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Update: The offers mentioned below for the Delta Gold and Platinum cards are no longer available. View the current offers here: Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Earlier this year, Delta introduced a checked bag guarantee program for a limited trial period. The program was set to expire on March 31, but Delta has now confirmed that the program will become a permanent fixture. Delta spokesperson Morgan Durrant noted that, “customer response was positive and our employees are rallying to achieve the 20-minute mark,” so it seems as though the guarantee is here to stay.

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If your bag is late, Delta will give you 2,500 miles.

Delta’s New Bags On Time Guarantee

SkyMiles members whose bags are more than 20 minutes late to baggage claim in a domestic U.S. airport are now eligible for the new Bags On Time Guarantee of 2,500 SkyMiles.

The guarantee covers all domestic itineraries including those operated by Delta Connection partners. The time from aircraft to baggage carousel will be measured by Delta’s bag tracking system, and all late baggage claims will need to be filed via the Delta website.

My Thoughts

The new baggage guarantee is a step in the right direction for the ever-changing Delta SkyMiles program. It’s not uncommon for bags to take more than 20 minutes to hit the carousel, though it’s unclear exactly how Delta’s system calculates that time. I’ll be interested to see how claims are treated, and how quickly they’re processed. If Delta measures the delay fairly, this guarantee could help boost your SkyMiles balance if you frequent delay-prone airports.

Using my most recent monthly valuations, 2500 SkyMiles is worth about $30. Considering that the first checked bag on all domestic Delta flights costs $25, this guarantee basically serves as a refund if you pay for a checked bag and it doesn’t arrive on time.

Of course, if you fly Delta often and would rather avoid those bag fees altogether, I recommend a look at the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card (or one of the other co-branded cards from American Express). Among other benefits, the Gold card allows you one free checked bag for you and up to eight people traveling with you on every Delta flight.

What are your thoughts on Delta’s new baggage guarantee?

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