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Delta removes link to 1 hour “Schedule Change” rules – Just what allows “free” Delta ticket changes or cancellation?

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Bummer. 1 hour rule is gone!

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 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.

I hate “not found”

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 used to say:

The old pop-up on

“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

But now that is gone and I can not find anywhere any of the old wording as you see above. In fact one of the only things I can find on itself is the following:

“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.” – (BOLD MINE)

Wait – what? Grrrr!

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).

Rule 19 says 1.5 hours! (edit: rule 19 – 9/2019)

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.

Hello nice Delta rep!

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 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



  1. My December HNL-MSP-ORD Delta one flight got hit by schedule change. Looks like they axed the HNL-MSP flight totally on my day. Tried calling the regular peon line and 2h wait….tried tweeting and no response yet. Insisting the put me on the flight thru Atlanta should be okay, right?

  2. rene

    @Shaun – Yes. You should have no issue changing to HNL-ATL-ORD. Did you try to DM @Delta on twitter?

  3. OMG. This is huge. 1.5 hours? Wow. My guess is the added 30 mins will eliminate 70% of our change opportunities. Thanks for the heads up and the suggested work around. This is one Saturday Schedule Change Day for the ages.

  4. Thanks for pointing this out, Rene!

    Never did I think I’d miss the Richard Anderson days.

  5. Tweeted them at 745am and no response at 12:30pm. Maybe NYC storms keeping them focused on today’s passengers.

  6. The pop up is still there. If you have a booking with changes, it has the message “There has been a change affecting your trip. If you are not satisfied with this updated itinerary, you may be eligible to change your flight(s) at no extra cost. ( Conditions Apply)” near the top of the flight info. If click on “Conditions Apply”, you get the “lost” pop up. The wording for my upcoming reservation is exactly the same as in your post.

  7. rene

    @E.W. – Sweet. Thank you! Wish it was a dedicated link as before.

  8. Christopher Staab

    I was told by the Diamond Desk today that a 90 minute schedule change is required to make a change without charge.

  9. rene

    @Christopher – 10 Diamond reps will tell your 10 things!

  10. And this is a problem if DL acts like BA. I had a dispute with BA over this issue. I booked a BA Redemption on AA domestic. There was a 75 minute schedule change which impacted my meeting. So, I tried to change it or cancel it and BA refused to do so without the fee, and I am BA Gold. So, I cancelled it and charged back the cancellation fee on an Amex Platinum. I provided BA’s T&C’s to Amex, which used the wording that “reasonable” schedule changes were permitted and did not specify 90 minutes. I said 75 minutes wasn’t “reasonable to me,” but BA disputed my charge-back and Amex took BA’s side. I had the threaten to close my Amex (on which I put like 400K a year) and Amex just paid me the fee instead of losing my business. Let’s hope DL is more “reasonable” than BA.

  11. @Rene – that’s why I hang up and call again until someone gives me the answer I want. But I tried this with BA for its 90 minute schedule rule and it didn’t work no matter how many times I tried on BA’s Gold line.

  12. Meg turner

    Don’t ever trust delta to do what is required. I flew from Minneapolis to Orlando. My bag was scanned on to the plane but was not scanned off. Obviously stolen. I was never even given a toothbrush much less the required cash amount. They suggested I go to Chicago and search their warehouse. I have NEVER flown delta again.

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