My Experience Getting Out of Delta Flight Change Fees

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

A couple weeks ago I booked a one-way domestic flight on for $152. A week later my plans changed and I had to go a day earlier. Unfortunately, that meant I would essentially lose out on all but $2 of my original ticket since Delta charges a $150 change fee plus fare difference on domestic flights. If I simply didn’t show up for my flight, I’d automatically get an e-credit for $2 for future use on a domestic flight. Bummer.

I decided to just book a brand new ticket, because if the weather ended up being terrible on my originally scheduled day of departure, there’s a chance I would be able to get a refund (or change) for free, so there was no reason to cancel in advance. This is what I recommend to people who have award tickets they want to cancel – if you don’t need the miles right away, you might as well wait and see if there’s a significant schedule change or weather event that could allow you to get free changes (just note on Delta that you must make all changes more than 72 hours prior to departure on award tickets).

However, when I was viewing my reservation on -> Travel Information -> Itineraries & Check-in, I noticed a button that I couldn’t help clicking: “Request Refund”.

Request a refund…why not?

It brought me to this page, which allows you to enter your name and confirmation number and then enter in a reason for requesting a refund. I simply put “Other” and in the comments box “Needed new flight”. Ambiguous. Yes, but true.

I didn’t actually expect to get a refund, but it never hurts to try! Lo and behold, I get this email two days later:

“Dear Mr. Kelly,

 RE: Case Number XXXXX

 Thank you for contacting us regarding a refund of ticket 006 XXXXXX. We appreciate the opportunity to review your request.

We processed a refund in the amount of $152.00 on October 18, 2012.

For credit card purchases, we generally transmit our credit instructions to the credit card processing company within one business day of the date the refund is processed. However, it can take up to 2 billing cycles for the credit card issuer to show this credit on your statement. The refund was issued to a American Express credit card with an account ending in XXXX. Please refer to your issuing bank for further details regarding account posting.

 You may check the status of your refund via one of the following options:

 Online: and ‘Check My Refund Status’

Phone: 800-847-0578 within the U.S. and Canada

404-715-5417 outside the U.S. and Canada or in the Atlanta area

 Your business is valued and very important to us. We hope you will continue to choose Delta Air Lines, our SkyTeam partners, and our Delta Connection Carriers for your future air travel needs.”

So instead of simply letting $150 evaporate into thin air, I got it back by simply asking. I’m not guaranteeing this method will work for you, but it can’t hurt to try!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply Now
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named a 'Best Credit Card' for Travel Rewards by MONEY Magazine
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Sleek metal card design
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • $0 foreign transaction fees, plus chip-enabled for enhanced security and wider acceptance when used at a chip card reader
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value — that means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
  • Travel confidently with premium Travel Protection Benefits, including Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Trip Delay Reimbursement and more
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Balance Transfer Credit Rating
N/A 16.24%-23.24% Variable Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95 See Terms Excellent Credit