How to change or cancel a Delta flight

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Under normal circumstances, Delta’s change/cancellation fees are some of the most expensive. But these times are anything but normal and Delta is waiving fees because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

You can now make plans without having to worry about extra fees if you need change them. We’ll review Delta’s current coronavirus waivers and the details of the airline’s standard change and cancellation policies. Plus, we’ve even got some tips on how you might avoid these fees altogether.

How to change or cancel a Delta flight

The process for changing or canceling a Delta flight is simple and is the same for flights paid with cash or miles. You can call (800-221-1212) or modify your flight online. If you receive a refund as an eCredit voucher, the voucher should appear in your account within 24 hours.

To make changes online, first log into your account, click on “Manage My Trips,” then “View Trip Details” next to the flight you want to change.

On the next page, click “Modify Flight,” which should be near the top of the page.

Then choose whether you’d like to change or cancel the trip.

For changes you’ll be able to select which flights you’d like to change on the next page and book the new tickets.

For cancellations you’ll go through a two-step process. On the next page click “cancel.”

Then you’ll have one last chance to go back before you click “cancel” again and finalize the cancellation.

Delta’s COVID-19 waivers

Delta’s change and cancellation policies apply during normal operations, but when weather or other unforeseen circumstances happen, the airline will issue travel waivers (you can see all the current Delta waivers here).

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Delta has waived change and cancellation fees for flights departing through Sept. 30, 2020. For canceled flights, you will receive an eCredit travel voucher (for the value of your flight). Vouchers issued through Sept. 30, and existing vouchers, will be valid through Sept. 30, 2022.

Also, any flight purchased from March 1 to May 31, 2020, can be canceled or changed with no fee for up to a year from when you booked the flight. If you booked a flight before April 17, 2020, you can change it and not pay any fare difference if you’re traveling to the same destination by Sept. 30, 2020. For all other flight changes you’ll have to pay for any price increase and if your new flight is cheaper, you’ll get a voucher for the difference.

If you book, or have booked, award travel that falls under these waivers you will pay no award redeposit fees for changes or cancellations.

Changing or canceling a paid Delta flight

Outside of limited-time travel waivers, these are Deta’s normal rules for changes and cancellations.

Changes and cancellations are not allowed on Basic Economy tickets. If you book a nonrefundable ticket, the cancellation fees start at $200 and go up from there depending on your itinerary. Once the fee is deducted you will receive an eCredit travel voucher that can be applied to future flights for up to one year from when the ticket was issued.

For refundable tickets you won’t ever be charged change or cancellation fees and you will be refunded to your original form of payment. Just be sure to cancel before the flight departs.

Changing or canceling a Delta award flight

The redeposit fee for award-ticket miles is $150 for all award flights. However, if you booked a Basic Economy ticket, changes and cancellations are not allowed. With Delta award tickets any changes/cancellations must be made at least 72 hours before departure. If you choose to change an award flight, you will have to pay any increase in price.

Same-day standby policies

On paid flights you could save by paying for a same-day flight change — the fee is $75. But you can only request a change up to 24 hours before departure and there are other restrictions. You are limited to switching to a flight on the same route departing on the same day. So you’ll need to keep the same origin and destination. You also aren’t able to change from a connecting flight to a nonstop flight.

If you have a high level of Delta status (Gold, Platinum or Diamond Medallion), the $75 fee is waived. Same-day changes are only available on flights within the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

How to avoid Delta’s change or cancellation fees

All changes or cancellations made within 24 hours of booking are free. Other than special waivers, like we have now, there are a few ways you will be able to get change or cancellation fees waived.

  • Flight cancellation or change – If Delta cancels the flight or changes the schedule by more than 90+ minutes, you can cancel or change for free.
  • Elite status — With Platinum Medallion or Diamond Medallion status, award change/cancellation fees are waived.
  • Special circumstances – If you have a death in the family or military orders, you can get these fees waived, but you’ll most likely need to send in supporting documentation.

You also might be able to get reimbursed for a change or cancellation fee if it’s a benefit of your travel credit card. There aren’t any Delta credit cards that reimburse these fees, but there are other consumer American Express cards and Amex business cards that can save you on fees. The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express both come with up to $200 in annual airline-fee credits for your selected airline, which can be Delta.

Bottom line

Usually, you’ll need to pay a hefty fee to change or cancel a Delta flight. These fees start at $200 for domestic travel and go up to $500 for some international flights. Award flights are a bit more simple and it costs a flat $150 to get your miles redeposited.

Two things to remember are that you aren’t able to change or cancel Basic Economy tickets (paid or award flights) and if you change a flight, you will need to pay the difference if the new ticket is more expensive.

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Featured photo by Philip Pilosian/Shutterstock.

Jason Stauffer is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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