Delta’s permanent 20 minute Delta bag guarantee or 2500 SkyMiles is better!.

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delta 20 minute bage promise

I was less than impressed with the test phase of the Delta 20 minute bag guarantee. As I expected many, some who even started a stop watch app as soon as the boarding door opened, got a rejection for their request for the points.

Well now it is permanent, that is, the offer for 2500 SkyRubles if you don’t get your bag in 20 minutes. There are fewer “outs” for the airline than before and I really like removing the old wording they had that excluded “lost, mishandled, and damaged bags” but still provides ways to say no to you. Just take a look:

“Eligibility: 20-minute Bag-to-Claim Guarantee bonus-mile offer valid on all domestic flights within the U.S. 50 and Puerto Rico, marketed and operated by Delta Air Lines and Delta Connection® carriers. Itineraries that include codeshare flights are eligible as long as the final leg is marketed and operated by Delta Air Lines or a Delta Connection carrier. Customers must be a SkyMiles member in good standing at the time of travel and award of bonus miles to be eligible and must submit a request form with Delta upon completion of travel. Requests must be submitted via within three days of flight’s arrival. Limit one request per passenger per outbound or return travel regardless of number of checked bags; requests for multiple trips must be submitted separately. Time to baggage claim will be as measured by Delta’s baggage tracking system, where available. The time to baggage claim will be defined as time elapsed between aircraft door open and delivery of the bag to the baggage claim belt. Oversize and overweight baggage and special items are not eligible.

Offer: Earn a one-time, 2,500-mile bonus per baggage delay occurrence. Bonus miles do not count toward Medallion® qualification or Million Miler™ status.

Promotional Fulfillment: Bonus miles will appear on member’s SkyMiles statement. Allow up to two weeks after request for credit to appear.

Miscellaneous: Offer only valid on paid tickets for published fares; not valid for those traveling on employee pass privileges or employees of other airlines traveling on industry discounted tickets. Delta Air Lines reserves the right to suspend this baggage service guarantee at any time and without prior notice in the event of an airport baggage system malfunction, severe weather, or other conditions out of Delta’s control that would prevent timely baggage delivery. Delta reserves the right to deny fraudulent, suspicious or ineligible claims. All SkyMiles program rules apply to SkyMiles program membership, miles, offers, mile accrual, mile redemption, and travel benefits. To review the rules, please visit Membership Guide & Program Rules. Other restrictions may apply. Delta Air Lines reserves the right to terminate or modify this baggage service guarantee at any time without prior notice.” – BOLD MINE

So you need to play inside their rules but as mentioned these new permanent rules ARE much better – kudo’s for that Delta. The key thing is to file your claim right away after landing if you think or know it was more than 20 minutes. Just save THIS LINK in your phone and then you can do it right away at the airport while you are waiting.

delta sky priority yellow tag

The only downside of this is a good problem for medallions to have. I have always been VERY impressed with the speed of Delta bag handling when they are tagged with Sky Priority tags and that goes for domestic and Skyteam on international flights as well. They really just do a good job.

Now as far as how much they beat the living crud out of my bags each trip – that is another story 🙂 – René

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  1. “The time to baggage claim will be defined as time elapsed between aircraft door open and delivery of the bag to the baggage claim belt.”

    Apparently it’s counted from aircraft door opening, not docking of aircraft to gate (the real arrival time for DOT purposes).

    At FT, the DL forums are already filled with complaints that DL denies legit claims without any explanation, or this “guarantee” is a pure crap shoot.

  2. Rene,

    “Offer only valid on paid tickets for published fares;”
    Does this mean that the fare must be fully paid? no flights with miles. no money and miles.
    Either it is a guarantee or it is not. I hate loopholes.

  3. @John – I think they are trying to exclude say NON-REV or discounter fares only. All else, including SkyMiles awards should be fine as they are a “published” fare.

  4. Rene

    One more thing on this. It also says “Earn a one-time, 2,500-mile bonus per baggage delay occurrence.” Does this mean if you get it once in a year or lifetime, you are done? They could claim that although I do not think it is their intent. Another Keep Descending loophole or is it?


  5. @John – No, once per trip and the way I see it as each way. So you could, maybe, get for both outbound and back.

  6. It was worthless to me when DL misrouted my bag. Are you saying it now covers misrouted bags? There is no room for comments nor for entering your bag tag number so unless they search your itinerary to match your bag tag with baggage claims it ain’t gonna happen.

  7. I got 2500 once during the test phase. Here is how you check on the DL app: (1) look at time the flight landed (take a screenshot); (2) using the track my bags feature you can then get info on when the bags were delivered to the baggage claim area (take screenshot). I can confirm 2500 miles when this difference was 28 min., but assume 21 min. would also work.

  8. i have collected 7500 miles already this year. With RSW as my home airport, It is almost a guarantee it will take at least 30-40 minutes to get my bags every time I return home.

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