Is this cancellation fee reasonable?

Old Sep 17, 19, 2:02 pm
  #1  
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Is this cancellation fee reasonable?

Booked a DL flight in August in First Class for a trip in early October, so now it's about two weeks ahead. Unfortunately, a family medical situation has come so up so that I need to cancel the trip. Started through the DL on-line cancellation procedure somehow thinking that the fee would be around $200, but Nooo! The website quotes a cancellation fee of aprox $500 on a $1450 fare ... is this reasonable or is it higher because it was a First Class fare or what? Could explaining to an agent reduce or somehow waive the fee?
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Old Sep 17, 19, 2:05 pm
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Call in. Be sweet as pie. Pretend you never checked online re penalty. Call agent by their first name. Plead your medical case. Good chance of a fee waiver but luck of the draw. Depends on who you get.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 2:11 pm
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AFAIK all domestic flights have $200 change fees, assuming not BE and not fully refundable or changeable without penalty. However, to verify this you would need to look at the fare rules, which someone here might be able to find (for instance on EF) if you tell us the exact fare code(s). Also, DL could market some short international segments as FC, such as perhaps Canada transborder flights.

Does the approximate (does this mean it's not a round number) $500 fee include a fare difference? That would be my guess. Try to price the flights you want as a new ticket to check the fare difference. Changing before you fly the outbound normally means that the entire ticket is repriced, which is subject to current fares, current fare class availability, and any advanced purchase requirements for the (new) fares.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 2:51 pm
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There should never be a fee to cancel a ticket, so I'm not quite sure what you are trying to do. Refund the ticket? Change to a different flight?
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Old Sep 17, 19, 2:59 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
There should never be a fee to cancel a ticket, so I'm not quite sure what you are trying to do. Refund the ticket? Change to a different flight?
It's not clear, but I'm assuming that the OP is trying to change the travel dates, so this would be a rebooking.

BTW I'm also implicitly assuming that OP purchased the ticket directly through DL so that there aren't any additional OLTA service fees.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 3:19 pm
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Originally Posted by BH62 View Post
Booked a DL flight in August in First Class for a trip in early October, so now it's about two weeks ahead. Unfortunately, a family medical situation has come so up so that I need to cancel the trip. Started through the DL on-line cancellation procedure somehow thinking that the fee would be around $200, but Nooo! The website quotes a cancellation fee of aprox $500 on a $1450 fare ... is this reasonable or is it higher because it was a First Class fare or what? Could explaining to an agent reduce or somehow waive the fee?
Are you trying to cancel the reservation completely, or are you trying to rebook the tickets using the original ticket as partial payment? Delta will rarely ever refund a completely nonrefundable ticket. However, if you call in and need to
rebook or just cancel a reservation, they will most often allow you a waiver to re-use the funds at a later date (in the same name) without a penalty. Additional air fare may be charged if the new ticket is more than the original ticket. Also, the
funds (on a domestic ticket) would have to be re-used and all travel be completed one year from the original ticketing date.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 3:25 pm
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OP here: to clarify, this was a domestic flight booked directly with DL from their website as a Skymiles general member w/ no advanced status. The originally booked FC fare was approx $1450 while the exact same itinerary is now quoted as approx $2050. There are presently two FC seats available. But does a cancellation somehow be considered a "modification" to be repriced such that the fee approaches the booked fare(s) differences rather than $200?
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Old Sep 17, 19, 3:30 pm
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Seems pretty clear the OP wants to cancel not modify.
As someone posted, call in and plead your case
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Old Sep 17, 19, 3:33 pm
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Originally Posted by BH62 View Post
OP here: to clarify, this was a domestic flight booked directly with DL from their website as a Skymiles general member w/ no advanced status. The originally booked FC fare was approx $1450 while the exact same itinerary is now quoted as approx $2050. There are presently two FC seats available. But does a cancellation somehow be considered a "modification" to be repriced such that the fee approaches the booked fare(s) differences rather than $200?
Without knowing the route, I wonder whether you have something like a P fare that allows changes, but since you're changing before taking the outbound flight, the ticket must be repriced. In the OP, you said it was a $500 price difference but now the difference between the fares is $600 so I'm confused, but there doesn't seem to be a change fee.

