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Consolidated Delta Schedule Change Discussion Thread

Old Jul 10, 16, 6:48 pm
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Last edit by: Zorak
Delta rolls out schedule changes pretty much every Saturday, though the scope/impact can vary. During this time, seat maps may be locked out, may show the wrong aircraft layout, etc. while changes are occurring. If you are not traveling immediately, FT conventional wisdom is to wait until Sunday (or even Monday in the case of major schedule adjustments where things take longer) for things to settle down, then take stock of your upcoming itineraries to see what changes have occurred and what changes/refunds you may be entitled to.

You are entitled to a full refund to original form of payment, even for a ticket that was purchased as a non-refundable ticket, if any of the following occur as a result of schedule change:
  • departure or arrival delay of 2hrs or more
  • increase in the number of flight segments (non-stop to connecting, 1-stop to 2-stop, etc.)
  • change resulting in a connection below the Minimum Connection Time for a given airport (do a Google search for "site:flyertalk.com minimum connecting time XXX" with the airport code to find the relevant thread if one exists)
  • any change in operating carrier, i.e. operated by Delta mainline before the schedule change and Delta Connection after the change
    • it is also a commonly-held belief that a change from Delta Connection to mainline, or from one Delta Connection carrier to a different Delta Connection carrier, also qualifies for a full refund -- if anyone has documentation of this, a link would be great...

The airline would rather keep your money than refund it, so they will frequently accept any vaguely reasonable rerouting that you propose. This includes, by policy, changing origin and/or destination within 100 miles, rebooking +/- two days, and changing outbound/return date to keep the length of the trip the same post-rebooking.

If none of the above conditions for a refund is true, you may still be entitled to a free change -- in your trip summary there will be a notice about changes/refunds, and per the "conditions apply" popup link in that text:

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
If possible, you may wish to try modifying your flights online first -- there have been data points where the site allowed a free rebooking even though it did not technically fall into the above categories. NOTE however that self-rebooking online is known not to work if you have (1) any trip involving upgrade certificates (whether cleared or not), (2) if you have self-upgraded by picking an upgraded seat that said FREE (instead of waiting for the automated upgrade system sweep to reseat you in an upgraded seat), this seems to inhibit self-rebooking as well.

Otherwise, suggested best practice is to research your preferred alternative rebooking beforehand (whether DL flight search, Google Flights, ITA Matrix etc.) so that you can speak with an agent already knowing what you want, and ask for it; this will be much more efficient than having an agent find alternatives for you.

Other notes/FAQs:
  • Even if you voluntarily choose a preferred rebooking, you have a high likelihood of success claiming Original Routing Credit since the original reason for the change was involuntary.
  • If you booked through a travel agency, including online travel agencies (OTA) such as Expedia, Chase Ultimate Rewards, etc. you will have to contact them, not Delta, to request rerouting if the automatic rebooking is not satisfactory to you.
    • There have been reports of an agency insisting that a change of 2 hours was required (per the "pro" site) for a free change, even though the popup on the DL site says 1 hour
    • You can sometimes get Delta to take over a travel agency ticket; this is subject to a $50 fee to take over the ticket, although sometimes agents decline to collect it
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Consolidated Delta Schedule Change Discussion Thread

Old Feb 26, 15, 8:09 pm
  #1  
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Exclamation Consolidated Delta Schedule Change Discussion Thread

If you are not satisfied with this updated itinerary, you may be eligible to change your flight(s) at no extra cost.

Of course there is no indication as to exactly what the change is. How do I determine the change?
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Old Feb 26, 15, 8:23 pm
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by captiveguru
If you are not satisfied with this updated itinerary, you may be eligible to change your flight(s) at no extra cost.

Of course there is no indication as to exactly what the change is. How do I determine the change?
Look at your original itinerary at departure times and arrivals along with Aircraft. I have got that message when going from a CRJ200 to a CRJ900.
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Old Feb 26, 15, 8:37 pm
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The one time I got that message was when the departure time of one leg of my trip changed by 5 minutes. I almost panicked until I saw the change, then laughed about it.
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Old Feb 26, 15, 8:49 pm
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I can not remember a DL flight purchased well in advance that did not have the bright red warning at some point in time. And the change was never significant.

"Boy who cries wolf" type nonsense.
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Old Feb 26, 15, 9:14 pm
  #5  
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At one point either the email schedule change notification or the itinerary showed the old time crossed out in red with the new time given. It would be so much simpler if this practice were to continue.

I sometimes have to call the DM line to ask them to tell me exactly how the schedule has changed.
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Old Feb 26, 15, 9:51 pm
  #6  
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Generally if the times are still in the ballpark of what I remember booking, I double check my seat assignment and then stop worrying about it. Sometimes if I'm curious I'll go find my email receipt from booking and figure out the change. It's usually some 5 min change.

