Delta matches United and US Airways with $200 domestic change fees

Matching United and US Airways, it’s no surprise that Delta announced today that they’ll be raising their domestic change fees to $200:

Based on the fare rules, you may have to pay a service fee and/or a difference in fare. For travel within the 50 United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the fee is $200 for Delta-marketed flights.

I’m sure American will follow shortly as well. I think it’ll be interesting to see what the non-major US legacy airlines do, like Alaska. They currently charge a $100 change fee ($75 if done online), so will they increase their change fees while still undercutting the legacies, or are these round of changes only for the big four (well, big three now, I guess)?


  1. Intl question, Ben: If I book a LH coach ticket then switch it to first like a week before I’m leaving – how much does that cost? Thanks.

  2. This surely hits families hard right at the beginning of the summer season.

    I guess it is best to buy travel insurance or switch to SWA. I am sure SWA flights will be packed to the fullest from now on.

  3. Lucky – I think a post outlining current award change fees would be very useful, comparing each major airline on cost, ability and fee to change dates/destinations/departures, ability to grab premium seats that open, etc.
    I bet if I searched there’s probably one like it already.. but just like these domestic fees, its a moving target.

  4. for once, UA is actually the leader (boo to everyone who led or followed)

    My ideal change fees should be this :

    1. tier’ed towards date of departure. changing a ticket 8 months prior to departure has minimal impact to the airline eventually selling the seat. changing it 2 hours before and it’s pretty much an empty seat.

    2. tier’ed with different buckets of fare class. On UA, a N-fare versus a W-fare versus a H-fare should have different treatment.

    3. tier’ed elite discounts, waived for top tier elites

    4. should be the correlated to the ticket price itself. a $49 one-way LAX-LAS should have the same change fee as MIA-EWR-SFO-HNL.

    5. one-way change fee should be lower than roundtrip change fee.

  5. Just makes me more incentivized to head to small claims court the next time there’s a mistake fare. What’s good for the goose…

  6. Why don’t they just make it a cool $500 and basically force everyone to buy new tickets ?

    This is daylight robbery – airline making money on fees and not service based flights.

    They get what they deserve.

  7. I guess as average fares have risen, a $200 change fee probably reflects the percentage that the $150 fee was a couple years ago. But that’s CFO thinking. Traveler thinking is that these fees have reached a point where changing tickets for discretionary reasons is almost inconceivable. I am sure DL will adjust their award change fees as well. Imagine paying $1000 to change the date on a ticket for a family of 5.

    You would think a $50 change fee would generate as much income because folks would be more inclined to change, but I suspect the truth is most folks are loath to pay a change fee and those who do are undaunted by the $50 extra, so this is probably a win for the carriers. $250 can’t be far behind.

  8. Lucky: How does the trip protection work with Chase Sapphire Preferred and similar cards? Would any of them be useful in covering change fees and the like?

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