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Delta Flight Change Same-Day & Standby Travel Rules: All you need to know

Delta Flight Change: Once you have selected “Start Delta Flight Change,” you can choose the flights you would like to change and view new flight options. The value of the original flight will be applied to the cost of the new ticket. You will see this credit reflected in the final price before you complete the change and view your confirmation.

There’s no charge for SkyMiles Medallion Gold elites and higher to request same-day confirmed or standby changes. You may change your ticket without paying a change fee, provided all fare and ticket rules are met and seats are available. If the ticket price has increased since your original purchase, you may need to pay the difference in price from your original fare to your new fare.

How to Change Your Flight: 

  • To change your flight, visit My Trips on, select the flight you wish to change and then click on “Modify Flight.”    
  • Choose “Start Flight Change” and select which flight you would like to change to search for a new flight.

How to Cancel Your Flight: 

  • To cancel your flight, visit My Trips on and click on “Modify Flight” then choose “Start Flight Cancellation.”
  • You may cancel your flight before departure and apply any unused value of the ticket toward the purchase of a new ticket for a period of one year from the original date of purchase.

Delta Reservations change fee: For flights originating outside of North America, Delta is currently waiving change fees under its COVID-19 travel waiver for all cabins except basic economy. While it’s not clear what reservation changes will cost when that policy ends, the fees for international flights previously ranged between $200-$500, and changes within 24 hours were $75.

A lot of people don’t realize that buying an airline ticket is, in effect, signing up to a contract whose terms are required by law to be readily available to passengers. Some kinds souls created a website that has links to a whole bunch of these, listed by the airline; see Airline Contracts of Carriage. (You may need to scrounge around individual airline Web sites to find exactly what you need.)

Here’s a quote from Delta’s Airlines domestic tariffs:

RULE 3: Delta Airlines Schedules and Operations

Delta will use its best efforts to carry the passenger and baggage with reasonable dispatch. Times shown in timetables or elsewhere are not guaranteed and form no part of this contract. Delta may without notice substitute alternate carriers or aircraft and may alter or omit stopping places shown on the ticket in case of necessity.

Schedules are subject to change without notice. Delta is not responsible or liable for making connections, or for failing to operate any flight according to schedule, or for changing the schedule or any flight.

It’s pretty clear that, for Delta’s domestic flights, your options are limited. However, their international tariffs (Contract of Carriage: International) are at least a little more encouraging. Open it up, then look for the separate rules cited in the following partial extract:

Rule 80: Delta Airlines Flight Delays/Cancellations

A. Flight Schedules are Not Guaranteed: Delta will exercise reasonable efforts to carry passengers and their baggage according to Delta’s published schedules and the schedule reflected on the passenger’s ticket, but published schedules, flight times, aircraft type, seat assignments, and similar details reflected in the ticket or Delta’s published schedules are not guaranteed and form no part of this contract.

Delta may substitute alternate carriers or aircraft, delay or cancel flights, change seat assignments, and alter or omit stopping places shown on the ticket at any time. Schedules are subject to change without notice.

Except as stated in this rule and as provided in Rule 55, Delta will have no liability for making connections, failing to operate any flight according to schedule, changing the schedule for any flight, changing seat assignments or aircraft types, or revising the routings by which Delta carries the passenger from the ticketed origin to destination.

B. Delta’s Liability in the Event of Schedule Changes, Delays and Flight Cancellations: In the event of flight cancellation, diversion, delays of greater than 90 minutes, or delays that will cause a passenger to miss connections, Delta will (at passenger’s request) cancel the remaining ticket and refund the unused portion of the ticket and unused ancillary fees in the original form of payment in accordance with Rule 90(b) of these conditions of carriage.

If the passenger does not request a refund and cancellation of the ticket, Delta will transport the passenger to the destination on Delta’s next flight on which seats are available in the class of service originally purchased.

At Delta’s sole discretion and if acceptable to the passenger, Delta may arrange for the passenger to travel on another carrier or via ground transportation. If acceptable to the passenger, Delta will provide transportation in a lower class of service, in which case the passenger may be entitled to a partial refund.

