Delta Air Lines has been working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to turn unused airline tickets by the organization into donations to a variety of charities, the carrier said today.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic and a severe reduction in business travel, the Foundation started by the Microsoft founder and his wife found itself with more than $100,000 in unused Delta tickets.
But instead of requesting a refund or trying to re-book the tickets, the Gates Foundation instead worked with Delta CEO Ed Bastian to turn the tickets into Universal Air Travel Plan cards and donate them to three charities: Feeding America, GLAAD and The National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
"Even amid the turbulence of COVID-19, Delta is committed to serving our people, our customers and our communities," Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a statement. "We are proud to work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to donate their unused tickets to multiple charities and support those organizations in their essential travel during the pandemic."
Delta worked with the foundation to waive all change fees, including the name change fee, and allow the value of the entire unused ticket to be donated.
Each of the three charity organizations received one-third of the total funds in unused tickets. The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, in fact, has already begun using its Universal Air Travel Plan cards.
Companies interested in donating unused tickets can reach out to the airline through their Delta account representative and consider the SkyBonus donation program, which will be open through Jan. 31, 2021.
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