Delta Secrets – How To Change Flight For Free

Our site may contain affiliate links. Read Advertiser Disclosure policy here.

This is a post in our series of Delta Secrets we’ve learned over the last 11 years flying this great airline that just happens to have a more “interesting” way to find flights you want to take at the miles you want to spend.

Delta Secrets – How To Change Flight For Free

Looking for More Delta Miles?

See current Credit Card Offers here to earn more miles.

One of the things that people notice about Delta is their high change fees requiring folks traveling in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S> Virgin Islands to fork over $200 to change their dates. Granted, if you think you might need to change your flight, there are refundable tickets.

Based on the fare rules, you may have to pay a service fee and/or a difference in fare. For travel within the 50 United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the fee is $200 for Delta-marketed flights.

For travel outside the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the change fee for Delta-marketed flights is typically $200 to $400, but can vary based on location and type of fare. Changes are usually permitted only to the return portion of an international itinerary.

How To Change Delta Flights For Free

Option 1: Wait for a schedule change

I never worry about booking complex awards like my double connection flight to French Polynesia or a complex low level Business Class award to Italy. The reason is because when Delta makes you select multiple segments and flights just to get to your destination at the lower level of miles, it drastically increases the chances that one of your flights will have a schedule change causing you to miss a flight or have a tight connection.

When this happens, call up Delta and request to get on the more direct route to your destination.

Option 2: Check Travel Alerts & Advisories

If you are traveling to, from or through an affected area, like Tel Aviv this week, check Delta’s Travel Alerts and Advisories to see what dates you can change your ticket without fee, otherwise known as free.

Currently there are travel advisories for 3 areas:

Delta Travel Alerts

Each of the alerts and advisories details the cities that are eligible for flight changes and during which travel period.

Delta Travel Alert Detail Page

So if you are traveling to, from or through an affected area, check out the Travel Alert & Advisory page over at Delta.

Bottom Line

Buying a refundable ticket is more costly than buying a non-refundable ticket, and spending more money isn’t fun. But if you find yourself in a situation where you may need to change your flight, consider if your ticket meets either of the options above to see if you can change your ticket for free.

Looking for More Delta Miles?

See current Credit Card Offers here to earn more miles.

Related Posts


Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

Sign up for Email || Twitter || Facebook |Tips & Tricks
Hotel Offers || Airline Offers || Bank Offers || Cash Back Offers


  1. I took advantage of a schedule change for my return LGB-SLC-JFK. Originally, I had only a 2 hr layover in SLC before heading home to JFK. DL moved the LGB flight and caused my 2 hr layover to turn into 4! I tried to change it online, but the site STILL wanted $200 in change fees. A quick call to an agent, she managed to change my flight to a nonstop LAX-JFK at 0 cost! I had to drive about 20 more minutes from LGB, but better that than sitting in SLC for 4 hrs.

  2. This was not your most accurately titled post. Everything you suggest relies on a) spending more money for refundable tickets (clearly not “free”), b) getting lucky on a non-trivial schedule change or c) getting unlikely with unrest or a disaster at your destination.

    Perhaps “How you may be able to change for free” would have been a better title.

  3. I had a reservation that had a 3 hour Detroit layover turn into 4 hours after a schedule change. I called Delta and they gave me a new itenary through Atlanta with just a 1 hour layover. That option when I originally booked was $100 more, but I got it for nothing. They did tell me that the complimentary schedule change was only valid the travel day I originally booked.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *