Delta May (or May Not) Waive Change Fees during Government Shutdown

UPDATE Oct. 16: Despite several news reports that Delta Air Lines was waiving change fees during the government shutdown, the airline now says it isn’t so – at least not in every case. But apparently there may be some exceptions. Here’s what a Delta spokesperson told FareCompare today:

“Delta applies situational flexibility and good judgment, based on the understanding for a need to be flexible for our customers who have unique circumstances. There is no blanket waiver.” –Delta spokesperson in an email to FareCompare

Earlier story, published Oct. 15:

When the Flyers Rights organization pressed the airlines to waive their expensive change fees for travelers impacted by the U.S. government’s partial shutdown, some laughed. After all, the airlines rake in billions from these extras. But apparently one airline took action.

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Report: Delta Waives $200 Change Fee

According to the rights group, Delta Air Lines is the lone carrier to drop its steep $200 fee that must be paid by anyone wanted to make changes to an airline ticket. Exception: Changes can be made to any airline ticket within 24 hours of purchase.

FareCompare has so far been unable to confirm this, though. Delta spokespeople have not returned messages and there is no mention of this on the airline’s website, Facebook page or Twitter feed but we will update if and when we learn more. [See the update above] 

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Southwest: Never a Change Fee

As far as we can tell, no other airline has indicated any interest in dropping change fees. However, it should be noted that Southwest, alone among U.S. airlines, does not charge a change fee – whether the government is shutdown or moving full speed ahead.

Question for readers: Has the shutdown affected you to the extent that you’d like to change your plans?


Published: October 15, 2013