MUSCLE SHOALS — Travelers whose flights will take them through Atlanta can now book those flights from Northwest Alabama Regional Airport using the Delta Air Lines website, accord to a the Silver Airways official.
Silver Airways, the new commuter airline for the Shoals, began service out of Muscle Shoals in October but encountered issues with its online ticketing system.
Travelers who commonly use Delta Air Lines to get to their destination from the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport were unable to book flights through Delta's website as was originally planned.
Instead, flights from the Shoals to other destinations through Atlanta on Delta Air Lines could only be booked through online travel sites such as Expedia.
That problem has apparently been solved, said Mickey Bowman, Silver Airways' vice president of essential air service.
Bowman said the problem had to do with a ticketing software enhancement Delta was involved with at the time Silver was awarded the Essential Air Service contract to provide air service to the Shoals.
"They were integrating a new platform called Polaris," Bowman said.
During the enhancement, Bowman said, Delta locked down all programming changes to the ticketing system, and Silver had hoped those enhancements would be in place by the time it began service in the Shoals.
Unfortunately, they weren't.
"We're excited about Delta and Silver finally coming to an agreement which allows passengers to book their tickets through Delta.com," Northwest Alabama Regional Airport Director Barry Griffith said.
With that hurdle cleared, Griffith said after the first of the year the airport will begin crafting a marketing plan for the airport and the new air service, stressing the convenience of flying out of the Shoals.
"We're excited again to be partnered with Delta and we look forward to a successful operation out of the Northwest Alabama Regional Airport," Griffith said.
Bowman said Silver also will ramp up its advertising efforts.
Silver also provides commuter air service in the Mississippi communities of Tupelo, Greenville and Laurel/Hattiesburg.
"We realize how we probably tried some people's patience," Bowman said. "If we had our druthers, we'd have been up and running. We certainly hope people will come back and give us a try, now that the product is out there and easy to access."
Flights from Muscle Shoals to Atlanta and back must be booked through the Silver website or an airline booking site like Expedia.
Russ Corey can be reached at 256-740-5738 or russ.corey@TimesDaily.com.