Delta has quietly increased their fees for same day flight changes and standby. As of March 15, 2017, Delta has increased the fee for both same day flight changes and standby from $50 to $75. This new fee structure applies for tickets issued as of that date — previously booked tickets still qualify for the old fees.
As before, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Medallion members are exempt from same day flight change and standby fees. However, keep in mind that basic economy fares aren’t eligible for same day flight changes or standby, regardless of status.
Obviously this is a negative change, as Delta is increasing these fees by 50% overnight. At the same time, Delta is simply catching up with both American and United here. Both American and United charge $75 for same day flight changes and standby, and Delta’s same day change policy is certainly more generous than American’s.
This change makes elite status more valuable (at least for Gold Medallion members and above), but then again nowadays you need to pay a premium just to even be eligible to take advantage of your elite benefits, due to basic economy fares.
I also generally don’t understand why airlines charge the same for standby as they charge for same day flight changes. One is considerably more valuable, so you’d think that a same day flight change would be more expensive than standby.
In the meantime Southwest continues to not charge any fees for ticket changes (though in fairness they don’t allow standby, so you are stuck paying whatever the fare difference is)…
Are you surprised to see Delta increase their same day flight change and standby fees?
(Tip of the hat to Points, Miles & Martinis)