Finally! A US Airline Carrier Handles A Flight Delay Properly

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Delta's Flight Delay Response

Delta’s Flight Delay Response Was Beyond Impressive

I recently traveled to Las Vegas for a quick trip to review all of the Total Rewards Diamond Lounges (review coming this weekend).  I had booked a red-eye flight home Saturday evening.  Red-eye flights don’t bother me when I am flying east since I think it helps some with jet lag. Plus Sunday flights were crazy expensive and I was able to snag a first class seat for 22.5K Virgin Atlantic miles.  That is only 18,000 Membership Rewards points with the current 30% transfer bonus. A storm rolled in a few hours before my flight and that dreaded delay text went out but Delta’s flight delay response was beyond impressive.

Delta Actually Gave Me Options

As most of you know, US legacy carriers are not the best at dealing with flight delays.  I am looking at you American Airlines in particular.  But something happened this time that surprised me and I wish they would do it more often.

I was alerted about an hour and a half delay 4 hours prior to scheduled departure.  My Midnight flight was now scheduled for 1:30am.  I was not looking forward to that but there was a huge wind/lightning storm coming through town so it didn’t surprise me.

The surprising thing was that Delta sent me an option via their app to reschedule my flight for no charge.  I was shocked by this.  No need to call in and talk to an agent and reschedule.  They also had first class space on a late morning flight I could snag.  I had never had this happen before and I am not sure if it was because I was a first class passenger or if this is the new norm for Delta.  It left me feeling valued and took away some of the frustration of the delay.

It is a brilliant move on Delta’s part since giving people options makes them feel better about their situation.  Even if they decide to just go ahead with the original flight, like I did, they feel better about it.  There is no reason this shouldn’t be offered more often. It would actually free up their agents and call centers etc.  I assume that this was offered since I was a first class passenger though.

Delta's Flight Delay Response Delta's Flight Delay Response


I am curious to hear from my amazing readers, all 4 of you :), if you have ever had a similar thing happen with any US airlines.  Were you a first class passenger or just an economy passenger when it happened?

Delta’s flight delay response was extremely impressive, especially since it was a shorter delay that could not be avoided. If it had not been for the 3 hour time difference I would have taken them up on the offer.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. Something similar recently happened to me but with a twist I was NOT expecting. I purchased a ticket on KLM (through KLM) using Delta for the first leg of the itinerary. The Delta flight was delayed due to weather and as a result I would misconnect. As expected, the App gave options for re-accommodation. What shocked me was that the App offered options on their JV partner Korean Air. Ultimately, I still had to call customer service because of the ticket re-issue, but the fact that they gave me an option on a different airline than the one for which I was originally booked, for an itinerary I did not purchase from Delta and did not contain any Delta flight numbers and only one Delta operated flight, impressed me- a lot.

  2. Delta app allows changes after a 30 MIM time change. Allows for changes to next day as well as to and from nearby airports. For instance, If you were going from LAX-SFO you could change to a SNA-SMF the next day. It usually shows same class of service or downgrade. I have been flying delta exclusively for the past few years.

    • I stuck with the original flight because I the 3 hour time difference. I didn’t want to get home late evening instead.

  3. The American Airlines app lets you change flights like this as well when your flight is going to be significantly delayed.

          • Definitely use the AA app. I think it depends on some factors like if you have a connection to make, if it is a weather or equipment delay ect. I have had to change flights with American several times this summer through the app, instantly with a new boarding pass, new seat assignment, and all. It even offered to let me change my return flight for the next day since severe weather was predicted, so I found it pretty generous.

  4. As an aside, I hope your Total Rewards review includes their reason for not allowing Diamond members in those Diamond Lounges.

  5. You had a 1st class ticket, you can always change flights but you get more options when dealing with a delay. United is just as good, they also let you choose right off the app.

    • That would make sense since you could book FC or economy if needed to. I saw some mixed cabin on my options.

    • Haha thanks Rayn when I grow up I wanna be just like you – too cool! Keep up the good work bud and thanks for reading 😉

  6. Delta does this regularly now! I fly a lot for work (so I am Gold Medallion), but every time I have a delay of about 90-120 minutes they send me a notification and give me the option to change it via the app. Makes me even more loyal.

  7. I fly Delta every week (in and out of LAX) and they’re always good about this with me. Even when there aren’t really any good flights to change to, they still give me the option to change as soon as the delay is announced.

    • Good to know – my last Delta delay was when they had the outage in Atlanta and Delta went defcon 6 silent. I need to open my app more when there are delays…I don’t use it often enough


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