SkyMiles Eliminates Domestic Award Change Fees, Extends More Perks

Filed Under: Delta

Delta SkyMiles has made some positive announcements today.

SkyMiles eliminates domestic award change fees

A few weeks ago we saw five major US airlines eliminate change fees on domestic tickets (at a minimum), including Alaska AirlinesAmerican AirlinesDelta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, and United Airlines.

Some airlines included award tickets for the waived change fee policies, while others didn’t. Delta was among the airlines that didn’t. Fortunately that has changed as of today.

Effective immediately, Delta SkyMiles has eliminated award ticket redeposit and reissue fees for travel within the US (including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands). Much like with revenue tickets, basic economy tickets are excluded from this new policy.

Previously Delta SkyMiles also had a pesky rule whereby you had to change or cancel a ticket at least 72 hours before departure, or else the award would be forfeited. That rule has been eliminated as well, so all that matters is that you cancel your award ticket before departure.

All of this is in addition to Delta’s blanket no change fee policy for tickets purchased through December 31, 2020, for both domestic and international travel. This means that even international award tickets can be redeposited for free for the time being.

Delta has eliminated change fees on domestic award tickets

SkyMiles extends more perks

Back in April it was announced that Delta SkyMiles Medallion status would be extended by a year, and now further SkyMiles member benefits will be extended. We’re now seeing further extensions of Delta SkyClub memberships, Delta SkyMiles Amex card benefits, and SkyMiles Select benefits.

All of these extensions will automatically be reflected by September 30, with no need for members to do anything.

Delta SkyClub membership extensions

  • Delta SkyClub Individual and Executive memberships active as of March 1, 2020 will now be extended to June 30, 2021
  • If a membership expires later than June 30, 2021 following the extension announced on April 5, 2020, that expiration date will remain the same
  • This does not include memberships or guest passes selected as a 2020 Choice Benefit, as those memberships were previously extended six months, through July 31, 2021
  • Diamond Medallion members can reselect a Delta SkyClub membership or guest pass as a 2021 Choice Benefit beginning on February 1, 2021 as part of the Medallion status extension announced on April 5, 2020

Delta SkyClub memberships are being extended

Delta SkyMiles Amex extensions

  • Delta SkyMiles Platinum and Reserve American Express card members with unused companion certificates as of September 1, 2020 or companion certificates issued September 1 to November 30, 2020 will receive an additional extension to book and travel using the companion certificate by December 31, 2021
  • Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express card members who earn a $100 Delta flight credit issued January 1 to November 30, 2020 will receive an extension to use the credit by December 31, 2021
  • Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express card members with unused Delta SkyClub one-time guest passes issued January 1 to November 30, 2020 will receive an extension to use by December 31, 2021

Delta companion certificates are being extended

Delta SkyMiles Select extensions

  • SkyMiles Select members already received a six-month extension to the priority boarding benefit and any unused drink vouchers; these members will receive an additional six-month extension to these benefits for a total extension of one year

Delta SkyMiles Select benefits are being extended

Bottom line

Delta SkyMiles is eliminating domestic award change fees, aligning policies on revenue and award tickets. Equally valuable is that the pesky 72-hour rule on canceling awards has been eliminated. This move makes sense, especially given that SkyMiles has increasingly become a revenue based currency, so it makes sense that there would be similar policies.

In addition to that, Delta is extending many SkyMiles perks, including those associated with lounge access and status.

What do you make of this latest announcement from Delta SkyMiles? 

  1. To me this makes Skymiles much more valuable – this has been my issue all along, that it’s $600 to change tickets for my family of 3!

  2. I’ve found over the last 6 months Delta has been willing to redeposit even BE awards(did one just yesterday) if you have any status with them at all. They’ve been very accommodating throughout the C19 situation.

  3. Nice change, on the other hand Platinum Medallion Status (which had this perk) gets devalued relatively. Now I just need to book a trip to HNL that doesn’t suck when it comes to redemption values…

  4. @Jan Yeah, I agree, this devalues status. While I think overall it is a good thing, it makes me less likely to try for Platinum/Diamond status next year. I probably cancelled award tickets at least 15-25 times per year (price went down, better routing, weather didn’t make the weekend trip worth it, etc). To me it was one of the biggest advantages of having status.

  5. I canceled award tickets a couple of weeks back with 48 hrs notice, and got the miles redeposited. Think they’re just making a policy they already had more public

  6. Delta still doesn’t get it. Why should I fly Delta this year? First-class domestic upgrades are impossible to get because gate agents are not clearing them and using social distance blocking as an excuse even when the cap hasn’t been reached. I have been on two dozen flights since May. All but three or four flights had seats in first-class and comfort-plus that should have been filled with passengers on the upgrade list but never were. Delta won’t provide any service except beer and wine on most flights. Not even coffee, let alone a meal on the longest, most premium transcontinental flights. Meanwhile, Delta’s competitors are offering value for money by providing service in first-class. Delta needs to up its game:

    1) 100% or 50% of 2020 MQDs should rollover.
    2) Bring back an official, published award chart.
    3) Allow regional upgrade certificates to be used for premium-economy.
    4) Bring back complimentary upgrades on the couple of routes where the highest class of service is premium-economy, like Minneapolis and New York to Iceland.
    5) Bring back around-the-world award-redemptions.

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