Nearly three years into the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are still picking up the pieces of our travel plans. Airlines have helped by offering some unprecedented flexibility, with free change and cancellation on many tickets, new and old, throughout the last two years.
And Delta has gone farther than most by allowing free change and cancellation – including for travel far in the future on main cabin or higher tickets. Even award tickets booked using SkyMiles can be changed or canceled free, though you must book at least main cabin to qualify for free changes. Canceling a Delta basic economy ticket means you'll forfeit $99 to $199.
But with flight prices dropping, we had a question: What would happen if the price of a ticket we already had booked with Delta dropped? Would the airline give you a Delta eCredit or voucher for the difference?
The answer? Yes! It's been one of the silver linings of the pandemic, something our team and readers have taken advantage of repeatedly. And while Delta has made it a bit harder recently, it's still an option.
Keep reading to see how you can get ahead when the price of your Delta flight drops after booking it.
Not booked with Delta? The same concept applies to many other airlines – check our guide on how to get a voucher when prices drop!
How to Get a Delta Voucher When the Price of Your Booked Flight Drops
First things first: You need to know when the price of your flight drops.
Just enter the details of your upcoming flight, find your exact flight, and turn on the “Track prices” toggle – you'll need a Gmail account to do it. From here, Google Flights will monitor the price of the flight and alert you via email any time the price changes. Of course, you'll need to remember what you originally paid.
If your flight drops in price, you should be able to reach out to Delta – or make the changes yourself in your online account – and get a voucher for the price difference. The Thrifty Traveler team has done this countless times over the past two years, getting eCredits to use towards a future trip in the amount of the price difference. After a major extension, those eCredits will last at least through the end of 2023.
Let me show you how this works. Last fall, I had a flight from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW). My dates were not flexible so I had been tracking the flight via Google Flights price alerts. Once I ended up booking, I kept my price alert active.
A few weeks later, I got a Google Flights price alert email that the price of the fare had dropped substantially.
Once you get a notification that the price has gone down, there are two easy options: Simply use the “Modify Flights” button in your Delta account online or message Delta (via the Delta app).
Modify Flight via Delta.com (Easiest Method)
First things first: Make sure your flight is eligible for a free change. It should be so long as you booked a main cabin or higher ticket. Delta Basic Economy tickets will not be eligible for free cancelations – you'll forfeit $99 for most trips or $199 on long-haul international flights.
If your flight fits the bill for a free change or cancellation, head to “My Trips” in your Delta account and pull up your “Trip Details.” Then click “Modify Flight.”
Then under “Change Flight” click “Start Flight Change”. Check the boxes for the flights you would like to change (all of them) and select the same dates and flights you originally booked. You can, of course, change the dates for free as well without paying a fee. However, Delta may charge you more if the replacement flights are more expensive.
Once you select flights, you should see a screen showing you the original price you paid and the new price – the difference will be issued to you as an eCredit. Once complete, you can find the voucher in your Delta account. Within a few minutes, I had an eCredit in my account for the $38 fare difference.
It's that easy!
Read up on how to use Delta eCredits and vouchers for your next trip!
But in some cases, this method will no longer work. Delta may prevent you from reselecting the same flight you already have booked in order to get that eCredit so easily.
If you run into issues, you should try using the Fly Delta app as opposed to online at Delta.com, as you might get a different result.
But here's perhaps the best way to do it now: Simply cancel the flight altogether for a Delta eCredit for the full amount, use that to rebook the same flight, then pocket the difference as a new eCredit.
Otherwise, move on to the next method.
The Delta App Method
It will take more time than using the method above – especially as airline customer support centers get hammered with calls and requests – but you can also use the Delta app and message Delta.
In our experience, this could be the better option if you run into any issues on Delta's website. If that isn't the case, stick to the method above: It will always be easier and faster.
But as always, if you don't get the answer you are hoping for, we recommend hanging up and calling again – or starting a new online chat with a different agent.
From there, just ask the agent for a voucher for the price difference of your flight, including all the details of your flight. That includes your confirmation number, the routing, the dates of travel, and of course your name.
Things to Keep In Mind
We have to stress: Your mileage may vary.
Some flights won't work properly in the “Modify Flights” area, and some agents seem more willing to dole out the voucher credits than others. If that is your experience, try again later – we always suggest chatting with a different agent to see if the answer changes.
At the end of the day, the worst that can happen is they say no. There is really no reason not to ask if the price of your booked travel goes down in price – assuming you booked at least a main cabin ticket. Again, we highly suggest at least trying to modify your flights online first (with no call or text required) as it will only take a few minutes.
One thing to note is that if you have already made a request for a voucher for the fare difference to the itinerary in question, you may not be eligible to do it again. It seems Delta will only allow you to do this one time – even if you have canceled the itinerary yourself for a voucher and rebooked.
That means you may want to wait to request the voucher until there is a substantial price difference – not just a few bucks.
And there's one more new issue to watch out for: Rather than automatically inserting a new Delta eCredit into a traveler's online account, Delta may only issue it via email … and bury it at the bottom of a lengthy message, to boot.
That's a big and potentially problematic change. Normally, any eCredits you earn from Delta should appear directly in your Delta profile, under “Certificates, Vouchers & eCredits.” That hasn't been the case for several of of our team's recent rebookings. It makes it a manual process, meaning you'd have to save these nondescript emails with eCredits attached and then remember to enter them yourself at check-out to put them to use.
If you have travel booked with Delta, keep an eye on the price of your flights. Delta will likely dole out vouchers for fare differences if prices drop. You can get these via your online account or simply messaging Delta.
Lead photo courtesy of Chris Lundberg via Flickr.