Amidst the turmoil of holiday travel, Delta proudly proclaimed that they didn’t cancel a single flight over the long weekend, but it turns out the airline wasn’t being entirely truthful.
In reality, Delta did cancel a flight, but offered a makeup flight and say that the because they offered a replacement flight the cancellation shouldn’t count against them. However, it looks as though the replacement flight wasn’t created until 18 hours after the canceled flight, by which time most passengers had already been accommodated with arrangements on other planes.
According to a Delta press release, Delta is performing strongly throughout the holidays by accommodating millions of customers and having an excellent on on-time performance as well. Although the release is mostly true, another website did some sleuthing and found that Delta’s numbers are slightly off. While most of the flights Delta offered over the Thanksgiving time period did take off as planned, they did, in fact, cancel a single flight (that is known). The single flight changes the veracity of the “without a single cancellation anywhere across its global operation” statement issued by the airline.
A passenger on the flight in question called out Delta’s claim on an online forum, “Really?? My [flight] on Sunday, Nov 26 DL3553 was Cancelled!”
Delta responded to the assertion, acknowledging that they had canceled the flight but because they had substitute with a make-up flight, then the flight didn’t count as canceled but rather as delayed. They had to officially cancel the flight and issue a new flight number because the makeup flight was from another carrier and so couldn’t operate under the same number as the original flight. Further investigation from TPG website revealed that there was actually a significant delay between the cancellation and the time the new flight that was created.
This is a single flight cancellation over a very busy time, which is very impressive for the industry but still a very different happening than impression Delta offered by stating they had not even one cancellation.