delta 2,500 miles for a change
Want to discuss these deals? Apply to join the members-only MilesTalk Facebook group.
Advertising Disclosure: Links and credit card offers on this page may earn us a small commission. They never influence what we cover but they do keep the lights on. Learn More

The 72 Hour Rule for Cancelling Delta SkyMiles Award Tickets

For many, many years now, Delta has had a policy wherein you could not cancel an award ticket within 72 hours of departure. This applied to both Delta operated and partner award flights.

The rationale for it was that Platinum and Diamond members, who could make free changes to awards, would book multiple awards, fine tune what they could get, and drop what they didn’t need at the last minute.

If you are in a cash crunch, you should avoid travel rewards credit cards until you are caught up. Here are our favorite credit cards for Intro 0% APR offers and for balance transfer offers

The introduction of the “72 hour rule” was instituted to combat that behavior, in an epic “throw the baby out with the bathwater” move. While agents have been able to make exceptions in extreme circumstances, that was certainly the exception and not the rule. This meant that if plans changed last minute, you would be out the miles (you could still get the taxes and fees refunded).

Delta Ends The 72 Hour Rule For Cancelling Award Tickets

Delta has now removed this restriction per their website.

Remember that Delta has already waived all change and award redeposit fees permanently for Delta tickets purchased for travel originating from North America to anywhere in the world (excluding Basic Economy fares).

It’s great news indeed. The COVID-19 pandemic has been brutal, but at least a few positive things have come out of it, like airlines broadly removing change fees. Let’s see if this all sticks when planes are full again.


Let me know below in the comments, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

And if this post helped you, please consider sharing it!

You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards

New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.

I got "in the game" in 2003 and since then I've collected literally millions and millions of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I've flown around the world in first class seats that would cost $29,000 using frequent flyer miles and a few bucks in tax. And I've stayed in some of the finest hotels - all for free! A few years ago I realized many of my friends actually thought I was paying for these!! So I started sharing my tips. It's long been a passion, but when I hosted a session on Miles and Points at this year's South by Southwest festival, my love of the game intensified and this blog was born.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here