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How long do you have to make free change when Delta makes a schedule change?

How long do you have to make free change when Delta makes a schedule change?

Old Aug 5, 22, 10:07 am
  #1  
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How long do you have to make free change when Delta makes a schedule change?

Hi All,

I booked a basic economy flight and got a notification that my flight has changed. This flight isn't until October. It's allowing me to make free changes but I'm wondering how long do they allow you to change for free before taking option away? Still trying to confirm a few things with my friends.
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Old Aug 5, 22, 10:28 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
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Are you sure it's actually allowing you to make a free change? I thought BE tickets weren't eligible. But in any case, I've never seen the option disappear before checking in to the flight.
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Old Aug 5, 22, 10:32 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
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I can't speak for Basic Economy but I treat major schedule changes like a golden ticket. In my experience I've been able to go back at any time, even months later for changes on tickets booked well in advance, and been able to make any reasonable change to the same destination, even changing to flights a day earlier. I don't know how much it helps that I'm diamond, but I've never had pushback.

Even on other airlines where I have no status, I've called to make a change to a different flight the same day over a month after the schedule change happened, and I haven't had any problems.
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Old Aug 5, 22, 10:38 am
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Originally Posted by enoscabell View Post
I treat major schedule changes like a golden ticket.
Absolutely agree. I have hit the jackpot multiple times by booking far in advance and then taking advantage of major changes to snag flights that are far more expensive, or if my schedule allows it, earn far more MQMs with connections. Many times, it's both.
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Old Aug 5, 22, 10:41 am
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Originally Posted by DLHubber View Post
Are you sure it's actually allowing you to make a free change? I thought BE tickets weren't eligible. But in any case, I've never seen the option disappear before checking in to the flight.
Usually the change button is blacked out and says that I can't make changes since it's BE. Because of schedule change (changed by a few hours), I'm pretty sure this is why they're allowing free changes!
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Old Aug 5, 22, 11:11 am
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Originally Posted by mrcaptain View Post
Usually the change button is blacked out and says that I can't make changes since it's BE. Because of schedule change (changed by a few hours), I'm pretty sure this is why they're allowing free changes!
Well then I think you should be good to change it whenever you want, then. I can't remember if I'd ever done it back when I didn't have status, but I've definitely done it when I was just a lowly FO. So I doubt status makes a difference, and if the option is there I also doubt that the timeframe to make a change would be any different just because it's a BE ticket.

It's important to note that you can only do it once, though.
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Old Aug 5, 22, 11:13 am
  #7  
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I'd suggest OP wait at least until next Mon (DL "Schedule Change Saturdays" take a couple days to settle out) ... last week I got a notification for a 1 Oct flight, and a week ago for 13 Sep and 2 Oct flights; luckily all were minor and didn't require me to actually do anything

as usual, do some research and have your acceptable options ready to give to the phone agent (typically DL won't complain about +/- a day, or to/from a nearby airport)
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Old Aug 5, 22, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by jrl767 View Post
as usual, do some research and have your acceptable options ready to give to the phone agent (typically DL won't complain about +/- a day, or to/from a nearby airport)
I've moved my departure ahead two days online without any issue. No need to waste time with a phone agent, usually.
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Old Aug 5, 22, 12:03 pm
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You should have as long as you want to make a change. That gives you some time to figure out if you want to change departure airport, or only flight times, and sometimes, Delta locks up seats on the schedule change weekend, and then un-freezes them on Monday.

I enjoy booking my Delta flights early to benefit from this policy, particularly when they have a flight scheduled that I'm highly-confident will get cancelled. It's especially useful when there is a change from mainline to regional, or vice-versa. "I want to change my flights due to a change in operating carrier. I have the flight numbers I'd prefer--Would you like them?" usually does it.

I also recently had a great experience doing the same thing with American. I saved $400/ticket by waiting for the schedule change, and then getting the exact flights I wanted from another airport. American's agent wouldn't make a change, despite my flight being bumped ~3 hours, since their policy is more restrictive than Delta's. So I pulled out the operating carrier card, and once I whispered those magical words to the agent, the Delta SkyClub DJ sang from on high, and my options were unlimited.
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Old Aug 5, 22, 12:16 pm
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Ive made a change 2 days prior to departure for a mainline to regional change that happened several months before. The agent remarked that it happened a while ago but didnt push back.
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Old Aug 5, 22, 2:49 pm
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Originally Posted by DLHubber View Post
Well then I think you should be good to change it whenever you want, then. I can't remember if I'd ever done it back when I didn't have status, but I've definitely done it when I was just a lowly FO. So I doubt status makes a difference, and if the option is there I also doubt that the timeframe to make a change would be any different just because it's a BE ticket.

It's important to note that you can only do it once, though.

DL is getting very tough on this one change only policy. Ive never had a problem making more than one change until this week when 2 supervisors told me to pound sand. Lesson learned. I will never again make the change until I am absolutely certain.
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Old Aug 5, 22, 6:57 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by sydneyracquelle View Post
DL is getting very tough on this one change only policy. Ive never had a problem making more than one change until this week when 2 supervisors told me to pound sand. Lesson learned. I will never again make the change until I am absolutely certain.
Be careful too not to accept the change that DL proposes.

OTOH, if you wait too long, you risk having fewer choices as flights fill up.
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Old Aug 5, 22, 9:32 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Be careful too not to accept the change that DL proposes.

OTOH, if you wait too long, you risk having fewer choices as flights fill up.
So long as the flight has at least the same number of seats you need, how full the flight is does not matter (unless its sold out). The system will OB the class of service on a schedule change rebooking.

On the PNR viewer next to Previous Action Code you’ll see OB. The system will just overbook the class of service to rebook a schedule change even if that flight is almost filled up.

Last edited by Beetles; Aug 5, 22 at 9:37 pm
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Old Aug 5, 22, 10:06 pm
  #14  
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It's seats in the same cabin, not just seats on the plane (although of course not seats in the same fare class inventory). With many flights currently being full/overbooked, you can't assume that there will always be seats available in your cabin on the new flights you want. Of course, if you purchased a premium cabin ticket, you could accept a voluntary downgrade to get onto the new flight you want.

If the flight you want is already overbooked in your cabin (but not overbooked to the maximum that DL will permit for new ticket sales, presumably in FULL Y), I'm not sure whether DL would rebook you onto the flight. I know for SDC, there must be an actual seat, so that you cannot SDC onto an overbooked flight and I think the same rule applies to being confirmed onto an overbooked flight after IROPs.
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Old Aug 5, 22, 10:21 pm
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c’mon, folks, SDC and IROPS are 1000% irrelevant to this discussion, as are experiences with other carriers

as stated earlier, given OP’s flight is in Oct, OP is probably best off waiting until next Mon (8 Aug) to let the current round of schedule changes resolve … between now (late Fri / early Sat) and Mon, OP should do the necessary research to find acceptable flight options, and then try to make the change/s by whatever means (website, app, phone … )
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