BREAKING NEWS: Massive changes to Delta’s SDC Same Day Confirmed Travel rules!

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which RenesPoints.com, a division of RDL Enterprises LLC, receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). RenesPoints.com, a division of RDL Enterprises LLC, does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.For an explanation of our Advertiser Disclosure, and advertiser partners, such as American Express, CreditCards.com and others visit this page.

 

Best Credit Cards

Delta had to get these changes out to all their personnel, so information about the update was “leaked” to FlyerTalk. In today’s instant information age, it is very hard to keep secrets.

Now the changes. Here is a chart of what has changed:

So, good or bad? Medallions are a bit “jumpy” lately as Delta has been eroding our benefits and making it harder next year to quality. Delta is selling this as an enhancement to the SDC program and if you are a non-medallion it is great for you as you now get a chance at SDC.

If you are a GM+, overall this is mostly a downgrade since, depending on the change, you may have to pay, not be in the right fare class, or now have a bunch more competition from regular flyers and elites (all in the same fare class). I am also confident we will see this more and more as Delta begins selling these perks at the kiosks to tell non-medallions they can do this if they want!

Award seats are an issue as well with this change. Delta says that inside the 72 hr window, many more award seats at HIGH/MED/LOW open up so this should not be a big issue. We will see. But keep in mind that each of these has a “Delta Award Fare Class” associated to HIGH/MED/LOW so you must be able to find seats in THAT fare bucket to be able to SDC your award seat.

Lastly, Delta IT will NOT be able to give you “lower” fare class seats. For example, say you book in “K” class, and seats are open in LUT, but NOT K, you booked HIGHER so the lower seats should let you get the SDC. You can, but you will have to CALL Delta to get this done!

EDIT: It has been pointed out to me that the above event is very unlikely to happen in real life. As an example, from TrojanTraveler from FlyerTalk who says:

“I can only look at my own experience, but on most of the flights that I am on, they are packed. And each time I have SDC’d, the only bucket available has generally been Y, maybe B (I know because I have looked at Expert Flyer). As many have said, this puts a practical end to SDC.

Thus, anyone who has not booked a very high fare class ticket, will just about be DONE with SDC unless you are willing to pay the much higher fare class fee!

The standby rules are very different also as to changes in routes (you can’t) and more. You can see the full new update page HERE at Delta.com to read all the updates live.

I am sure you will see a lively conversation over this over at THIS new FlyerTalk thread put up by Delta CORP. Feel free to chime in what you think here on the blog or join the discussion over there as well! – René

Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
RESERVE/PLATINUM/GOLD
from American Express®
Click here for more information


 

Share

 

 

47 comments

  1. SDC into same fare class only? Bad bad bad for elites. Modest improvement for others. Ka-ching for Delta. Surprised? No one should be.

  2. I agree to a point. As a soon-to-be non-status DAL flier emanating a small airport, I will take my shot with simply paying the $50. Too many other good cards out there to gather points that can be used at other airlines/hotels.
    I like DAL but the now necessary spend on their cards in addition to rule changes make the switch a bit easier.
    Keep up the good work Rene.

  3. Unless I am mistaken, SDC will almost a total shut down under thiis. Lets say you buy a K fare 3 weeks, there is no such thing as a K fare on the same day, so you are either standby at that point or paying the difference. This would be a good one for the elite flyers to hit Delta with negtaive feedback. Delta does not “have the back” of frequent flyers, they are stabbing it yet again. 🙁

  4. United still seems to have the most lenient SDC policy and is still free for Gold and above (a major reason why I have stuck with United despite all the major devaluation of benefits). United however tends to release all booking codes a few hours before departure unless the flight is completely full, making it fairly easy to do get confirmed on most flights.

  5. This is a lot closer to the UA SDC policy. The original 3 hour policy can only benefit those who arrived at the airport earlier, but virtually no one else.

    UA allows SDC at 24hr check in point (easily the day prior), so I can have very high flexibility when choosing flights to either decrease travel time or purposely going the longer route to increase upgrade chances and PQM.

  6. The 2nd row is incorrect. SDC was always available to all members. GM+ only got the fees waived.

  7. So let me get this straight. I will be going to DAY from FLL in two weeks. Currently my return flight is DAY-> ATL -> FLL and leaves at 6:30 PM and arrives at 12:39 AM (next day). I was hoping to be able to get on the 5:20 flight to DTW and then DTW to FLL and get home an hour and twenty minues sooner (saves the $15 after midnight fee from car service). A side effect of this would be an increase of almost 500 mqm due to the length of the DTW -> FLL flight and shortness of the DAY->DTW flight.