One thing I noticed the last time this happened is that I had to click the button to "accept" then change before my UG was requested again. Possibly important for the time of UG requested tiebreaker.
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Old Feb 26, 15, 10:50 pm
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by wormhole
The one time I got that message was when the departure time of one leg of my trip changed by 5 minutes. I almost panicked until I saw the change, then laughed about it.
I've had that happen several times by 5-15 minutes.

Also had one time where a certain flight I was on was cut from the schedule and was re-booked on an earlier flight. IIRC it was originally a mid-morning departure and got re-booked on a 7am flight. I called and got put on a flight later in the morning.

I also had a notification that was for a flight number that got changed.

Moral of the story: these change notifications can be important.
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Old Feb 26, 15, 10:56 pm
  #8  
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Got the message when they turned my 1 hour MSP connection into a -20 minute connection

I of course was able to change it to the flight of my choosing, got to connect in SEA instead and skip the regional jets, so it worked out for me just fine.
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Old Feb 27, 15, 10:00 am
  #9  
 
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Wife and I had a ATL-SJD-ATL booked 9 months early. At 6 months out, got the email stating, "there has been a change". When I looked it up, they had apparently cancelled the direct SJD-ATL flight, and had rebooked us SJD-TIJ, arriving at 10:30 pm, and then "connecting" SAN-ATL the next morning. I dived for the phone and asked the agent how i was supposed to get from Tijuana to San Diego in the middle of the night. She laughed and said, "Wow the computer really had its way with you." She fixed it with a connection through SJC but it certainly caused some tense moments.
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Old Feb 27, 15, 10:06 am
  #10  
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I have a flight that keeps vacillating between a 7:30 AM departure and a 7:31 AM departure. One minute. Because I make my reservations many months in advance I usually get 3-4 schedule changes per reservation before I actually get to fly.

In my opinion I have never experienced an airline that has as many schedule changes as Delta
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Old Feb 27, 15, 10:21 am
  #11  
 
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Agree that most of the time, changes have no material affect on your flight, but sometimes they do:

sometimes the flight you booked is alright cancelled, because DL dropped the route altogether

sometimes change in metal means you just lost your economy plus or exit row seat

i can go on.... the key is to quickly review every detail and make sure nothing material has impacted your travel plans
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Old Feb 27, 15, 10:27 am
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
At one point either the email schedule change notification or the itinerary showed the old time crossed out in red with the new time given. It would be so much simpler if this practice were to continue.

I sometimes have to call the DM line to ask them to tell me exactly how the schedule has changed.
I actually got an email the other day alerting me to schedule changes which were easy to see at a glance. I think this was my HKG trip.
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Old Feb 27, 15, 12:00 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by lovecabo
Wife and I had a ATL-SJD-ATL booked 9 months early. At 6 months out, got the email stating, "there has been a change". When I looked it up, they had apparently cancelled the direct SJD-ATL flight, and had rebooked us SJD-TIJ, arriving at 10:30 pm, and then "connecting" SAN-ATL the next morning. I dived for the phone and asked the agent how i was supposed to get from Tijuana to San Diego in the middle of the night. She laughed and said, "Wow the computer really had its way with you." She fixed it with a connection through SJC but it certainly caused some tense moments.
I had a somewhat similar example where a scheduled ANC-SLC-CVG-STL itinerary was impacted when CVG-STL was eliminated for my day of travel (a holiday cutback). The system automatically rebooked me to fly ANC-SLC-CVG-DTW, with CVG-DTW departing before SLC-CVG arrived and no continuing leg back to STL included at all.

As several have mentioned, the reality is most changes don't amount to anything, but it is important to check carefully!
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Old Feb 27, 15, 12:45 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by steex
...the reality is most changes don't amount to anything, but it is important to check carefully!
This is why I started this thread. As I suspected, the only way to know what changed is to either call Delta or find my original confirmation email...

Maybe if we all start calling every time there is an unspecified change DL IT will prioritize a fix. I vote for the red-line strategy.
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Old Feb 27, 15, 1:28 pm
  #15  
 
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We book a lot of trips far in advance so am used to checking for changes after the weekend changes. Seems like if notice in "red" is still there it has shown old and new times which is helpful.

As others have indicated a lot of changes are in minutes and not of any great significance. However, one of the changes a couple of weeks ago on our MCO-RIC trip was significant. DL eliminated our direct flight. We didn't like the change and had no trouble calling and getting the flights we wanted. On the return they had moved up the ATL-MCO segment by two hours and after checking the schedule for that day I saw that they were not flying the usual last flight of the night. We still had a reasonable amount of time to connect so the only loss was our expected dinner at OFS.
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