Delta is following American’s lead… for once.
Delta eliminates international change fees
This spring we saw US airlines introduce temporary change fee waivers, in light of everything going on. Then we saw US airlines largely permanently eliminate change fees for domestic US flights. Now we’re seeing airlines permanently eliminate change fees for international tickets as well.
Effective immediately, Delta Air Lines is eliminating change fees for all international tickets (including on joint venture and codeshare partners), as long as travel originates in North America. This includes Delta SkyMiles award tickets, and the 72-hour advance cancelation policy has even been eliminated. The one exception is basic economy tickets, where this policy doesn’t apply.
With this new policy, Delta no longer has change fees for any tickets originating in North America (Delta permanently eliminated domestic change fees back in August).
When passengers take advantage of the no change fee policy, they’ll be able to keep the full value of eligible tickets if they change their travel plans. Any fare differences will still apply if the flight you change to is more expensive (meanwhile if the flight you change to is less expensive, you’ll get a credit for the difference).
As Delta CEO Ed Bastian describes this move:
“No year has better demonstrated the value of flexibility than this one. Our approach has always been to put people first, which is why we’re extending our current change fee waiver and making lasting changes to our practices, so customers have the trust and confidence they need long after the pandemic ends.”
Global waiver extended through March 31, 2021
In addition to permanently eliminating change fees on domestic and international tickets originating in North America, Delta has also extended its global travel waiver.
Delta is waiving change fees for all US domestic and international tickets purchased through March 31, 2021. This even applies for travel on subsequent dates, and also applies to basic economy tickets.
Delta is now permanently waiving change fees on all non-basic economy tickets originating in North America (and through March 31, 2021, even basic economy tickets have waived change fees).
This is a fantastic change to see, though for once American deserves credit for innovating, because Delta is following American’s lead here.
At this point United has by far the weakest policy of the “big three” US airlines. While United was the first to eliminate domestic change fees, the policy is punitive (you forfeit your ticket credit if you book a less expensive ticket, unlike at American and Delta), and the airline hasn’t eliminated international change fees yet.
What do you make of Delta permanently eliminating international change fees?