    Does this mean that I will no longer have this option? I am currently a GM.

    Thanks,

    Gregg

  8. @Lee – I think you are mistaken. K fares still exist same-day – you just can’t buy them close-in because of the advance-purchase requirement. As long as the K bucket has availability you should be able to SDC.

  9. If a GM+ wants to SDC to a later flight outside of the three hour window, will he have to pay?

  10. @Gary – a few small perks, yes more money for Delta, but they could have made it much worse (scary that this is the way we look at Delta changes enhancements now)!

  11. If I pay the $50 for the SDC on my Platinum Amex (not deltas), will it count as a delta Fee and get reimbursed as part of the $200 per year airline fee allowance?

  12. Question from a NO status person (Amex Delta Gold only).

    I have an N class ticket at an time which is not optimal for me. With this new policy can I get to DTW 3 hours before an earlier flight and possibly SDC for no charge?

    What are the chances of a N seat opening up?

    TIA

  13. Correction to my previous post, it’s a T class ticket.
    I was looking at the wrong trip.

  14. This is terrible. Have been loyal medallion to DL for many years but slowly changing my mind over the years. Recent SQ flight in first showed me why I may need a change to star alliance. This SDC change might be the nail in the coffin for me.

  15. Did DL allowed changing routes for standby before? IIRC only SDC may change routes, standby must be the same route.

  16. I pretty much never SDC…. but once in a while I have asked because for whatever reason I got to the airport early or I had an oddly long connection.

    I can understand charging for this kind of thing if people are being constantly asked to do this. Still, I’ve always been irritated by being asked to pay a fee when it’s quite obvious the earlier flight has loads of space…. shouldn’t there be some wiggle room at the discretion of the gate agent? I mean, getting people moving is in Delta’s best interest as well as keeping them happy… beats the stress of rigidity and a few bucks.

  17. Do you think they’ll make quite a few exceptions for DM? If not, I’d be looking for status matches pretty soon.

  18. @Ken Y – NO. There will be NO exceptions. DM will no longer be able to buy cheap fares and expect to get home to family early unless they are willing to pay for the ticket they should have got in the first place, a very expensive one! -grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

  19. That’s alright. Delta won’t see me flying soon if this starts to impact my upcoming flights that have already been booked the next several months out.

  20. This is totally wrong. I will be trying a SDC tomorrow morning so I do not have to hang out for an additional 10 hours at MCI. If I would be forced to stay longer that kills my day of productivity. This will also change my flight connections on the original tickets. I will be forced to do more ATL due to the volume of flights if I have to follow the same as my original ticket. Is it true all tickets purchased before April 23 will be under the old SDC system?

  21. @PCB – all purchased before 23APRIL will be under the OLD rule if you want. BUT, we will be at the mercy of rep- roulette as they will be the ones to do it. Get a bad rep that does not understand and then we have to do what we always do, say thanks, hang up, call back and start over!

  22. Same day change is a huge part of why I fly Delta. I am DM but also lifetime gold on UA. This will probably push me back to UA.. bye bye expensive amex card and booking up in fare class for potential benefits. It was fun

  23. @Jim – sorry to correct you, SDC WAS a huge part of why you flew Delta! The only thing I will say, from reading endlessly on this, DM can get most rules bent or broken, as I am sure you know, so I would wait and see just how much “gaming” you can do with the change. My guess, at this point, is PM on down will bear the brunt of the cost for this and get the “no soup for you” treatment over DM’s! We will see.

  24. the way i read the new rules, sounds like you can make changes even earlier than the day of departure, like let’s say 2 weeks before your flight you can change to a same flight on the same day:

    You may request a day-of-flight change any time prior to the departure time of your original flight

  25. why not?

    Eligibility
    If you have a flexible fare (usually a refundable ticket), you may be able to change your itinerary without a fee.
    You can only be rebooked in the same fare class as your original flight.
    ***********You may request a day-of-flight change any time prior to the departure time of your original flight********
    Your requested flight is same-day confirmed eligible if the departure time(s) fall between 12am (on the same day as the originally booked ticket) and 2am (the following day) to account for overnight flights.
    Award Tickets are same-day confirmed eligible.
    Origin, destination or co-terminal (LGA to JFK) changes are not same-day confirmed eligible.
    You can use the same-day confirmed option for travel within the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands on Delta and Delta Connection® flights.

  26. also:

    I’m looking at a ticket to purchase now for a domestic flight in May and the fare rules have the OLD SDC rules on them.