The "approximate" and presumably not round numbers sound like a fare difference is involved, not just a change fee which would be a round number if no foreign currency is involved.

DL is a bit unusual in how it handles these fees. Normally you don't pay the fee at the time of the cancellation but only when you use the funds to purchase another ticket. Your $1450 unorefundable ticket would become a credit/voucher in your DL account (but make sure you keep the ticket number as sometime's it's needed) and to use that money toward purchase of a new ticket, the fee (almost always $200 on domestic tickets) would be charged.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 3:46 pm
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Originally Posted by BH62 View Post
OP here: to clarify, this was a domestic flight booked directly with DL from their website as a Skymiles general member w/ no advanced status. The originally booked FC fare was approx $1450 while the exact same itinerary is now quoted as approx $2050. There are presently two FC seats available. But does a cancellation somehow be considered a "modification" to be repriced such that the fee approaches the booked fare(s) differences rather than $200?
To be clear, fares are affected by inventory and advance purchase (among other things). You likely had a discounted advance purchase first class fare. Now, due to not having the advance purchase or correct inventory, the fare is more expensive. With a medical
emergency, Delta will waive the change fees, but they will not waive any additional air fare. I would at least ask for the fee waiver.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 3:50 pm
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I do intend to plead my case, but was/am being deliberately vague about the fares in case some maven/app monitors DL-mentioned FT threads to identify the poster.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 3:52 pm
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Not to be harsh, but this is a situation where reading the key fare rules at the time of booking was in order. But, not having done that, it sounds as though OP still has not done so.

OP will need to confirm this for certain, but:

1. If he simply wishes to cancel his ticket, he will have a $1,450 credit to use for another ticket and will pay $200 at the time he rebooks.
2. If this is an odd refundable fare with a penalty, he will indeed be due a refund of $1,250.
3. If OP has new dates in mind, he will have a credit of $1,450, pay $200 and then any fare difference which may be due for the new tickets. If that fare difference is now $300, he will need to pay $500 for the new dates he has selected.

Depending on the nature of the family medical emergency, this may all be covered by travel insurance.

If not covered by insurance, this is where one tries a short and sweet request to have the change fee waived. It is unlikely that any new fare differential will be waived, but that would bring the change down to $300.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 3:58 pm
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OP:

When you do not fly the flight in question you are left with a DL credit of the paid amount minus $200 to be used on a DL flight (in almost all domestic tickets). There is no difference between canceling and modifying.

There is a reasonable chance DL would waive the $200 fee given the circumstances (though this is not something they owe you).

The real problem is you now want to apply that credit to a flight that is more expensive by $600. That is the issue in play.

Your only real hope for saving cash is to find a cheaper alternative to reduce that $600 fare difference, while also asking DL if they could waive the $200 change fee.

EDIT: I think you are saying it is the exact same flight that is now $600 more expensive. That does not matter at all. All that matters is that you have $1250 DL credit to use for the same pax within the next year (+--).

Last edited by exwannabe; Sep 17, 19 at 4:09 pm
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Old Sep 17, 19, 4:00 pm
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Originally Posted by BH62 View Post
OP here: to clarify, this was a domestic flight booked directly with DL from their website as a Skymiles general member w/ no advanced status. The originally booked FC fare was approx $1450 while the exact same itinerary is now quoted as approx $2050. There are presently two FC seats available. But does a cancellation somehow be considered a "modification" to be repriced such that the fee approaches the booked fare(s) differences rather than $200?
Are you trying to change this ticket to another ticket? (Deleting some but not all segments of a ticket is a change - maybe this is what you want to do?)

If not, there is no fee to cancel a ticket. Most discount domestic fares are non-refundable, which means you can cancel the ticket now without penalty, and later you can pay the change fee (almost always $200) in order to use the coupon value ($1450) toward new travel. You need to do this within 1 year of the original ticket being issued; otherwise the entire value is forfeit.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 10:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Not to be harsh, but this is a situation where reading the key fare rules at the time of booking was in order. .

I am rather certain that the vast majority of people, including frequent flyers, never do this. I certainly don't. I also don't think it's reasonable to expect people to examine the minutia of the rules.
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