Delta Air Lines Eliminates Change Fees Permanently — But…
…but Delta Air Lines strangely threw a curve ball by not eliminating fees for standing by for a different flight on the same day of travel or confirming a change in flight on the same day of travel.
Also, the exception to the elimination of change fees is that passengers who purchase a Basic Economy ticket will still be required to pay a change fee of $200.00 for each change which is implemented.
Additionally, the waiver for new tickets issued through Thursday, December 31, 2020 is being extended by Delta Air Lines to permit unlimited changes to tickets with no fee, which applies to all ticket types — including Basic Economy fares — and it is valid for both domestic and international travel.
Furthermore, the expiration on travel credits for tickets which were booked before Friday, April 17, 2020 will be extended through December of 2022.
“We’ve said before that we need to approach flexibility differently than this industry has in the past, and today’s announcement builds on that promise to ensure we’re offering industry-leading flexibility, space and care to our customers,” Ed Bastian — who is the current chief executive officer of Delta Air Lines — said. “We want our customers to book and travel with peace of mind, knowing that we’ll continue evaluating our policies to maintain the high standard of flexibility they expect.”
At Delta’s Investor Day in December 2019, the airline shared its intent to overhaul its change fee structure, delivering the flexibility and simplicity customers are looking for. Since then, Delta has put its full focus into taking care of customers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including implementing a waiver to eliminate change fees in March 2020. Delta is now doubling down on its mission to make it easier for customers to book, change or cancel their travel plans by making this policy permanent for tickets purchased for travel within the U.S.
…but to the credit of Delta Air Lines, the airline has done a good job overall of doing whatever is possible to ensure that its customers have as much flexibility as possible during the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic — including but not limited to:
The elimination of change fees is not new in the commercial airline industry in the United States, however, as Southwest Airlines does not charge change fees to its customers as well.
I enjoyed both standby status and complimentary same-day status whenever I have earned elite status on an airline — and I applaud both Delta Air Lines and American Airlines in joining United Airlines for relaxing these policies for their customers…
…but I had always thought that change fees were about the closest thing to pure profit for an airline; and I am glad that change fees have been eliminated by all three legacy airlines in the United States, as that further distinguishes them from the ultra-low-cost airlines.