XML 96 R15.htm IDEA: XBRL DOCUMENT v2.4.0.8
American Express Relationship (Notes)
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2013
American Express Relationship [Abstract]  
American Express Relationship [Text Block]

General. Our agreements with American Express provide for joint marketing, grant certain benefits to Delta-American Express co-branded credit card holders ("Cardholders") and American Express Membership Rewards Program participants and allow American Express to market using our customer database. Cardholders earn mileage credits for making purchases using co-branded cards, may check their first bag for free, are granted access to Delta SkyClub lounges and receive other benefits while traveling on Delta. These benefits that we provide in the form of separate products and services under the SkyMiles agreements are referred to as "deliverables." Additionally, participants in the American Express Membership Rewards program may exchange their points for mileage credits under the SkyMiles Program. As a result, we sell mileage credits at agreed upon rates to American Express for provision to their customers under the co-brand credit card program and the Membership Rewards program.

During 2013, we amended our agreements with American Express that modified the products and services provided under the agreements. The amendments changed certain mileage award redemptions, access to SkyClubs, among other things. For a description of how these amendments changed our accounting, please see Note 1 under Frequent Flyer Program.

Advance Purchase of Restricted SkyMiles. In 2008, we entered into a multi-year extension of our American Express agreements and received $1.0 billion from American Express for an advance purchase of Restricted SkyMiles (the "prepayment"). The 2008 agreement provided that our obligations with respect to the advance purchase would be satisfied as American Express uses the purchased miles over a specified future period (“SkyMiles Usage Period”), rather than by cash payments from us to American Express. Due to the SkyMiles Usage Period and other restrictions placed upon American Express regarding the timing and use of the SkyMiles, we classified the $1.0 billion prepayment we received as long-term debt.

In 2010, we amended our 2008 American Express agreement. The amendments, among other things, (1) provided that Cardholders could check their first bag for free on every Delta flight through June 2013 ("Baggage Fee Waiver Period"), (2) changed the SkyMiles Usage Period to a three-year period beginning in the December 2011 quarter from a two-year period beginning in December 2010 quarter and (3) gave American Express the option to extend our agreements with them for one year.

During the SkyMiles Usage Period, American Express was drawing down on the prepayment instead of paying cash to Delta for SkyMiles used. As SkyMiles are used by American Express, we recognized the two separate revenue components of these SkyMiles consistent with our accounting policy discussed in Note 1. In December 2013, we and American Express amended this agreement to allow American Express to use these SkyMiles immediately and without restriction. As a result, in the December 2013 quarter, the remaining $285 million of the original $1.0 billion pre-payment was classified as frequent flyer deferred revenue with a portion related to the marketing component recorded within other accrued liabilities.

Annual Sale of Unrestricted SkyMiles. In December 2011, we amended our American Express agreements to sell to American Express $675 million of unrestricted SkyMiles in each of the four years ending 2014. The December 2011 amendment also extends the Baggage Fee Waiver Period. The SkyMiles purchased pursuant to the December 2011 amendment may be used immediately by American Express. The usage of these SkyMiles is not restricted in any way. These annual purchases of SkyMiles are recorded as deferred revenue within current liabilities. The portion of each purchase of SkyMiles related to mileage credits redeemable for future travel are classified within frequent flyer deferred revenue and the portion related to the marketing component are classified within other accrued liabilities. The December 2011 amendment does not change the number of miles that we expect American Express to purchase from us over the four year period; it only impacts the timing of those purchases.

Fuel Card Obligation. In December 2011, we obtained a purchasing card with American Express for the purpose of buying jet fuel and crude oil. The card currently carries a maximum credit limit of $612 million and must be paid monthly. At December 31, 2013 and December 31, 2012, we had $602 million and $455 million, respectively, outstanding on this purchasing card, which was classified as fuel card obligation.