Since it is Saturday, and for Delta flyers that means take notice, I thought I would revisit something that has changed with the latest Delta IT updates to the Delta.com home page to the “Mighty Schedule Change” rule. One of the changes has resulted in a real downgrade to what once was a very useful tool, that is, the ability to change tickets if a change of more than 1 hour had impacted you.
Even searching the internet “Way Back Machine” is no help as this sub link either never got properly crawled and saved or Delta blocked the site from getting an accurate backup. Also notice what (the now broken) link at Delta.com used to say:
“If a Delta schedule or routing change has delayed your departure or arrival by more than one hour, you may be eligible to select an alternate flight at no additional charge. Note that the below conditions may apply:
Your origin, destination and travel date must remain the same. Alternate flights must be available, and you can only modify once as subsequent changes may result in additional fees. Voluntary changes to other flights not impacted by a Delta schedule change may result in additional fees” – From Delta.com
“Why do flight schedules get changed? – Our Network Group tries to minimize flight schedule changes because we do recognize it is disruptive and causes inconvenience. However, there are reasons when we have to update our flight schedules from time to time, especially as a flight gets closer to departure. Some of the reasons behind flight schedule changes include: seasonal demand, flight discontinuation, and new routings.” – Delta.com (BOLD MINE)
I find the bold part really funny because it seems just about EVERY Saturday results in some kind of minor or major schedule change and your seats (and not tell you) are at risk even when they swap your aircraft – even if that aircraft is the exact same type and model of jet (yes really).
So where is now the only place we can look for the current Delta published rules for schedule changes? The Delta contract of carriage spells it out and it is now, officially, 1.5 hours or more to get a free change or cancellation. Bummer. But don’t lose heart there is more.
We all should know by now that Delta has really taken power away from reps to do things manually. The screens show them options and they select. Older reps, who are really good, often know ways and can still use the tools to get more done. So it depends on who you end up with on the other end of the line. But this tech change can help us and all it takes is a few words to maybe save you money and frustration. They are:
“Can we try for (whatever change you want) and see if the computers will allow it under the schedule change rule”?
Yep! The IT can work for us vs. against us. I have had VERY short schedule changes that the system has allowed for a free change and all it took was the rep trying to do what I wanted (even surprising the rep on the phone). Sometimes the same thing can happen on Delta.com as well but I personally prefer working with a live rep just in case something goes sideways.
Another perk to work around any changes is status – any status with Delta. While the rules may now say 1.5 hours you may get a fee free waiver just because of your loyalty with Delta. I find this one reason I keep going for Diamond Medallion each and every year with Delta.
Any questions on Delta schedule changes? Fire away in the comment section below. – René