Delta will stop accepting cash on board

Delta Air Lines will soon tell its domestic passengers in flight that their cash is no longer welcome there.

Atlanta-based Delta said it will accept only credit cards for on-board food and alcoholic drink purchases starting Dec. 1 on North America flights operated by Delta and its merger partner Northwest.

There are some exceptions: Delta will still take cash and credit on international flights; and it does not accept credit cards on Delta Connection flights on its regional carrier partners such as Atlantic Southeast Airlines.

With the move, Delta joins many other airlines that have gone to "cashless cabins" -- including AirTran Airways, American and United.

For in-flight food and beverage purchases, Delta flight attendants use hand-held credit card readers. The airline recently added the devices to aircraft it acquired with Northwest.

The change to cashless comes as many consumers are trying to cut back on their use of credit cards. But Delta said in a message to customers that the move helps to "expedite our onboard payment process."

Delta spokesman Paul Skrbec said it will mean increased "convenience and speed of transaction" for customers.

Accepting only credit cards also allows airlines to cut the need for flight attendants to handle and account for cash collected from passengers.

But what about passengers without credit cards, like children?

Skrbec said children flying with Delta's unaccompanied minors program, which costs an extra $100 each way, can get complimentary snacks.