Delta Ends 72 Hour Award Cancellation Rule, Most Change Fees

Delta Ends 72 Hour Award Cancellation Rule, Most Change Fees

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Delta SkyMiles Has Eliminated its 72 Hour Award Cancellation Rule and Dropped Change and Redeposit Fees for many flights, effective 12/9/20.

Delta's change, which hasn't yet been reflected on its Web site, finally brings its SkyMiles frequent flyer program in line with United MileagePlus and American AAdvantage, which allow modification or redeposit of award tickets anytime up until departure.

Delta's unusual stance in not allowing awards to be changed or redeposited within the 72 hours prior to departure (forfeiting miles) has been the case for the better part of the last decade, a harsher penalty than any other major frequent flyer program; British Airways Executive Club, for example, just requires at least 24 hours' notice prior to flight departure in order to be able to redeposit miles. It was just one more reason to not value Delta SkyMiles much compared to other frequent flyer miles (thereby earning SkyMiles their derogatory moniker “Skypesos”).

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Delta Ends Change and Redeposit Fees for Some Awards

The other good news is that Delta has eliminated change and redeposit fees for many (although not all) award tickets:

  • Awards within the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, booked 8/21/20 or later
  • Awards originating from North America to anywhere in the world, booked 12/9/20 or later
  • Awards for travel within the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean, booked 12/9/20 or later

All other awards (for example SkyMiles awards that depart from outside North America) are still subject to a $150 fee to change or redeposit the award, unless the member is a Platinum or top-tier Diamond Medallion elite.

Keep in mind that an unintended consequence of providing greater flexibility and allowing changes/cancellation up until departure could be that there's more speculation, with members attempting to hold multiple awards and decide last minute which to keep.

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