Changes to the policy known as Same-Day Confirmed were officially announced moments ago by Delta Air Lines — and many FlyerTalk members are not happy about these changes, which were first rumored on March 27 and expounded upon with additional details and speculation.
Starting on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, you will be able to request a change on the day of your any time prior to the departure time of your original flight within the same calendar day — but the same booking class as your original ticket must now be available in order to successfully implement the change, according to FlyerTalk member DwayneSkyMiles, who is one of the official company representatives of Delta Air Lines on FlyerTalk.
Currently, changes could only be made within three hours of the new departure time of your flight. This expanded time frame and improved flexibility will allow more time to request same-day changes on the day of departure. However, your requested flight is same-day confirmed eligible if the departure time falls between midnight on the same day as the originally booked ticket and 2:00 in the morning on the following day to account for overnight — or “red-eye” — flights.
Also, origin, destination or co-terminal — such as between Midway Airport and O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, for example — changes will not be eligible under the new policy of the Same-Day Confirmed option, which will be available for travel within the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands on flights operated by Delta Air Lines and Delta Connection.
The booking class of both purchased and award tickets will automatically be identified to offer same-day confirmed options when the same fare class is available on another flight.
Diamond, Platinum and Gold Medallion members of the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program will receive complimentary same-day travel changes for new flight departure times that are three hours before or after your original departure time. For flights departing outside of this window, a fee of $50.00 for each same-day confirmed ticketing change will now apply.
Diamond, Platinum and Gold Medallion members also may continue to stand by free of charge for flights outside of the complimentary window or when your booking class is not available.
Many FlyerTalk members have complained that they do not want to arrive at the airport early without a confirmed reservation on a flight and sit at the airport — although there is an expanded opportunity for a $50.00 fee, but only if the same booking class is available.
All other customers of Delta Air Lines will now have the ability to same-day standby for a $50.00 fee when the booking class is not available by requesting a day-of-flight change any time prior to the departure time of the original flight. This is a new feature of the same-day travel change program and the fee will not be charged until you have cleared the standby list and are on the aircraft. This is great news for those customers to whom the Same-Day Confirmed option was unavailable — if they are willing to pay the $50.00 for the privilege.
The reservations team at Delta Air Lines has the ability to honor the same-day travel policy referenced in the fare rules for tickets purchased prior to April 23, 2013 as requested, which means that the policy has not changed if you already purchased the tickets for your flight.
As for the reason behind the rumors to the policy of offering, DwayneSkyMiles posted the following:
“And a little background on why you’ve heard things about these changes before we made an official announcement. We don’t like it when the rumor mill is busy at work before we can tell you ourselves, but in order prepare for the first day of our same-day travel changes, we needed to ensure our agents had sufficient time with the information so they could apply it correctly from day one. We’d like to apologize for any uncertainty and/or confusion this caused in the Delta forum prior to today.”
The bottom line is that Delta Air Lines is monetizing the policy of Same-Day Confirmed, but offering expanded options to compensate for the $50.00 fee. This may be good business sense for Delta Air Lines — but for those FlyerTalk members who have Diamond, Platinum and Gold Medallion elite status and whose travel arrangements are unpredictable and whose travel budget is tight, these changes in policy represent another perceived devaluation of the Delta Air Lines SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program.
It also remains to be seen as to how the new changes to the Same-Day Confirmed option will work out — as well as whether or not a flight will depart with an empty seat which a FlyerTalk member would have been able to use as according to the current policy of Same-Day Confirmed…