Delta Ditches Meetings

Lower Fares Bump Group Program

While the news last month of fare slashing by Delta Air Lines and American Airlines on their domestic routes buoyed the spirits of business travelers, it might have come at a price for meeting groups.
    Days after announcing the national expansion of its SimpliFares program, which cut fares by as much as 50 percent, eliminated the Saturday-stay requirement and reduced ticket change fees from $100 to $50, Delta said it had folded its Delta Meeting Network, effective Jan. 5, 2005, but would honor any tickets purchased under active contracts through Feb. 28.
    According to the Atlanta-based airline, the move was a necessary part of its efforts to redefine its new business strategy.
    American Airlines, however, based in Fort Worth, Texas, and which closely followed Delta’s fare restructuring and fee changes, said it had no plans to make any changes to its Group & Meeting Travel program.
    “Currently it is business as usual for group and meeting travel,” declared Tim Wagner, a spokesperson for the airline.