If space on the next available flight is available only in a higher class of service than purchased, Delta will transport the passenger on the flight, although Delta reserves the right to upgrade other passengers on the flight according to its upgrade priority policy to make space in the class of service originally purchased.

(In case the fact that Vancouver was involved has any bearing on the matter, here’s a link to their separate tariffs for Canada: Contract of Carriage: Canada)

Delta Airlines Standby Policy

As per Delta Airlines Official Website, you can only go standby on an earlier flight than your original ticket if the Same-Day Confirmed option is not available. The same-day standby fee is $75 but is complimentary for Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Medallion Members. However, the fee is only charged if you’re cleared to go on your requested flight. Also, you can only do this for flights within the United States, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands, and some tickets, such as Basic Economy, are ineligible for this.

Delta flight change Standby rules for same-day travel:

  • Same-day standby is only offered if same-day confirmation isn’t provided.
  • Silver Medallion associates, overall SkyMiles members, and non-members might fly same-day standby for a trip that is sooner than their first flight.
  • Diamond, Gold, and Platinum Medallion members might standby for a trip any time on precisely the same day as their flight.
  • No navigation adjustments are enabled.
  • Eligible same-day standby flights have to be on precisely the same day as the first flight, beginning at midnight of the same day to 11:59 pm the same day.
  • Change is only allowed depending on the original ticketed paid cottage. By way of instance, clients confirmed in the R.U. course may standby for flights at the Economy cabin.
  • Basic Economy fare (E) for flights flown on or after February 1, 2015, isn’t qualified for same-day aviation travel fluctuations.
  • You can use the same-day standby option for traveling within the USA, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands on Delta and Delta Connection flights.

Delta Airlines Rules to modify one-way flights on same day travel:

  • When you’ve got a flexible fare, then you could have the ability to modify your itinerary with no fee.
  • When you’ve got an Economy fare, then you may be rebooked at precisely the same fare class since your initial flight.
  • When you’ve got a premium cabin fare — such as Business Elite, First, and Business Class — you will earn a same-day confirmed shift so long as a chair can be found in the top cabin on the airport you want.
  • Award Tickets are qualified for same-day supported flight changes.
  • Origin, destination, or co-terminal (e.g., LGA to JFK) changes aren’t qualified for same-day supported flight changes.
  • Fundamental Economy cuisine (E) for flights flown on or after February 1, 2015, isn’t qualified for equal supported flight changes.

How to avoid Delta change and cancellation fees

While Delta has largely updated its change fee policy, fees still apply in many scenarios. As a reminder, here are some ways you can avoid Delta change and cancellation fees when booking your next flight:

  • Cancel within Delta’s 24-hour risk-free cancellation period. In fact, all airlines are subject to this rule as administered by the Department of Transportation. You can cancel your ticket within 24 hours.
  • Purchase a refundable fare. When searching for fares on Delta’s website, simply click “Refundable” to see a list of fares that are refundable for any reason. While these fares will cost you much more than nonrefundable tickets, they won’t incur any change or cancellation fees — which can sometimes cost more than the airfare itself.
  • Hold Delta elite status. Gold Medallion members and higher enjoy waived same-day change fees. Diamond and Platinum Medallion members enjoy waived change fees for award travel, which typically cost $150.
  • Watch out for schedule changes. As airline demand has changed dramatically over the past year, your flight may be rescheduled or even canceled. In the event of either happening, you may be eligible for complimentary flight change or cancellation. For tickets issued after Aug. 17, 2020, a delay of 120 minutes or more, a change in the routing of the original flight, equipment or a misconnect or an outright cancellation qualifies for waived fees. You’ll receive an email with options to change or cancel your flight.
  • Contact Delta customer service for any extenuating circumstances. While any other reasons aren’t posted on Delta’s website, you should contact customer service if you need to cancel for any extenuating circumstance.

Delta Flight Change Sources:

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