    It mentions needing seats in the same CABIN. Can DL write this in the fare rules and not allow you to do such a change?

    If I want to make a change as per the OLD rules on any ticket that has this in the fare rules, I intend (if I can get through without waiting on hold for 65 minutes, and being hung up on) to press for a supervisor to hold to the fare rules.

    I’ll pay the $50 as a FO, but why wouldn’t DL be forced to follow the rules on the ticket…especially on tickets bought AFTER the new policy is released.

    -SAME DAY CONFIRM/SDC-

    SAME DAY CONFIRM/SDC PASSENGERS HOLDING CONFIRMED

    RESERVATIONS AND TICKETS MAY CONFIRM TRAVEL FOR

    LESS THAN 3 HOURS PRIOR TO THE NEW FLIGHT ON AN

    EARLIER/LATER SAME DAY DL NONSTOPAND/OR

    CONNECTING FLIGHTS BETWEEN SAME ORIGIN AND

    DESTINATION AIRPORTS FOR A USD 50.00 FEE PLUS ANY

    DIFFERENCE IN GOVERNMENT IMPOSED ITINERARY BASED

    FEES.

    NOTE –

    A. SEAT INVENTORY MUST BE AVAILABLE IN THE CABIN

    APPLICABLE TO THE FARE CHARGED

    B. CHANGES PERMITTED TO OUTBOUND OR CONTINUING/

    RETURN FLIGHTS

    C. FLIGHT/S AND ROUTING MUST BE APPLICABLE FOR

    THE FARE CHARGED. EXCEPTION-IF ORIGINAL

    FARE PURCHASED REQUIRES TRAVEL VIA A

    CONNECTING POINT TRAVEL IS PERMITTED VIA NON

    STOP SERVICE.

    D. IF THE REQUESTED CHANGE IS NOT APPLICABLE FOR

    THE FARE PURCHASED IE INVALID ROUTING/AIRPORT

    /ETC THE CUSTOMER MAY UPGRADE TO A FARE THAT

    DOES PERMIT THOSE CHANGES USING NORMAL

    REISSUE PROCEDURES OF PAYING ANY FARE

    DIFFERENCE PLUS ASC.

    E. IF THE CUSTOMER REQUESTS THE CHANGE MORE

    THAN 3 HOURS PRIOR TO NEW FLIGHT DEPARTURE

    TIME THE CUSTOMER CAN CONFIRM ON A DIFFERENT

    FLIGHT ON THE SAME DAY OF TICKETED TRAVEL BY

    PAYING THE ASC PLUS ANY APPLICABLE FARE

    DIFFERENCE.

  27. @adsfasdf – fully refundable fares can be changes anytime any way you want. That is the point with a refundable ticket. Other fares day of now not 3hrs before.

  28. @adsfasdf – per Delta reps, on the FT post, all tickets purchased before the new rules start can pick OLD or NEW rules. But it will be rep roulette as some may not know the rules say 8 months from now!

  29. These guys are making it real easy to justify putting up with no status. Also not looking good for renewal of Delta Platinum Amex. As they are so often pointing out, “you have a choice when you travel”…

  30. Some more clarification from Delta re: co-terminals (used to be prohibited b y the official rules today and in the future) and standby:
    – Diamond Medallion members are permitted to apply Same Day Confirmed to the co-terminals as listed below, regardless of ticketed fare requirements…
    – With the Paid Standby option, routing changes of any kind are not permitted, and no standby for complimentary upgrades are allowed. The same class of service does not have to be available, but a seat is also not guaranteed. There is not a fee associated with the Paid Standby option for our Platinum and Diamond Medallion members.

    The biggest issue to me seems that SDC itself is almost dead due to the fare class requirement, and standby is impossible unless you multiple flights on the same route on the same day. So, A->ATL->B may not be SDC-able due to fare class, and no point showing up at the airport for A->JFK->B or A->MSP->B.

  31. Ugh. Lame. Starting to REALLLLLY dislike Delta. Time to start experimenting with other airlines I fear.

  32. I have to seriously start looking at other airlines. Delta has been taking benefits away from their most loyal customers.

  33. As a many year DM I am going to give up on travelling on Delta. The changes to SDC is the last straw for me. This was a benefit but now since there are no flight with my regular route within a 3 hour window, I have to pay and have the same class fare available, really stupid. I have started travelling on another airline since mid-April and will continue. I may use my 500,000+ miles for award travel in the future but will not be buying anymore tickets. Very dissappointed.

Leave a Reply

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