Delta Air Lines said it is waiving change fees for all domestic travel through April 30 and for international travel through May 31, 2020. (AJC file photo)
Photo: AJC
Photo: AJC

Coronavirus update: Delta waives change fees

If you need to change your travel plans due to the coronavirus, it may be a little less costly to do so.

Delta Air Lines said it is waiving change fees for all domestic and international travel through May 31.

That’s an expansion and extension from the initial policy applying to only international travel in the month of March.

You can change plans without paying certain fees, or cancel your ticket and get a credit for a future flight. 

Delta’s customer service phone lines and website have been overloaded with travelers trying to change their plans. It is advising customers to not contact the airline if they are not traveling within 72 hours.

If you can’t reach Delta in time and do not take your flight, the ticket will automatically become an eCredit for future travel.

Delta is also waiving change fees for all tickets purchased between March 1 and April 15, as travelers become skittish about flying overseas amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The move comes as domestic travel and international travel are both taking a hit from the coronavirus. Companies are putting limits on business travel and some meetings and conferences have been canceled.

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The airline said the move was in response to customers’ questions about the outbreak of COVID-19, or coronavirus, “and the possibility of further government travel restrictions.”

The change fee waiver now applies to all domestic and international flights booked between March 1 an April 15 and depart between March 1, 2020 and March 12, 2021. 

Atlanta-based Delta said the waiver allows travelers to make a change to their itinerary without paying a change fee.

Other airlines have made similar moves.

The moves signal that airlines want to allow travelers to cancel plans and are concerned about the steep drop in bookings and want to encourage travelers to continue to plan trips by allowing them flexibility to change plans later.

Delta already has suspended flights to much of Asia, Europe and Latin America and said it will cut 70% of its flights.

The U.S. Department of State has issued travel warnings for several countries, including a “do not travel” advisory for all of China. It also has issued “do not travel” advisories for parts of South Korea and Italy.
Americans returning from China are screened by U.S. health authorities and have been asked to self-quarantine in their homes for 14 days.

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About the Author

Kelly Yamanouchi
Kelly Yamanouchi
Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.