Sometimes plans change and you are forced to cancel a flight that you had been looking forward to for months. If you’ve ever been in a position where you needed to cancel a flight, you know the process can be both expensive and complicated.
If you happened to book your flight with Delta Air Lines and need to cancel, you’re in the right place! Here’s all the information you need to navigate its 2021 cancellation policy and determine what policies apply to your situation.
Cancellation Policies Due to COVID-19 (Read First)
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta Air Lines is waiving all change fees for tickets purchased before April 17, 2020, for travel between March 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021, and you will have until December 31, 2022, to rebook.
For tickets purchased in 2021, all change fees and award redeposit fees have been permanently eliminated for travel originating from North America and the Caribbean (excluding Basic Economy fares after April 30, 2021). Award tickets for travel in the U.S. can also be canceled or changed at any time prior to departure. If you choose to cancel your ticket that expired or was purchased in 2021, the unused value may be used toward the purchase of a new ticket by December 31, 2022, and any fare difference may apply.
View the full policy here. If you booked via a third party, refer to your booking provider for its policies.
With cancellation policies due to COVID-19 being ever-changing, for the most up-to-date policies across all airlines, please refer to our COVID-19 Airline Cancellations article.
Delta’s Cancellation Policy: Flights Paid With Cash or Points
|Time Period||Basic Economy||Non-Refundable Tickets With Travel Originating from North America (Excluding Basic Economy)||Non-Refundable Tickets With Travel Originating Outside of North America||Refundable /Flex Tickets|
|During 24-hour risk-free cancellation period||No Charge||No Charge||No Charge||No Charge|
|After 24-hour risk-free cancellation period||Not permitted||No Charge||Remaining value minus $0 to $500 cancellation fee||Refundable|
|Within 24 hours of flight departure||Not permitted||No Charge||Remaining value minus $0 to $500 cancellation fee||Refundable|
All customers will have 24 hours from the time of the original booking to cancel a reservation without being charged a cancellation fee, regardless of fare selected.
Basic Economy Tickets
If you’ve purchased a basic economy ticket, you have 24 hours from the time the ticket purchased was placed to cancel. Afterward, you will no longer be permitted to cancel your ticket and will be on the hook for the full amount.
Non-Refundable Ticket With Travel Originating From North America
For Delta tickets purchased after December 9, 2020, cancellation fees are not applicable for travel originating from North America to anywhere in the world. Flights operated by joint venture and codeshare partners are included.
After canceling your ticket, the value of your fare will be refunded to you as an eCredit that you can redeem on a future flight with Delta within 1 year from the original issue date; any fare difference may apply.
Non-Refundable Ticket With Travel Originating Outside of North America
After your 24-hour grace period, the cancellation fee for a non-refundable ticket can range from $0 to $500 depending on the location you’re traveling to.
Ticket cancellation fees for flights originating from outside of North America range from $200 to $500; the fee depends on the length of the flight, location, and type of fare).
After canceling your ticket, the remaining value of your fare (minus the cancellation fee) will be refunded to you as an eCredit that you can redeem on a future flight with Delta within 1 year from the original issue date; any fare difference may apply.
If you shelled out the extra cash to purchase a refundable ticket, cancellations can be made anytime before the departure of your flight and the refund will be issued to your original payment method.
Delta SkyMiles award tickets for travel within the U.S. can be canceled without fee any time prior to departure.
For award tickets that originate outside of the U.S., cancellations must be made at least 72 hours in advance of the departure or return of the flight. Award ticket cancellation fees are a flat fee of $150 regardless of fare class or destination, but the fee is waived if you’re a SkyMiles Platinum or Diamond Medallion member.
After canceling your ticket and paying the $150 cancellation fee, all of the miles that you used to book the flight will be deposited back into your account.
Hot Tip: Looking for even more information about canceling award tickets? Explore our guide on canceling award tickets, including information on over 30 carriers, to learn more.
Delta’s Flight Change Policy
As with cancellations, all customers will have 24 hours from the time of their original booking to change their reservation without being charged a fee, regardless of fare selected.
|Time Period||Basic Economy||Non-Refundable Tickets ||Refundable /Flex Tickets|
|During 24-hour risk-free cancellation period||No Charge + fare difference||No Charge + fare difference||No Charge + fare difference|
|After 24-hour risk-free cancellation period||Not permitted||No Charge + fare difference||No Charge + fare difference|
|Within 24 hours of flight departure||Not permitted||From $75 when available||From $75 when available|
If you’ve purchased a basic economy ticket you are not permitted to make any changes to your flight itinerary after the 24-hour grace period has passed.
Delta no longer charges change fees for domestic and international tickets purchased or for travel (excluding Basic Economy after April 30, 2021).
Same-day flight change fees are $75. The same-day change fee is waived for all Delta SkyMiles Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Medallions members. Same-day changes are only eligible on flights in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands.
If you’re changing your flight because you’ve found a cheaper option, the remaining value of your fare (minus the change fee) will be refunded to you as an eCredit that you can redeem on a future flight with Delta.
With a refundable ticket, changes can be made anytime until 24 hours before the departure of your flight and there is no fee to do so — all you will need to pay is the difference in price. If you’re changing to a cheaper flight, the difference in fare will be refunded to your original method of payment.
Delta does not charge change fees for award tickets.
How to Cancel a Flight on Delta
Step 1: Log into your account on Delta’s homepage and select “My Trips.”
Step 2: Once you’ve selected the trip you want to change or cancel, select “Modify Flight.”
Step 3: Chose to either change or cancel your flight.
Step 4: If you’re changing your ticket you can now go through the process of selecting a new flight. If you’re canceling your ticket, the next page will list the flight itinerary you want to cancel. To finalize, you just need to press “cancel” or “request refund” depending on your type of ticket.
How to Use Delta Travel eCredit
If you have eCredits in your account they can be viewed by logging in at delta.com with your SkyMiles number. Go to “My Delta” and open the Certificates and eCredits module within “My Wallet.”
When you’re ready to redeem your eCredits, simply book a flight as you normally would as the option to redeem your eCredits will be presented when you’re ready to finalize the transaction. The maximum number of eCredits allowed with the purchase is 3 per ticket. Keep in mind that each eCredit must be used within 1 year of the date you received it.
Hot Tip: Have more than 3 eCredits that you want to use for your round-trip ticket? Split that round-trip ticket into 2 one-way trips and you can use 3 eCredits on the first ticket and another 3 on your return trip!
In summary, if you’re worried that you may need to cancel your flight and want to make sure you can get a refund, flex or refundable fares are going to be your best, albeit more expensive, option.
Having to deal with canceling a flight can be difficult enough as it is, but knowledge is power. Be certain to review fare rules closely so that you know what your options are both at the time of booking, and if you end up needing to cancel.