Delta expands change fees waiver to international flights

A Delta Air Lines employee handles a passenger's luggage while wearing goggle, gloves and face mask in the Domestic Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta , Monday, November 23, 2020.  (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)
A Delta Air Lines employee handles a passenger's luggage while wearing goggle, gloves and face mask in the Domestic Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta , Monday, November 23, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Airline earlier discontinued domestic change fees amid pandemic

Delta Air Lines says it will eliminate most change fees for international flights from North America, an expansion of an earlier move to discontinue most domestic change fees.

Atlanta-based Delta’s new policy comes as airlines struggle to attract customers back to the skies amid the coronavirus pandemic. Other airlines including United and American announced in recent months the elimination of most change fees on domestic flights and some short international flights. American last month announced the elimination of change fees on long international flights. Southwest Airlines, which operates mostly domestic flights and is the second-largest carrier in Atlanta, has a no change fee policy.

Delta said its permanent elimination of its $200 change fee for international travel originating in North America is effective immediately, including for flights operated by joint venture and codeshare partners like Air France, KLM, Aeromexico, WestJet, Virgin Atlantic, Korean Air and other airlines. Travelers who rebook flights may still need to pay for the difference in fare.

The change fee discontinuation does not apply to basic economy tickets, which are the least expensive and most restrictive option and do not allow changes even for a fee.

Delta said it will also extend its waiver of change fees for all tickets purchased through March 30, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The airline has also eliminated its $150 redeposit fee and 72-hour requirement to cancel an award ticket, and extended travel credits until December 2022 for travel booked before April 17, 2020.

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