Up until now we’ve seen American, Delta, and United, all reduce frequencies to China, though up until now none have canceled service altogether. I assumed that would be changing very shortly, especially as American Airlines pilots have filed a lawsuit against the airline, as they’re refusing to fly to China over safety reasons (update: in the meantime American Airlines has also canceled mainland China flights).
Well, Delta has now become the first US airline to completely suspend flights to China.
Delta will suspend all US to China flights between February 6 and April 30, 2020. This is interesting on a couple of levels:
- The airline isn’t suspending flights immediately, claiming that’s in order to “ensure customers looking to exit China have options to do so”
- They’re not just suspending flights for a few weeks, but all the way through April 30, which is a long time
I’m curious to see if Delta actually still operates flights to China in the next few days, or if their union representing pilots objects (their flight attendants can of course express concern as well, but aren’t unionized).
In the press release, Delta explains that this decision is being made “due to ongoing concerns related to the coronavirus.” If that’s the case, one would think that they’d be suspending flights right away.
Those who are impacted by these cancelations have a few options:
- Rebook on a flight after April 30
- Request a refund
- Contact Delta to discuss additional options
Delta currently offers 42 weekly flights between the US and China, including daily flights from Detroit and Seattle to Beijing, and daily flights from Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Seattle, to Shanghai.
Are you surprised to see Delta suspend flights to China all the way through April 30?