Delta Air Lines News

Meghan Coyle
Kevin Berry
Ramsey Qubein
By Ramsey Qubein,  Kevin Berry and  Meghan Coyle 
Edited by Jeanette Margle
Delta Air Lines News

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.


This article is no longer being updated. For the latest travel rewards news, you can visit this page or check out the most recent stories on our hub.

Dec. 9 - Basic Economy Fares on Delta Air Lines Will No Longer Earn SkyMiles

Basic economy fares have already been stripped of seat selection, checked bags and in some cases, overhead carry-on bags, too. But Delta is the first airline to restrict the fares even more so that passengers who buy basic economy tickets will not earn SkyMiles or the Medallion Qualifying Miles, Segments or Dollars needed for elite status. The change went into effect for flights purchased on or after Dec. 9, 2021, for travel departing in 2022.

Other U.S.-based carriers still offer mileage earning for basic economy. United flyers in basic economy, for example, still earn United MileagePlus miles, and Premier (elite status) qualifying points. American Airlines discontinued earning toward elite status on basic economy tickets, but they continue to award AAdvantage miles.

Without earning SkyMiles, travelers might want to opt for the higher Main Cabin fares or another airline. In 2020, Delta and many other airlines permanently waived change fees for most types of tickets, except for basic economy. Delta had a special exemption for basic economy flyers to avoid change/cancellation fees that will expire at the end of 2021. In 2022, a new policy will come into play. For domestic itineraries, as well as flights to the Caribbean, Central America or Mexico, changes for a basic economy ticket will incur a $99 fee. For other international flights (including to Canada), the change fee will be $199.

Not sure whether you should pay up for the main cabin or save with basic economy? Here are some things to consider when choosing your fare.

March 31 - Delta Announces Status Accelerators

Good news today if you're a regular Delta flyer: The airline has announced several improvements to how you earn status in 2021. Beginning with flights on April 1 and continuing through the end of the year, you'll earn more as follows:

  • 50% or more Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs), Medallion Qualification Segments (MQSs) and Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) on Delta flights.

  • This 50% bonus includes award travel as well as tickets booked with Miles + Cash.

  • An additional 25% bonus (so 75% total) on all premium cabins and upgrades purchased after initial ticket purchase (both cash and miles tickets)

  • These bonus MQMs will also count towards Million Miler status.

Check out our full explainer and breakdown of these changes and how you can make the most of them.

Dec. 9 - Delta Eliminates Change Fees on International Flights

Travelers will no longer have to worry about fees to change or cancel their flights on Delta. The airline announced that it has eliminated change fees for international flights originating in North America, including flights operated by codeshare and joint venture partners. The only exception is basic economy fares, so travelers with this type of ticket are still subject to fees when they book after March 30, 2021. Any travel booked before that date falls under a waiver that eliminates change fees for all fares on both domestic and international flights. Earlier this year, Delta and many other U.S.-based airlines announced they would permanently stop charging change fees on domestic flights, but Delta and American are the first to announce the policy will also cover international flights.

Sept. 22 - Delta Extends Benefits, Adds More Flexibility

Delta Air Lines has announced further enhancements to their loyalty program and for holders of their co-branded credit cards. A notable change is the removal of fees when changing or canceling a domestic award flight for all SkyMiles members. The fees used to cost customers $150 for any changes. The new policy does not include basic economy fares.

Delta has also extended certain benefits for co-branded credit cardholders through the end of 2021, including $100 flight credits, unused Companion Certificates and unused Delta Sky Club guest passes. Speaking of extensions, Delta Sky Club Memberships will now be extended through June 30, 2021, assuming your membership was active as of March 1, 2020.

These changes follow Delta's latest update where they removed most domestic change fees.

Read the full story about the latest changes here.

Aug. 31 - Delta Follows United's Lead, Eliminates Most Domestic Change Fees

Shortly following United's announcement of the elimination of most change fees, Delta Air Lines has followed suit with a similar policy. The elimination of change fees is effective immediately for domestic travel including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The new policy will cover Delta’s first class, Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort+ and main cabin tickets. Basic economy tickets are not covered. Delta will continue to offer a waiver on change fees for newly purchased international flights and basic economy fare through Dec. 31, 2020, as part of its COVID-19 response.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

Cards for Delta from our Partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.


Intro offer


Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

See more cards for delta
Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.