Airlines are offering some unprecedented flexibility amid the coronavirus outbreak, offering free change or cancellation on nearly all flights booked through June 30 and for previously booked travel scheduled through September.
But did you book your ticket with airline miles? You may not be so lucky – unless if you booked with Delta SkyMiles. Delta has confirmed that it’s treating these free change and cancellation waivers exactly the same, whether you booked with cash or SkyMiles.
“The same rules apply whether a flight is booked with cash or miles,” Delta said. “For award flights that qualify for a change fee waiver, we are also waiving the mile redeposit fee.”
And any taxes and fees paid for your award ticket will get refunded, too.
Delta typically charges a $150 redeposit fee to cancel an award booking to get your miles back. Waiving that fee is typically reserved for top-tier Delta Platinum or Medallion status holders – it’s one of the best perks of Medallion status.
But amid this uncertainty, everyone gets that treatment. It applies to all tickets booked through June 30, as well as any previously booked awards scheduled for travel through September.
Read our guide on how Delta SkyMiles work – and how to make them work for you.
And it’s just another instance where Delta stands out against its competitors.
How Are Other Major Airlines Handling Award Tickets?
It’s a mixed bag with other major U.S. carriers. You might be able to get your miles back free, and in other cases, you may have to pay up.
Here’s a brief look at how each airline is handling award ticket changes that fall under coronavirus waivers:
Like Delta, Alaska is being extra generous with award bookings.
The airline also says it’s treating mileage bookings the same as cash. That means any previously booked award tickets scheduled between Feb. 26 and April 30 can be canceled to get your Mileage Plan miles back free. The same is true for new award tickets booked between Feb. 27 and March 31.
American typically charges a $150 redeposit fee. That fee is waived for any AAdvantage award tickets for travel scheduled on or before April 30.
But while American is waiving fees for new cash bookings in March, that does not apply to new award tickets booked with AAdvantage miles this month.
American does, however, always allow free changes to award tickets so long as your origin, destination, and cabin don’t change. That means you could book a trip from Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) for June, then push it back out to August. And again back out to October, if necessary. Those changes are free – unless if you book an economy web special fare, in which case schedule changes aren’t allowed.
This is just the way it is with Southwest.
In good times and bad, you can always change or cancel your ticket for free – no fee applies. And the same is true when you’re using Southwest Rapid Rewards points. It’s one of the main things that sets Southwest apart.
You can change your award ticket with United for free due to its coronavirus waivers. But want to cancel and get those miles back? It will still cost you.
Those fees cost as much as $125 per person, though it’s less for United elites. And if you cancel 61-plus days in advance, it drops to a $75 fee or less.
Delta is continually setting itself apart from its main competitors. Just add its generous refund policy when canceling a ticket booked with SkyMiles to the list.
Lead photo courtesy of Chris Lundberg via Flickr