I don't think the granting of the SOC does anything by itself. It just gives DL the goahead to completely merge ops. Some things like pilot manuals will cut over right away. It sounds like others, like the phaseout of NW flight numbers and the complete merger of the schedules, will happen over the course of 2010.

A lot of this will be transparent to pax. I'm very concerned about the shutdown of nwa.com and the accompanying mobile site. I hope that doesn't happen until the NW schedule is completely phased out in late 2010. It's better than delta.com even for a wholly DL itinerary.
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Old Dec 29, 09, 5:56 am   #5
  
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The SOC also means that any aircraft still painted in NW livery will have to have the "Operated by Delta Air Lines" "sticker" applied. All "Operated by NWA" "stickers" will come off of NW aircraft already painted in DL livery.

Pre-merger NW and DL pilots will have co-mingled cockpits starting Q1 2010 with the first aircraft type probably being the 757.

Pre-merger NW and DL FAs cannot work together on the same flight until representation issues are resolved. However, come spring 2010, after all FAs have been cross-trained on both NW and DL aircraft, they will be able to work the other's aircraft type, just not together. For example, pre-merger DL FAs will be able to work the JFK-NRT 744 while pre-merger NW FAs will be able to work the 777 DTW-PVG; there just can't be a mix of DL and NW FAs on the same DTW-PVG or JFK-NRT flight until the union issue is resolved.
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Old Dec 29, 09, 6:02 am   #6
  
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Originally Posted by BizJet View Post
Does anyone know the status of Delta/Northwest receiving a single operating certificate (SOC), which I believe is scheduled for later this week-- Dec. 31 or Jan. 1.
Det News also has a good summary of what's going on....

See

http://www.detnews.com/article/20091...912290319/1001

My bet is not before April fool's day !

Bob H
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Old Dec 29, 09, 6:33 am   #7
  
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The Delta Air Lines weekly update call/podcast for its pilots has a brief summary of the initial stages of the single SOC plans. The podcast is available here:
http://dalpilot.com/podcast/
(scroll down to bottom, and click the "play" button on the one from Dec. 18, "CAP091218...") The whole thing is about 7 minutes but the single SOC details are just the first 3 minutes.
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Old Dec 29, 09, 9:36 am   #8
  
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Ok, so is NWA.com going to die on Jan 1? If so, this is probably everyone's last opportunity to book award tickets on partners without needing to call in.
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Old Dec 29, 09, 9:45 am   #9
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Originally Posted by ClipperDelta View Post

Pre-merger NW and DL FAs cannot work together on the same flight until representation issues are resolved. However, come spring 2010, after all FAs have been cross-trained on both NW and DL aircraft, they will be able to work the other's aircraft type, just not together. For example, pre-merger DL FAs will be able to work the JFK-NRT 744 while pre-merger NW FAs will be able to work the 777 DTW-PVG; there just can't be a mix of DL and NW FAs on the same DTW-PVG or JFK-NRT flight until the union issue is resolved.
What is the explanation for DL/NW FAs not being able to work together on the same flight until the union/contract issues are resolved? I understand that their work rules may be different and remain under legacy policies, but why does that prevent them from working together? I could see their trip construction could be governed by different rules and their could be different procedures for grievances, etc., but I wouldn't expect that would impact the ability to work together on a given flight.

Also, what are some examples of the major operational changes that have occurred over the last year or so under the "Phase of Flight" program to align NW/DL procedures for SOC? I've overheard that pushback procedures and crew communications were two big categories, but I don't know much about that. Did the pilots have to get used to pretty different ways of doing things, or were the changes pretty minor?
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Old Dec 29, 09, 10:53 am   #10
  
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Originally Posted by humanoid94 View Post
Ok, so is NWA.com going to die on Jan 1? If so, this is probably everyone's last opportunity to book award tickets on partners without needing to call in.
I don't know how it affects nwa.com, but my understanding is that the reservations systems are supposed to be merged in late Jan/early Feb.
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Old Dec 29, 09, 12:15 pm   #11
  
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Originally Posted by BizJet View Post
What is the explanation for DL/NW FAs not being able to work together on the same flight until the union/contract issues are resolved? I understand that their work rules may be different and remain under legacy policies, but why does that prevent them from working together?
Separate work rules and the NWA FAs' contract (DL's FAs are non-unionized) are certainly reasons why working together would be one big mess (I don't know about the "legalities" but I would imagine that there are scope clauses in the NWA FA contract that place some barriers on working with a different work group on the same aircraft).
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Old Dec 31, 09, 8:19 am   #12
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The AP reports that the FAA has granted the single operating certificate.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009...Northwest.html
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Old Dec 31, 09, 8:53 am   #13
  
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FAA Approves Single Operating Certificate

"FAA authorizes Delta, Northwest to operate as single carrier; Northwest name to be phased out"

http://www.startribune.com/business/...3aPc:_Yyc:aUUs
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Old Dec 31, 09, 9:00 am   #14
  
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As much as I will miss NW I am looking forward to the end of merger related difficulties:
Try to check in on DL, get bounced to NW then back to DL
CS agents unable to see part of your reservation
"The NW line is down there"
The 45 minutes it takes for a DL agent to check in someone on a NW itin
and so on and so on...
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Old Dec 31, 09, 9:03 am   #15
  
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Bummer...

So I guess that real cheese is not coming back in the old WC's?
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