NEW YORK (AP) — You know all those fees that airlines have added over the last several years? Delta is taking one away.
Delta Air Lines Inc. said Thursday it would drop the fee for U.S. consumers who buy tickets over the phone or at a ticket counter. The phone fee was $25 and the fee for a ticket bought at an airport or other ticket counter was $35.
Incoming Delta President Glen Hauenstein says dropping the fee makes things simpler for customers.
Most other major U.S. airlines charge these fees. (Southwest Airlines says it doesn’t.) They are designed to encourage consumers to buy tickets online, which is cheaper for the airlines than maintaining big call centers.
Delta’s profit up on low fuel costs
Cheaper jet fuel is continuing to give airlines a lift.
The lower fuel costs helped Delta boost its first-quarter earnings by 27 percent to $946 million, as the airline spent one-third less on fuel than it did a year earlier. That represented a savings of more than $700 million.
The lower fuel costs offset higher spending on labor, including profit-sharing for employees.
But the news wasn’t entirely rosy for Delta. Revenue dipped 1 percent as passengers continued to pay slightly less for every mile they flew.
The airline is hinting that it could reduce its planned flights this fall if the revenue outlook doesn’t improve enough.
Delta is the first major U.S. airline to report first-quarter earnings. The airlines have been setting profit records thanks to falling prices for jet fuel.
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