Flexible Flying: Delta SkyMiles Extends Benefits Into 2021, Drops Fees

When it comes to booking flights during a pandemic, flexibility is in.

Earlier this month, all the major airlines launched new “no change fees” policies. Now Delta Air Lines is raising the bar by amping up flexibility for flights booked with award miles. Delta is also extending the timeline on benefits for some Delta SkyMiles American Express card members, Delta Sky Club memberships and more.

Effective immediately, most domestic flights booked with Delta SkyMiles awards will be fee-free for changes or cancellation. Domestic reward tickets can now be canceled or changed right up to the time of departure. The upshot: Suddenly, SkyMiles is an incredibly flexible way to book flights on Delta Air Lines.

Under the old rules, changing a flight or canceling within three days of departure was punishable with a $150 fee and the forfeiture of award miles.

There is one big exception: The change does not apply to Basic Economy reward tickets, which still carry the more restrictive rules. Customers will still have to decide whether it’s worth buying a more expensive ticket in return for greater flexibility.

“From extended loyalty benefits to improving award travel, customers now have even more flexibility for upcoming trips and more time to enjoy benefits when they’re ready to travel again,” said Sandeep Dube, Senior Vice President – Customer Engagement and Loyalty, and CEO of Delta Vacations.

Delta SkyMiles American Express card members with benefits issued through most of 2020 will see select benefits extended through the end of 2021:

  • Delta SkyMiles Gold Card Members who earn a $100 Delta flight credit will have the expiration date for that credit extended to December 31, 2021.
  • Delta SkyMiles Platinum and Reserve Card Members with unused Companion Certificates will receive an additional extension to book and travel using the Companion Certificate by December 31, 2021.
  • Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card Members with unused Delta Sky Club guest passes will have expiration dates for those passes extended to December 31, 2021.

Other airlines are also rolling out tempting offers to its reward club members. Southwest Airlines just put its own too-good-to-be-true promo on the table: Fly between September 22 and November 15 and you’ll earn a seven-week companion pass valid in early 2021.

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