How to Cancel a Delta Flight

The fastest way to cancel your Delta flight is usually online, but you can also do so over the phone.
Anya Kartashova
By Anya Kartashova 
Updated
Edited by Meg Lee

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There are several situations when you might want to cancel a confirmed flight on Delta Air Lines. A new job, an addition to the family, an injury or a health emergency can end travel plans in a moment.

Especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many U.S. airlines, including Delta, implemented flyer-friendly policies that help travelers cancel most flights painlessly and without a charge. And even today, many of those policies are still in place — at least to some extent.

Here's how to cancel a Delta flight online — and how much it costs to cancel a Delta flight, if you choose to.

Delta’s flight cancellation policy

Delta’s flight cancellation policy is most easily understood by knowing what fare restrictions exist by ticket type. These types are as follows:

  • Basic economy (most restrictive).

  • Nonrefundable (some restrictions).

  • Refundable (most flexible).

Secondary to ticket type is the window of time in which you cancel your trip. The airline recommends that all cancellations happen prior to departure.

Here’s its flight cancellation policy:

Basic economy ticket

Nonrefundable ticket for travel originating in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean

Nonrefundable ticket for other travel

Refundable ticket

What do you get if you cancel within 24 hours of booking?

A refund to your original payment method at no charge.

A refund to your original payment method at no charge.

A refund to your original payment method at no charge.

A refund to your original payment method at no charge.

What do you get if you cancel after 24 hours of booking?

The remaining value as an eCredit (which expires), minus a cancellation fee.

The remaining value as an eCredit (which expires).

The remaining value as an eCredit (which expires), minus a cancellation fee.

A refund to your original payment method at no charge.

If you purchased travel insurance, you may be able to get reimbursement for nonrefundable tickets or basic economy tickets if you need to cancel or change your flight.

How to cancel a Delta flight

Introverts, rejoice, as the easiest way to cancel a Delta flight is online. Log in to your Delta SkyMiles account, go to My Trips and select the trip you want to change or cancel. Click the "Modify flight" button and proceed with the cancellation.

Another way to cancel a Delta flight is by calling reservations at 800-221-1212. However, this method might be time-consuming, especially given staffing issues or if there's a severe weather event. Both factors can affect phone wait times.

If the hold queues for reservations are too long and you can’t get an agent on the phone, it’s possible to cancel a Delta ticket through an online chat session. Message Delta and request a flight cancellation.

If your flight qualifies for the free cancellation policy, you’ll receive an eCredit toward your next booking.

How do Delta eCredits work?

For cancelled flights that weren't otherwise fully refundable, you'll get the value back as a . A Delta flight credit is typically valid for one year. these credits can be accessed through your Delta SkyMiles account.

Usually, eCredit refunds are issued to a specific passenger and must be used to book new travel for the same passenger, thus they can’t be used for someone else.

How much does it cost to cancel a Delta flight?

The cost to cancel a Delta flight depends on when you want to cancel and the type of fare you purchased. Not all fares are treated equally, so let’s take a look at how much it costs to cancel a Delta flight.

Any fare type within 24 hours of booking: $0

Passengers who cancel a flight within 24 hours of purchase are entitled to a full refund back to the credit card, no matter what type of ticket they booked.

Basic economy fare after grace period: Starts at $99

With most Delta basic economy tickets, your options to cancel are pretty slim.

If you do cancel, you can't get a full refund. Instead, you'll receive an eCredit that can be used toward future Delta tickets. But that's not always the best option. For starters, Delta eCredits typically expire one year from the date of purchase. Plus, you'll owe a fee just to initiate that charge. Fees vary by ticket, but they typically start at $99 and run up to $199. Considering Delta basic economy tickets tend to be pretty cheap to begin with, you might just have to take this missed flight as a sunk cost.

Basic Economy Award Tickets are also non-changeable and nonrefundable in most cases.

Nonrefundable fare after grace period for travel that originates in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean: $0

Delta does not charge change and cancellation fees for Main Cabin or above tickets on flights originating from the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. Though, you won't get the money back in cash. The value of your fare converts to an eCredit, which usually expires one year from the date of purchase.

Nonrefundable fare after grace period for travel that originates elsewhere: Varies

Beyond the 24-hour booking window, canceling a nonrefundable ticket for travel originating outside of those places will typically incur a cancellation fee.

And sometimes even basic economy airfares may be changeable for a fee. Here are those fees, by region, which applies to basic economy tickets issued for travel originating in that region and on or after February 23, 2023:

  • Europe: €200.

  • United Kingdom: £200.

  • Africa, Middle East and India: $200.

Refundable fares: $0

At the booking page, Delta typically gives you the option to book a refundable fare, which allows you to get a refund to the original payment method. It also allows you to take any available same-day flight for free for flights within the 50 U.S. states, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

These fares are more expensive than the nonrefundable fares, and the costs can vary. But, expect to pay roughly $100 (or more) on top of the standard airfare.

If you are eligible for a full refund from Delta, here are the steps to initiating a Delta refund request.

Award tickets booked with Delta SkyMiles

You can cancel a Delta award ticket for free up to 10 minutes prior to departure time without having to pay a mileage redeposit fee (which was a hefty $150 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic). Miles redeemed on basic economy award tickets aren't usually refundable unless they’re canceled within 24 hours of booking.

How to cancel award tickets booked with Delta SkyMiles

Log in to your Delta SkyMiles account, navigate to My Trips at the top and click "View trip details" for the award flight you'd like to cancel.

From there, click "Modify flight" and "Start flight cancellation," then follow the steps.

Delta’s no-show policy

What happens if you miss a Delta flight without canceling it first?

No-shows on tickets booked after March 31, 2021, will lose the value of the ticket. For this reason, it’s best to cancel or change a flight if you know in advance that you can’t make it, especially now that many flight cancellations are free of charge.

If you need to cancel a Delta flight

You have options when canceling your Delta flight, no matter the reason. Most fares for travel originating in North America, except basic economy, are eligible for free cancellations, which means the risk of losing your money is low. Just remember to change or cancel your flight before it’s considered a no-show to keep the ticket’s value for future travel.


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