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So you got a Delta $200 voucher. What now & how to spend it? Also why do you think Delta offered a $200 voucher vs. only SkyMiles?

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

delta voucher email from the power fail canceled and delayed flights renespoints blog
E-Mail notice of $200 Delta vouchers

The above is a screen shot from the generic e-mail Delta Air Lines has sent out to those who were affected by the mostly week long flight cancellations, delays and disruptions. But exactly why did Delta do this? Did you know they did not have to provide you with anything at all? Yep, if we are talking domestic flights all they had to do was at some point get you from A-B or give you a full refund. Seriously, if you don’t believe me read the COC or contract of carriage that you agreed to when you purchased the ticket (but I am sure you did not take the time to read).

So back to why Delta did this when they did not have to. Well, they did have the example of Southwest that offered huge discounts to passengers who were affected by that massive mess that went on for days and days and days. But they did not have to offer any kind of compensation either.

20k skymiles for delay
Many SkyMiles members got BOTH $200 and 20,000 SkyMiles.

But it brings up the simple question why did Delta not just offer ONLY 20,000 SkyMiles (or some other number) to each affected passenger? The simple answer is not everyone is a SkyMiles member but I think there is really more to it than this.

If Delta had only offered up some number of points as compensation for the mess many in the press would have just crushed them for 1) the issue and then 2) offering hard to spend points for a real issue (as well as bring light on the fact that they HIDE the award charts). While I have no insider info on this you can “bet the cow and the milk” that there is a firm reason that they offered a voucher vs. only SkyMiles. And there are many more reasons. Like what?

Take a quick look at the T&C of the $200 voucher they have and will be giving you. It says “for the next year”. What they don’t quickly tell you is you have one year to spend this voucher and then one more year to complete the flight so you basically have two years total (that is one year to book and one more year to fly). But the point is that you have a limited time to spend these. Delta knows (and I do from reputable sources) that a large portion of the population does NOT spend these vouchers and they will thus just go away. Smart business to offer a monetary gift that becomes worthless with time vs. SkyMiles that “never” expire, that is, until you die they don’t.

There is a big plus for those who got these vs. only SkyMiles. If you spend an ETV, like these, it is just like spending cash, that is, you can earn SkyMiles, MQDs and MQMs for your flights. You can also, as a medallion, get upgrades etc. You can spend it on any Delta flights and it’s partners, that is, think if you can book it on you can spend the voucher on it (for example a Virgin Atlantic code share flight).

Another key point for you to know is when you go to book they will tell you only one per trip but if you have more than one person with one of these you can both spend them if you are both on the same PNR or itinerary. If they push back HUCB until you find a rep that will do what is right.

One last word of warning if you got one of these and your delay was out of Europe. As we all should know they have the EU261 rule that can mean you will get real cash back for many delays of more than 3 hours. It may take a real fight to get what you should but the rules say you should get it. I would reach out to to check to see if you are eligible for a payment or not (or start by asking Delta direct and wait for them to say no then reach out to AirHelp).

The bottom line is even though Delta was very generous to offer this voucher, and SkyMiles to some, as it was thought out as to just why this choice was made. Everything Delta does it does for a reason. Now it is up to you to remember you have the voucher as they will NOT alert you that is about to expire or that you have money reaming to spend. Delta kindness, after all, only goes so far! – René

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses 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.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. Coach Bowman Reply

    I only got the email for the 20,000 SkyMiles and not the $200 Voucher. I was delayed exactly 3 hours. I guess I will have to call them.

  2. Rene, Do you think Delta will be offering a Fall award sale on Delta One seats to Europe, like they did last August ?

  3. Did all medallion members who flew this week get 20k skymiles? Just curious to know if there was a different compensation rate for Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond.

  4. D Bambridge Reply

    Did Delta Sky Clubs stay open 24 hours, during this delay?

  5. René – I’m hesitant to accept the $200 voucher or the 20k miles as Delta may contend acceptance voids compensation under the EU261 rule. I’d rather have €600 x4 family members than vouchers or miles.

  6. Technically, I was delayed for 12 hours since my original flight was scheduled for 1:46pm Aug 8, and after 2 cancellations, was placed on a flight at 1:30am Aug 9. And, I was not sent a voucher, even after I sent an email and asked about it. I finally found the site to request one.

  7. As a diamond I got 20K SM. My original flights had me getting into my destination at 4:30P on Monday. Those flights got cancelled, but the Adam line rebooked me onto flights that were originally supposed to leave 4 hours before my flights. Net result was me arriving at 6:45P.

    I’ll take 20K SM for a 2 hour delay any day!

  8. I got 20k miles and I have no status (almost hit silver each year) and my husband who is Gold also got 20k. I sent in the forms for the voucher but haven’t received anything yet

  9. My children and I were delayed out of SNA for 2 hours and the flight out of Sal Lake was delayed by more than 3 hours (original dept 541 – finally left at 905). Filled out the on-line form – no bonus points or $200 bonus. Filed complaint to see why they aren’t offering us anything. Seems like many got points/vouchers very quickly…

    • @Me – Stay on them. Email another complaint if you don’t get it soon. If nothing after your efforts will suggest more options.

  10. wow. Got the $200 voucher via email just now, in addition to the previously reported 20K SM. All is forgiven Delta!

  11. Are elites getting both the 20K miles and the $200 voucher?

    Would it be fair as an elite to ask for more compensation for myself than the rest of the non-elites who get the same $200?

    Im not one to grouch about a mistake, but when you are delta and you are arrogant enough to charge 500K miles for a Delta One ticket, try to blame a power company for your own mechanical failures, market yourself as the premium US airline, then you can expect passengers will demand ‘premium’ compensation. Specially when Skypesos are worthless.

    We need Us airline regulation. Compensation at minimum should equal what each airline charges for a change fee. If the avg joe gets charged $200/450 to change their flight, then Delta should legally be bound to compensate at least $200/450 for changing a passengers itinerary for mechanical failures. Its only fair.

    Gold Member to be Diamond in 2016

    • @John – Yes most impacted elites are getting both it seems (any medallion level). I was not impacted but did fly during that week. I got an I’m sorry email. I understand how you fee about the cost of awards. If you need help please ask ADAM for assistance to save miles!

  12. I was delayed a day August 8 in Jax fl flight number 1091 to ATL wealth a connecting flight 5578 to mobile Alabama emailed delta 3 times for this voucher and spoke to numerous CSR and STILL no 200 voucher

  13. George Kahela Reply

    HI, I was delayed for 4 days in El Paso in August and they gave me 2 vouchers which I can not use. I can only use it going back to USA, I live in Germany, Their partners KLM/Air France will not except them either.

  14. Hi René, thank you for this blog. My case is quite different because I was delayed for 20hrs in late august. Although delta booked me an hotel without food for the night and had me check out from 12noon the following day. I had to loiter around the atl airport for another 6hrs for the rescheduled flight. I got $1500 ticket voucher which had an expiration of 1yr. The problem I have with this ticket is I do not currently don’t know how soon I will be returning to the us in a year . first I will like to know what they mean by “delta affiliates” and secondly to know if I can change the 1500 voucher into cash. Please reply. God bless you.

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