Delta Increases Their Same Day Flight Change & Standby Fees By 50%

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)


  1. Except Southwest doesn’t let you standby. They do whoever confirm a seat if you pay the fare difference.

  2. Lucky, just a follow up on the TAP fuel surcharge in Brazil. The company announced that a “system glitch” was responsible for adding the fee. It’s now “corrected” and will no longer show up. As I said before, the new Resolution did not allowed fuel surcharges. Carriers must display their fares and only government fees or special services (like transporting your cat or dog) may be added. And it’s just the same when ticketing with points/miles.

  3. I would hope that airlines could have less strict rules for standby same day changes for previous plane. Especially if there are multiple seats available on an earlier flight (and latter one is overbooked). Emirates and JetAirways have given me change to get on the previous flight without any fees which is nice. I would have missed my connection with JetAirways as my original flight was delayed in the end.

  4. screw them. you do them a favor by opening up a seat on a later flight.

    should pay you to take an earlier flight.

    screw them

  5. Clickbaity title. TPG: “Delta’s now matching AA and United’s fees for same-day changes and flying same-day standby:” is much more accurate. Please, Ben.

  6. This change only applies to Silver Med or non-status pax. Based on boarding announcements most DAL flights these days seem to be filled with Gold and above. Besides SDC has become nigh impossible since you need to confirm into the same fare class as originally booked. Those are usually loooooong gone by the day of.

  7. I can’t remember, if I, as a Diamond, am traveling in the same itinerary as someone below gold (or without any status), does their Same Day Standby or Confirmed fee also get waived? Thanks.

  8. Southwest allows standby for all of their Alist or Alist preferred members along with anyone who doesn’t purchase the sale fares.

  9. Fact check!

    Just to synthesize what has already been mentioned here by Emma and Devin:

    Southwest does allow standby for free in certain situations. For one, as mentioned, if you are A List or A List preferred, you can do same-day standby for free (regardless of the fare you purchased). Additionally, if you had purchased a Business Select or Anytime, you can also make changes for free (pending availability).

    If you had purchased Wanna Get Away, you can still change without fees, but you do have to pay the fare difference. I know the fare difference can be steep, especially if you had purchased well in advance and got a cheap fare and then switch to a last-minute same-day fare, but technically, it is not a fee and sometimes customers actually do get money back. While the change policy can sometimes sting day-of, the policy is really beneficial when you book in advance since you can change to a cheaper fare and get a travel fund for later use if fares decrease after you book. It can definitely be a double-edged sword, but at the end of the day, your money is being used for your travel, and never disappearing into an airline’s bank account via high change fees.


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