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The assurance of a flexible refund policy can ease a stressful travel experience when unexpected events, like a severe illness or poor weather, derail your flight plans.
Travelers who fly on Delta Air Lines might have the ability to request a refund, depending on the specifics of their ticket. Learn more about Delta's refund policy.
Delta Air Lines refund policy
Depending on the timeline since you first booked your ticket, the fare type and how you purchased it, you might get your money back. If a refund isn’t possible under the airline’s refund policy, an eCredit toward your next flight might be an alternative.
» Learn more: How to rebook and save when Delta prices drop
On Jan. 12, 2022, Delta announced that all existing eCredits will remain valid through Dec. 31, 2023, for flights scheduled through 2024.
Free 24-hour cancellation
Delta's refund policy offers the most leniency when it comes to flights that are canceled within 24 hours of booking. Under its 24-hour risk-free cancellation policy, you can cancel your booking for any reason without penalty.
This policy applies to any flight fare, whether it’s a refundable, nonrefundable or basic economy ticket. Upon canceling your flight, you’ll receive an automatic full refund issued to the original payment method.
Delta refund ticket eligibility
After the 24-hour free cancellation window passes, a Delta refund depends on the terms of your ticket fare type.
If you booked a flight with a refundable fare, you can submit a Delta refund request to the airline after officially canceling your trip. Your ticket must also have been purchased with cash, a check or a credit card.
Whether you’re seeking a refund on a refundable ticket or for an unused trip purchase — like a Wi-Fi pass — you must fill out a form to apply for a refund or eCredit.
Nonrefundable tickets are ineligible for a cash refund, but you can receive eCredit on the value of the ticket, minus any cancellation fees (if applicable). The eCredit can be redeemed toward a future Delta flight.
Exceptions for nonrefundable tickets: If there’s a death of an immediate family member, travel companion or passenger of the nonrefundable ticket, you can request a refund under Delta's policy. Be prepared to provide proof, like a copy of the death certificate, to the airline's refund department.
Basic economy ticket
Basic economy tickets are only eligible for cancellation, changes and refunds within the 24-hour risk-free period. If you purchased a basic economy fare and are past the 24-hour time frame, you won’t be allowed to request a refund and will lose the full value of the ticket.
However, if you purchased travel insurance, you might be able to get reimbursed for your ticket. Keep in mind, you must cancel for one of the covered reasons.
Award ticket refunds
Award tickets: When SkyMiles are used to cover the entire cost of the ticket and you choose to cancel your flight, your miles will be redeposited into your SkyMiles account.
Pay with Miles tickets: Some Delta SkyMiles AmEx cardmembers can secure their ticket through the Pay with Miles redemption option. Regardless of whether you redeemed miles toward a refundable ticket, the miles won’t be redeposited into your SkyMiles account. You'll get an eCredit for the value instead.
Miles + Cash tickets: For customers who purchased a ticket through Miles + Cash, the cash portion of the ticket is nonrefundable. The mileage portion of the ticket value will be redeposited into your SkyMiles account.
Upgrade with Miles tickets: Miles used for flight upgrades can’t be redeposited into your SkyMiles account unless the ticket falls under the 24-hour risk-free cancellation policy.
How to initiate a Delta refund request
Initiating a Delta refund request can take two different paths, depending on the timing of your request.
Within 24 hours
Customers can easily cancel and request a refund on a ticket online within 24 hours of booking at no additional cost. Visit delta.com or launch the Fly Delta app, then:
Either log in and select My Trips, or if you don’t have a Delta online account, select Find Your Trip.
Select the trip you want to cancel and select the Cancel Flight button.
Then, follow the steps to submit a Delta refund request.
After 24 hours
Once the risk-free cancellation period ends, you’ll need to go through a different channel to submit a Delta refund request.
Customers with a refundable ticket can submit a Delta refund request for their booking online by visiting delta.com and filling out its electronic form. Nonrefundable ticket holders can also use the same form to cancel their trip and apply for an eCredit.
You’ll need to enter your first and last names and the 13-digit ticket number that’s on the confirmation or receipt from when you first purchased your ticket.
A Delta representative can also assist you over the phone. Customers within the U.S. or Canada can contact 800-847-0578. SkyMiles members can reach out to a dedicated phone line at 800-323-2323. Representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you with refund requests.
» Learn more: Don't just redeem miles — redeem them wisely. Here's how
Getting your Delta Air Lines refund
After you’ve started the process for a refund on your Delta flight, it takes some time to process your request. Even eligible tickets can take up to seven business days for the airline to issue a refund for U.S. credit or debit card purchases.
Tickets that were purchased with cash or a check can take up to 20 business days for returns to process.
For your convenience, Delta offers a helpful tool to check on the status of your refund. Visit the refund status page and enter your full name, ticket number and refund request number that was emailed to you.
» Learn more: The basics of travel cancellation refunds and vouchers
If you're seeking a Delta refund
Understanding which tickets are eligible for a Delta Air Lines refund can be confusing. Once you’re outside of the 24-hour cancellation window, your ticket type will become more relevant to your eligibility. If the likelihood of a cash refund is important to you, avoid booking basic economy fares (where no refunds are given) or other nonrefundable tickets (where eCredits are given).
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 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card