Hyatt’s change means that Diamond Elite guests now get a choice of 1,000 bonus points or a local F&B amenity upon arrival at all properties worldwide, not only in the US, Canada & Caribbean. More points is always good, right?
Delta’s change is a bit more controversial. The carrier is altering its policy for “same-day change” of plane tickets. Here are some highlights of the new policy:
- You can only be rebooked in the same class of service as your original flight.
- You may request a day-of-flight change any time prior to the departure time of your original flight
- Your requested flight is same-day confirmed eligible if the departure time(s) fall between 12am (on the same day as the originally booked ticket) and 2am (the following day) to account for overnight flights.
- Award Tickets are same-day confirmed eligible.
- Origin, destination or co-terminal (LGA to JFK) changes are not same-day confirmed eligible.
- You can use the same-day confirmed option for travel within the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands on Delta and Delta Connection® flights.
And, of course, the fee structure:
Silver Medallion members, general SkyMiles members and non-members:
- $50 USD Same-Day Change Fee — If your requested flight is same-day confirmed eligible
- Applicable Change Fee — These fees vary based on your ticket and its fare rules, and will be due if you have a restricted fare and your requested flight is outside of same-day travel eligibility. Change fees are dictated by the fare rules.
Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Medallion members:
- $50 USD Same-Day Confirmed Fee Waived — If the requested flight is same-day confirmed eligible and falls within 3 hours before or after the original ticketed departure time.
- $50 USD Same-Day Confirmed Fee- If the requested flight is same-day confirmed eligible and falls outside 3 hours before or after the original ticketed departure time.
Delta’s new policy is decidedly middle-of-the-pack at best in terms of benefits for top elites. And the need for the same fare class to be available can be quite limiting, though United has a similar policy and mostly addresses that by opening up most fare buckets close to departure. This is going to be an interesting one to watch.