Delta Completes Integration of NorthwestFebruary 2, 2010 By: George Dooley
For many travel agents, it is the passing of an era as Delta Air Lines reports it has completed the integration of the Northwest Airlines reservation system, including the transition of all Northwest flights into the Delta schedule, migration of Northwest passenger reservations into the Delta system, and retirement of nwa.com.
Customers who booked Northwest for travel are now booked on identical Delta flights. Passengers can use the original confirmation numbers provided by Northwest to manage itineraries at delta.com and check in online or at the airport on the day of travel, Delta says.
"Throughout the integration of Delta and Northwest, we've taken a phased, deliberate approach to make the transition simple and seamless for our customers," said Theresa Wise, Delta's senior vice president and CIO. "In this spirit, customers previously booked on Northwest are able to check in using their original reservation information, even if they arrive at the airport with no prior knowledge of the switch. We continue to work around the clock to minimize any potential impact to our operations and to customers."
Delta has increased customer service agent staffing in airports and reservation call centers this week to ensure a smooth experience for customers.
The final regularly scheduled Northwest flight, NW2470, departed Los Angeles International Airport for Las Vegas January 30 at 8:45 p.m. PT. On January 31 at 3 a.m., nwa.com began redirecting customers to delta.com.
Integrating the Northwest reservation system into Delta's marks the completion of one of the final merger milestones. Delta began rebranding airports worldwide in December 2008. By March, customers at more than 100 airports served by Northwest - including the airline's U.S. hubs in Minneapolis, Detroit and Memphis - were checking in at Delta-branded counters and kiosks and departing from Delta-branded gates. The final airport, Philadelphia International Airport, was rebranded January 18.
In March 2009, all customer-facing employees began wearing Delta's designer uniforms, and all airport lounges were renamed Delta Sky Clubs. Consistent onboard products also were introduced on all U.S. flights, including expanded food offerings in First and Economy class and new in-flight entertainment on many long-haul flights. The Delta and Northwest loyalty programs were merged in October 2009 into the world's largest frequent flyer program, Delta SkyMiles.
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million passengers each year. Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 367 destinations in 66 countries on six continents. Delta employs more than 70,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of nearly 800 aircraft.