Delta Backpedals On Some Same Day Confirmed Changes

Jul 23, 2013

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In April, Delta seriously hacked away at the ability to do Same Day Confirmed flight changes, mandating that your originally purchased fare class must be available in order to switch to another flight on your day of departure. They spun this as an enhancement because they opened up the window to change your flight to any flight on your day of departure vs. just within 3 hours before or after. However, the $50 fee still applied to Gold/Platinum/Diamond Medallions who wanted to change outside of that 3 hour window- so clearly the move was a revenue play for Delta.

My biggest gripe was the fare class restriction, which greatly reduced the chance for me to Same Day Confirmed since I usually fly on discounted economy fares. In the past, as long as Delta was selling a single coach or first class seat, you could confirm into that cabin within the 3 hour window. Under the new rules, you could still standby for a seat ($50 for Silver Medallion and non-elites)or if you wanted to confirm and your fare class was not available, you’d have to rebook into an available class, usually at a $150 change fee plus re-fare.
Same Day Changes

Now, they are allowing Gold and higher Medallions to confirm onto a flight within 24 hours of departure. However, the fare class requirement still stands, which is a major bummer in my opinion. I’d rather have the option to pay $50 to Same Day Confirm within 24 hours under the old rules (as long as there is any availability in your cabin) than having the fee waived, but having to switch into your same fare class.

Per Delta’s rep on Flyertalk:

“The same booking class (e.g. Q, K, L or U) still needs to be available for same-day confirmed changes, but we are making some modifications to give you more flexibility:

  1. Effective immediately, we will waive the $50 same-day confirmed fee for Diamond, Platinum and Gold Medallion members. This change increases the number of free options available for same-day travel changes.
  2. By late August, you will also be able to request a same-day change up to 24 hours before your original flight departure time, rather than only on your day of departure. This will better align with existing check-in reminders and make it more convenient for you.
    You can find more information at later this morning when we update the related pages.

Diamond, Platinum and Gold Medallion members may continue to stand by free of charge on your original day of departure. We also continue to offer $50 same-day confirmed and standby options for Silver Medallion members, general SkyMiles members and non-members.”

It looks like Delta is listening to their customers, so I encourage every flyer, not just on Delta, to let your airline know when you are unhappy with changes. This change is certainly a step in the right direction and hopefully Delta will loosen up the new Medallion Qualifying Dollars program once their customers, even high-value customers, realize how that program requires everyone to jump through more hoops, but doesn’t actually provide any new value to the consumer.

To be fair, even with these new rules, Delta is in line or better than their main competitors. United allows flight changes within 24 hours of departure as long as the same fare class is available and American charges everyone $75 (even Executive Platinum members!) for changes within 12 hours of departure, though the availability is based on internal AA numbers and only phone reps can tell you if a change is possible.

Have you been positively or negatively affected by Delta’s recent Same Day Confirmed changes?

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