The Spectacle Blog

Delta Update

By on 6.24.11 | 1:30PM

Brian Bolduc at National Review gets a new statement from a Delta spokesman regarding the deal with Saudi Arabian Airlines that I discussed last night (emphasis added):

Delta Air Lines does not discriminate nor do we condone discrimination against any of our customers in regards to age, race, nationality, religion, or gender.

Delta does not operate service to Saudi Arabia and does not codeshare with any airline that serves that country. Delta does not intend to codeshare or share reciprocal benefits, such as frequent flier benefits, with Saudi Arabian Airlines, which we have confirmed with SkyTeam, an Amsterdam-based 14-member global airline alliance.

Delta's only agreement with Saudi Arabian Airlines is a standard industry interline agreement, which allows passengers to book tickets on multiple carriers, similar to the standard interline agreements American Airlines, US Airways and Alaska Airlines have with Saudi Arabian Airlines.

All of the three global airline alliances - Star, which includes United Airlines; oneworld, which includes American Airlines, and SkyTeam, which includes Delta - have members that fly to Saudi Arabia and are subject to that country's rules governing entry.

The last paragraph is a red herring -- the oneworld and Star Alliance members that fly to Saudi Arabia are not owned by the Saudi government -- but the part I've bolded is significant. Delta's frequent flier program, SkyMiles, is the top advertised benefit of flying SkyTeam member airlines. Cutting SAA out of that program is a welcome move. Good for Delta.

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