AJC@ATL

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Delta eliminates $25 phone reservation fee


Delta Air Lines is eliminating its $25 fee for making reservations over the phone.

The reasoning, according to Delta's incoming president Glen Hauenstein: "It is much simpler for our customers to not have to worry if they will pay a fee for ticketing with Delta." The change takes effect immediately.

As Delta added checked baggage fees and other fees over the years, it sometimes attributed the moves to high fuel costs. It has been charging a $25 direct ticketing charge for phone reservations and a $35 fee for tickets purchased at airports and ticket offices.

According to a recent survey by MileCards.com, 49 percent of U.S. travelers feel phone booking fees are unreasonable. The same share of respondents also called fees for changes or cancellations unreasonable.

"Sensible cost cutting and lower fuel prices are letting airlines give back in some places that are pain points for fliers," according to MileCards.com travel analyst Brian Karimzad. He added that "phone fees feel like an unreasonable penalty."

The elimination of the direct reservation fee comes after Delta folded its customer service account via Twitter into its main @Delta account.

It also follows a controversial change by Delta and competitors United and American that raises the cost of ticket purchases for those booking "multi-city" tickets with more than one destination, and potentially complicates the ticket booking process. That change has generated criticism by the Business Travel Coalition, a corporate travel manager group.


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About the Author

Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.