Airlines thought they were largely done with broad pandemic travel waivers – and then along came the omicron variant and a spike in coronavirus cases.
With travelers skittish about flying again and the trajectory of the virus still murky, Delta Air Lines on Wednesday became the first major airline to increase ticket and travel credit flexibility beyond 2022.
The Atlanta-based carrier said the expiration date for outstanding travel credits and any credits issued this year to passengers who cancel flights has been extended through 2023. Travelers just have to book the new trip by the end of 2023, for travel through 2024.
The new policy includes the airline’s no frills basic economy tickets, though a cancellation fee will be deducted from the flight credit under new guidelines announced late last year.
Airline tickets and credits generally are good for one year from the date of purchase or issue. Delta and other airlines previously extended expiration dates through 2022.
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“We want to ensure our customers enjoy peace of mind when booking or rebooking their Delta trips this year,” Allison Ausband, Delta’s Chief Customer Experience Officer, said in a statement. “This leading extension provides more time for customers to use their travel credits, so they can book with complete confidence that Delta has their back even when moments arise out of their control.”
The airline said it will take time to update passengers’ expiration dates in its computer system but that travelers looking to book travel with credits should not be affected.