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Delta Air Lines Coronavirus Flight Cancelations And Changes

Last updated: January 12,2023
Originally Published: June 22,2020
by Rosen Valchev

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Are you unsure how to handle your Delta Air Lines coronavirus flight cancelations or changes? In this post, we will discuss what you can do to get the maximum out of your COVID-19 driven travel plan change.

Like all major airlines, Delta has been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In March Delta announced they are cutting 70% of their seat capacity and 80% of their international flights.

If you want to cancel or change your Delta flight in normal circumstances you could incur a significant fee. However, due to the Coronavirus outbreak, Delta had to make room for exceptions and policy adjustments. 

Delta Coronavirus Flight Change and Cancelation Policy

All airlines had to adjust their policy and change their plans for 2020 because of the pandemic. Delta Air Lines is no exception to the rule. At the beginning of the pandemic, Delta had a pretty restrictive policy.

However, because of the evolving situation and some government enforcements the airline had to eventually provide its customers with more flexibility.

Delta has waived their change and cancelation fees and Award redeposit fees for domestic and international travel affected by COVID-19. To be eligible for the fee waiver your ticket purchase date must be on or before April 17, 2020.

The Flights that are eligible are departing from March 2020 all the way through March 2021

The same fee waiver applies to tickets bought March 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

However, you should bear in mind that the fee waiver is valid only for a single rebooking. So don’t rush. If you are not sure where your next destination will be it is better to just cancel the flight. Delta will issue an eCredit for the full amount which you can use towards a future flight.
Your next trip should take place on or before December 30, 2022, so you have plenty of time to reschedule your flight. The good news is Delta gives the option to change your destination city so you have flexibility.

Despite that, if your new flight is more expensive you should pay for the difference.

Let’s suppose you booked a flight with Delta for March 16, 2020. You canceled it for an obvious reason – the lockdown began. However, if you fly to the same destination with Delta before September 30, 2020, they will not only waive the change fee but also cover the fare difference.

Again on the bright side if your new ticket has a lower price, regardless when you travel Delta will issue the difference in the form of an eCredit.

Slightly different and more restrictive rules apply to tickets bought between March 1, 2020, and December 30, 2020. These tickets are still free of fees. However, you only have one year from the ticket purchase date to use its value for a future flight.

As things as changing on a daily basis, we recommend you check Delta’s travel updates page for the most up to date information. 

In spite of these great coronavirus policy amendments, you can still be in a situation where you are not able to take advantage of these fee waivers. So let’s take a look at Delta’s usual cancelation and change policy.

Delta Cash Tickets Change or Cancelation

Delta has 3 different types of tickets – Basic Economy, Nonrefundable and Refundable.

Basic economy tickets can’t be canceled or changed. Refundable tickets, of course, can be canceled and change at any time before the flight departs.

However, the majority of bought and issued tickets are Nonrefundable. If you want to cancel or change a domestic Nonrefundable ticket you would have to pay a $200 fee.

For international fares, the fee is between $200 and $500 depending on the destination and the price difference if you want to rebook. Here are the steps to change the flight through Delta’s website:

Delta Non Refundable Ticket Delta Air Lines Coronavirus Flight Cancelations

If you want to cancel your flight the first two steps are identical. Then on the third step instead of selecting “Modify Flight” you should choose “Cancel Flight” and follow the process.

It’s important to know that if you booked your flight through a third-party you should contact them to cancel or change your flight. Most travel agents and online travel agencies like Expedia and Kayak have aligned their policies with the airlines’.

That includes the coronavirus fee waivers. Nevertheless, there could be additional charges ranging between $25 and $100 to cancel or change your flight through a third party.

Credit Points Ticket Change and Cancelation

Credit card travel portals are considered “third party” as well.  So if you booked your ticket through Amex Travel, City ThankYou, or Chase Ultimate Rewards, for most airlines you should contact your banking institution to cancel the flight.

If you booked a Delta ticket, however, you are in a favorable position. Amex Travel And Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal let customers covered by the COVID-19 travel waiver to cancel or change their flight directly on the airline’s website.

Still, if you are having trouble changing or canceling your flight online you can always call your bank for further assistance. If you don’t qualify for the COVID-19 fee waiver all rules and fees from above apply.

Delta SkyMiles Award Tickets Change or Cancelation

If you want to cancel or change an Award ticket that is not covered by the coronavirus policy update you are still subject to some restrictions and fees.

Even if your Basic Economy ticket is booked with SkyMiles points you still can’t cancel or change it. For all other changes or cancelations, a $150 fee applies, both for domestic and international fares.

The exception here is for Delta’s top tier elite status Diamond and Platinum members who don’t have to pay the $150 fee.  If you want to know more you can check our post about Delta’s Medallion Program.

Despite that, everyone (even top tier members) should cancel their Award flight 72 hours before departure which is not very convenient.

Once you cancel or change your ticket and pay the fee (if there is any) your SkyMiles will be redeposited back into your online account. 

Also if you are a regular traveler it may be worth checking some of these airline card offers by Delta and other big-name airlines.

Can I get a refund instead of an eCredit?

Getting an eCredit for the full value of your ticket without having to pay a hefty fee is great. But is there any way you can get your money back? After all, you may want to fly with another airline or get your money back to cover some expenses.

Actually there are instances where you can get a financial refund even for Nonrefundable tickets.

For example, if you cancel your flight within 24 hours of booking. However, you can take advantage of the 24 hour grace period only if your departure is at least 48 hours after booking.

There are also some special events when you can get a refund. If you receive military orders or your travel companion passes away before departure you can get your money back.

Above all, if Delta changes its schedule with more than 90-minutes or if they cancel a flight you are entitled to a full financial refund by LAW. Most airlines, Delta included will try to sneak you a voucher or eCredit.

If you accept it you LOSE your right to receive a refund. Airlines are having a tough time and they don’t want to refund the money they’ve already charged. If you want to support them you can accept the eCredit.

However, you don’t have to.  So once again, if you want to receive a refund if an airline cancels or significantly changes your flight, you can get it.

How To Contact Delta Air Lines

You can always reach out to Delta and inquire about a new or existing booking on their Reservations department number at 800-221-1212. Additionally, if you are a SkyMiles member you can call 800-323-2323 for prioritized service.

Delta is not widely on social media. They only have Facebook and Twitter accounts. However, they have developed an app that features a live chat service so you can get in touch without even picking up the phone.

Delta App Delta Air Lines Coronavirus Flight Cancelations

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