Rookie Wednesday: Are You Using the Delta 24 Hour FREE Ticket Cancel Rule to Save Money?

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RenesPoints Rookie

Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.

delta risk free cancel rules

I love this Delta rule!

I always try to book directly on Now having said that I never “start” at but use to look for the best routes, flights, times and even use their very effective multi-leg tool to find just what I want and then let it send me over to and finish the booking. To me, booking on OTAs or online travel agencies can hurt you when things go sideways. Delta is much more happy to help you fix whatever if you booked on

What does this have to do with the point of today’s rookie post? Well once you book, are you all done? You should not be so lazy as it could cost you money (NOTE: For today’s post I am focusing on paid revenue tickets). You see Delta has a very good rule when you book on Take a look at what it says:

“Terms & Conditions: Tickets/Cancellation. Cancellation request must be made by midnight of the day after the eTicket is purchased or midnight of the departure date of the first flight, whichever comes first. Available only for eTickets purchased at the time of reservation through Delta ticket offices and airport ticket counters, Reservation Sales, or at” – From

Delta, and most others, call it a 24 hour free cancellation rule but it can be almost two days long. For example, say you booked at 6 AM ET today. You would have until midnight tomorrow. Not bad. So how can this save you money? Simple but it takes a little work on your part.

Take the flights I am on today for example. When I booked the price was over $425. But I checked back the next morning and the price had dropped to just over $400 all in for the exact same flights. All I had to do was book the new ticket and then cancel the old one and I saved myself about $25 for a few clicks. Nice right?

There is another plus here. Since I booked a new ticket, I can start this all over again and now keep looking for tickets for another few days and, if prices go down again, rinse and repeat this all over.

Keep your net wide during this period. You may have a better fare at an airport not as close as your favorite airport, but this gives you time to lock in a ticket and keep searching for other options. Just keep the clock on mind as to how long you really have to cancel and start over.

Just for clarity here, we are talking booking a new ticket and making sure your old ticket is canceled. Why? If the old ticket is just reissued your new 24 hour clock may not kick in.

Are there any downsides to this? Not if saving money is what matters to you. If upgrades matter most then this may not be for you or if the savings is so small that it is not worth the effort or it drops you down the fare class “ladder”. Always know that fare class is a HUGE component of your upgrade as well as time of ticketing is one of the tiebreakers inside your medallion level so that again can matter. Given we are only talking a day or two here the time of issue, to me, is a minor one.

Other little bits. If you happened to book this from a bump voucher make sure when you cancel (smart to call btw) that all of the funds go back to the original voucher and then you re-book from the full voucher again. This way you don’t end up with a random voucher of some total that is harder to spend than the big one you had.

So there you are rookies and pros alike – don’t be lazy. You can even check prices free on Gogo on so you have no excuse not to take a second, the day after you book, to see if your ticket price has gone down and you can put a few buck back in your wallet! – René


  1. Does Delta allow booking a new ticket on the same itinerary before cancelling the old one?

  2. @Ashker – Yes but don’t wait long as if you have two for the same flights they will kick one of them out at some point.

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