Delta cuts trip customization, quietly eliminates discounted Wi-Fi package

Aug 27, 2020

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. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Every airline is making changes to the end-to-end travel experience during the pandemic.

Delta has been at the forefront of the safety and onboard wellbeing campaign. The carrier is blocking seats into 2021, cleaning planes at every turn and more. In April, Delta became the first U.S. airline to extend SkyMiles Medallion elite status through Jan. 2022.

Now, the Atlanta-based carrier is making adjustments to the ticketing process. Specifically, Delta is cutting Trip Extras, effective Thursday, Aug. 27, as confirmed by a spokesperson for the carrier.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more airline news!

What are Trip Extras?

Trip Extras were a slew of ancillary products available when booking a flight, managing your trip or checking in. For a fee, Delta offered three additional a la carte experiences on top of your ticket — priority boarding, inflight Wi-Fi passes and Mileage Booster.

Screenshot courtesy of Delta

According to Delta,

“We are retiring Trip Extras effective August 27, but customers will still be able to purchase onboard Wi-Fi ahead of their trip at Delta.com/wifi or once they are on board their flight. All Trip Extras purchased before August 27 will still be available for customers to enjoy.”

For $15, coach passengers could purchase priority boarding and secure overhead bin space before others. North America 24-hour Wi-Fi passes were available for $16. Finally, Mileage Booster offered the ability to earn more SkyMiles at a cost of $29 for 1,000 miles, $44 for 2,000 miles and $59 for 3,000 miles.

Related: The complete guide to earning and redeeming Delta SkyMiles

What’s changing

As part of this development, Delta is quietly increasing Wi-Fi pricing for those purchasing a pass before flying. Previously, through Trip Extras, an all-day domestic pass was available for $16. Alternatively, you could opt to purchase the same pass for $19 at Delta.com/wifi.

Now, with the elimination of Trip Extras, flyers are no longer able to purchase the discounted $16 pass. As such, the cost jumps by nearly 20% to $19.

Of course, Delta flyers can always use free inflight messaging if they prefer not to pay for internet access. And hopefully, Delta will soon offer fleetwide free Wi-Fi. But in the meantime, the price increase certainly stings for those who pre-purchase Wi-Fi passes.

Priority boarding remains available to elites, SkyMiles Select members, eligible Amex co-branded cardmembers, certain corporate customers and those purchasing premium cabin fares. Note that Delta has temporarily implemented a back-to-front boarding process due to the pandemic, so priority boarding isn’t all that helpful right now.

A Delta Airbus A350 at ATL (Photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy)

There’s no replacement for Mileage Booster, but purchasing additional SkyMiles was hardly a good deal. The 3,000-mile pack was available for 1.97 cents per point, well above TPG’s SkyMiles valuation of 1.2 cents per point. Purchasing Mileage Booster only made sense if you were closing in on an award redemption or didn’t have a stockpile of Amex Membership Rewards to transfer to Delta.

Related: The best credit cards for Delta flyers

Bottom line

In a way, Delta’s timing is puzzling. Because of the reduced travel demand due to the pandemic, carriers are looking for all the cash they can get. Removing Trip Extras now seems like a lost revenue opportunity.

However, Delta likely didn’t have too many passengers purchasing these offerings. As it looks to further customize the travel journey, I wouldn’t be surprised if Delta relaunched a tailored version of Trip Extras, including the ability to redeem SkyMiles for trip enhancements. It would also be great if first-class flyers could purchase discounted Wi-Fi packs.

Only time will tell what happens next, but for now, Delta flights will have fewer customization options — and a more expensive Wi-Fi package.

Featured photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.