Domestic Award Ticket Change and Cancellation Fees Eliminated For All SkyMiles Members Permanently — Plus More

A slew of new and extended benefits for members of the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program were announced yesterday, Tuesday, September 22, 2020 from Delta Air Lines — including the extension of select benefits for members of the Delta SkyMiles American Express Card and members of Delta Sky Club; the permanent elimination of change fees and cancellation fees for domestic award tickets for all SkyMiles members; and no deadline of 72 hours prior to departure to change or cancel a domestic award tickets for all SkyMiles members.

Domestic Award Ticket Change and Cancellation Fees Eliminated For All SkyMiles Members Permanently — Plus More

Airbus A350-900 Delta Air Lines

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The following changes for travel within the United States — including Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands — are now in effect permanently on almost all tickets, with the exception of tickets purchased with Basic Economy fares:

  • Elimination of the redeposit fee of $150.00 to cancel an award ticket for all SkyMiles members.
  • Elimination of the reissue fee of $150.00 to change an award ticket for all SkyMiles members.
  • Allowing changes and cancellations on award tickets prior to departure for all SkyMiles members, as changes and cancellations which occur within 72 hours of departure will no longer result in the loss of SkyMiles on domestic award tickets.

Delta Sky Club Memberships Extended Yet Again

Delta Air Lines Sky Club Concourse B Atlanta airport

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Diamond and Platinum Medallion Members who selected Upgrade Certificates, Delta Sky Club Memberships, Delta Sky Club Guest Passes, or Delta Travel Vouchers or gave Medallion Status through Delta’s exclusive Choice Benefits for the 2020 Medallion Year will get to select new Choice Benefits starting on Feb. 1, 2021 (the start of the 2021 Medallion Year) or as they earn Medallion Status (like they normally would).

Additionally, SkyMiles Select  Members will receive an additional six-month extension to the benefits — including any unused drink vouchers.

No action is necessary on your part to enjoy the extensions of benefits, as they will occur automatically.

Select Benefits Extended Yet Again for Members of the Delta SkyMiles American Express Card

Delta Air Lines Comfort+ seat

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The following select benefits — which were issued to eligible members of the Delta SkyMiles American Express Card between Wednesday, January 1, 2020 and Monday, November 30, 2020 — will be extended through Friday, December 31, 2021 for members of the Delta SkyMiles:

  • Gold Card who earn a $100.00 flight credit with Delta Air Lines.
  • Platinum and Reserve Card with unused Companion Certificates.
  • Reserve Card with unused Delta Sky Club guest passes.

Flexibility Commitment

branded pillars boarding gate Delta Air Lines

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The elimination of change fees does not change the current policy of Delta Air Lines of allowing customers to use the remaining balance of their tickets toward future travel with Delta Air Lines — similar to the experience of receiving a store credit when exchanging an item for a less expensive one.

For customers with award tickets, miles will be redeposited into their SkyMiles membership accounts upon cancellation as is the current policy. For any changed award tickets, the difference in miles will be collected if the new ticket price is higher; or excess miles redeposited back to the SkyMiles membership account if the new ticket price is lower.

Delta Air Lines has consistently led other commercial airlines in providing flexibility and delivering a superior experience to customers, including:

Delta Air Lines Sky Club Concourse B Atlanta airport

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

When considering future travel, both SkyMiles members and all other customers can already take advantage of the greater flexibility and peace of mind that Delta Air Lines offers today:

Airbus A350-900 Delta Air Lines

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

You can also use your travel credits through December 2022 for travel originally scheduled to depart before March 31, 2021 — if the ticket was purchased before April 17, 2020.

Summary

Delta Air Lines has “one-upped” the lead of United Airlines — which was the first domestic airline in the United States to permanently eliminate change fees — by extending the policy for award tickets to domestic destinations within the United States.

Unfortunately, award tickets to international destinations remain unaffected at this time and will still incur fees if the itinerary is changed or cancelled.

Do not be surprised if other airlines follow suit…

All photographs ©2013, ©2016, and ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

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