MUSCLE SHOALS — Northwest Alabama Regional Airport Director Barry Griffith told Air Services Committee members Tuesday that Silver Airways should have its online ticketing issues resolved by Nov. 1.
The Shoals’ new commuter airline, which began service Oct. 1, got off to a rocky start, officials said.
Even before the airline began providing service to Atlanta, travelers discovered they couldn’t book flights through Delta Air Lines’ website as originally planned.
Griffith said the interline agreement between Silver and Delta was in place, but Delta’s information technology people had not completed the work that will allow travelers to book flights through delta.com.
“Delta is in control of that,” Griffith told committee members. “Silver is not in control of that, and we’re not in control of that.”
Unless someone is flying to a city served by Silver Airways, flights outside the system cannot be booked through the airline’s website, gosilver.com.
He said the technical issues should be sorted out by the first of November.
Griffith said he also expects ticket prices to come down once the link with Delta is completed.
Another issue that was brought to the attention of the airport is that travelers could not purchase tickets online with an American Express card, which is frequently used by business travelers.
Griffith said that issue should be fixed by next summer.
Air Services Committee Chairman Barry Auchly said it will take some time for the airline to mature.
“It’s going to take a little time to work it out,” Auchly said. “It’s still going to be a very competitive and viable air service.”
Griffith said the problems also are present in the other cities served by Silver.
Based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the airline was awarded an Essential Air Service program subsidy to provide commuter air service to the Shoals, the Mississippi communities of Tupelo, Greenville and Hattiesburg/Laurel, and Lewisburg, W.Va. The airline also is serving Meridian, Miss., and several cities in the Northeast with 34-seat Saab 340B-plus aircraft.
Russ Corey can be reached at 256-740-5738 or russ.corey@TimesDaily.com.