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Delta Backpedals On Some Same Day Confirmed Changes

by on July 23, 2013 · 11 comments

in Delta

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 delta.com/samedaytravel later this morning when we update the related delta.com 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.”

Conclusion
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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  • Done With Delta

    Someone needs to explain to Delta that loyalty is a two way street. When you’ve been loyal and accrue miles only to find Delta’s award availability to be offensively difficult to book at a low level. And now with this new, condescending, lack of flexibility for us “lowly but loyal” Silvers – I am happy that I have moved over to American this year. (I am lucky as I live in NYC and have a choice).

  • http://www.comediandan.com/ Dan Nainan

    At first, I was reluctant to try any same-day changes because of Delta’s policy change. However, I finally did, and I’ve been very pleasantly surprised with what transpired. I’ve been able to make the changes with no problems and even change airports (DCA instead of BWI, LGA instead of JFK, etc.).

    I found that if you make the three-hour change, let’s say from 8 PM to 5 PM, then you can make another change, from 5 PM to 2 PM. This new lifting of restrictions will make it even better, so I’m pretty excited for August.

    Thank you so much as always, TPG, for keeping us informed.

  • sfobuddy

    Again, Diamonds should not be lumped into the same category as everyone else, when is DL gonna get that? Perhaps next year’s revenue-based model is going to change things.

  • SFOPhD

    AA allows changes within 24 hours, not 12. Also, the fare class is N, viewable on expertflyer.com, not just known through phone reps.

  • ian twinn

    As a diamond medallion flyer this has at a stroke taken away the main benefit of flying with Delta. I’m for the first time in years considering reducing my status with Delta in favor of mid-level status with multiple airlines.

  • Babatunde Thomas

    Delta is rewarding only themselves this time. Greedy. I was looking forward to getting to Platinum Medallion status & liked the same-day confirmed of being a Gold Medallion member. Due to the new change I get NO benefit. I’m put on standby so Delta can sell seats to the highest bidder & someone that buys one flight per year at a higher “class” for that flight has better bargaining power to get on a flight confirmed than me being loyal & haven given Delta a lot of money. Even if I get confirmed on standby they say (physical & phone reps) that my bags go on my original flight so I have to wait around hours often for them if I can wait. They used to say due to TSA rules that they couldn’t separate me from my bags but so much for security as well. It’s all about more money in Delta’s pockets these days. NO 2-way street.

  • Babatunde Thomas

    Delta’s reps also say if you go standby it has to be for the original routing so your bags go on your route. They don’t care if they get to your final destination at a different time than you. Just that they get there.

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  • Jerry Butler

    Jerry Butler – 2.8 MM Diamond Delta Flyer
    This change to “Same Day Confirm” is the worst modification I can imagine to Delta’s FF Program. I have always been a strong supporter of Delta and traveled 176,000 miles on Delta last year in the USA alone. I use the “Same Day Confirm” regularly and need it to run my business. I am so disappointed with Delta and for the first time in 25 years may look to other airlines.

  • Lou

    Still happy with Delta…
    I’ve had multiple changes and all have come off without a hitch. I find the ‘new’ Delta…since Anderson took over…to be Sooooo much better than the Mullin days. And they are upgrading equipment although it seems i’m often on the flight with no entertainment. I get a good bit of upgrades – usually at the gate – but nice to get. Just flew to Africa and they upgraded me AND my wife to economy comfort even though she was flying FF miles…and it was a full flight.

  • ex-Diamond Member

    I have been a Diamond Medallion member for the past 5 years, but decided after Delta keeps taking away benefits to finally leave Delta. The 3 hour same day change is the only good benefit left on Delta since Delta has less and less award availability plus they don’t even provide any decent upgrade certificates for their most loyal customers. Taking away the 3 hours same day change is the final straw for me. Good bye Delta.

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