During the pandemic, we saw most major airlines in the United States eliminate change fees on a majority of fares, giving travelers lots more flexibility. The catch is that the ticket credits issued from canceled tickets do have expiration dates, and for some airlines, those expiration dates are coming up for travel from the start of the pandemic.
Fortunately Delta Air Lines has just announced an initiative that leads the US airline industry when it comes to the validity of vouchers.
Delta extends eCredits through end of 2023
As of January 12, 2022, all outstanding Delta eCredits will be extended through December 31, 2023. This represents a further one year extension compared to the previous expiration. The same expiration will apply for any new tickets booked in 2022.
This means that if you cancel any eligible ticket that was initially booked between the start of the pandemic and December 31, 2022, the eCredit will now be valid through December 31, 2023. That end of 2023 timeline is also only the date by which you have to book, meaning that you could use a voucher for travel in 2024.
It will take a while for Delta to update the expiration date of eCredits, so don’t be worried if you still show an expiration date of December 31, 2022. These vouchers can be redeemed directly online, by going through delta.com/redeem.
Here’s how Allison Ausband, Delta’s Chief Customer Experience Officer, describes this move:
“We want to ensure our customers enjoy peace of mind when booking or rebooking their Delta trips this year. This leading extension provides more time for customers to use their travel credits, so they can book with complete confidence that Delta has their back even when moments arise out of their control.”
Delta is leading the industry here
Delta deserves to be commended for this extension of ticket credits, as the Atlanta-based carrier is doing the ethical thing. It’s my understanding that the airline has well over a billion dollars in outstanding ticket credits, so as much as I’m sure any airline would be tempted to get as many vouchers as possible to expire, that’s not what Delta is doing.
How does Delta’s policy compare to those of other major carriers in the United States, which also made ticket credits more flexible during the pandemic?
- American Airlines ticket credits that were issued in 2020 expire on March 31, 2022, while ticket credits issued now are valid for one year
- Southwest Airlines ticket credits that were issued in 2020 expire on September 7, 2022, while ticket credits issued now are valid for one year
- United Airlines ticket credits that were issued in 2020 expire on December 31, 2022, while ticket credits issued now are valid for one year
Delta is by far being the most generous here, both for previously booked tickets and for newly booked tickets.
Delta has just extended all ticket eCredits issued during the pandemic through December 31, 2023. That’s only the date by which you have to ticket a reservation, meaning you could travel all the way into 2024. This same policy applies for tickets issued in 2022, meaning travelers are getting more flexibility for newly booked tickets as well.
This is a very generous policy, especially when you consider that rival carriers haven’t extended vouchers nearly as long. I hope we see other major US carriers match (though I wouldn’t hold my breath).
What do you make of Delta extending ticket vouchers through the end of 2023?