Delays and cancellations are an all too familiar foe of travelers. Increasingly extreme weather and airports running at maximum capacity have coupled to create serious headache for travelers. And for the last two years – Delta wasn’t making things any easier for their passengers. Today, Delta reinstated an agreement with American Airlines which will help passengers on both airlines get where they need to go – faster.

Who

Delta and American Airlines are fierce competitors and two of the largest airlines in the world. In 2015, the airlines – at Delta’s request, terminated an agreement which allowed the airlines to help each others passengers when things went wrong. They would also no longer automatically move passengers bags along, when transferring between airlines.

What

Known as an “interline agreement” Delta and American can now help passengers from both airlines when things go wrong.  An interline agreement allows airlines to rebook passengers on the other airline if a problem is affecting one or the other. It can also allow passengers to have their bags seamlessly transferred to their final destination, without having to re clear security and check in separately, even when switching between the two airlines.

When

Now! This is great news for passengers of both airlines. If for example an American Airlines flight is delayed or cancelled because of mechanical work, the airline could rebook its passengers onto a more convenient Delta flight. When the interline agreement was terminated in 2015, this was no longer possible – leaving passengers stranded.

Why

It’s clear that airline customer frustration has reached a boiling point in the US and abroad. In response, airlines are moving to more passenger friendly policies, such as flight attendants directly handing out miles for in flight issues. This is a very positive change offering a useful feather in the cap for all travelers. If you experience problems, an interline agreement can quite literally be your ticket home.