UPDATE 12/14/20: I finally got word back from a Delta spokesperson that this announcement applies not just to paid tickets, but to awards as well!
Where you lead, I will follow…
It used to be that American Airlines and United would copy Delta whenever they made changes, but the roles have temporarily been reversed and it’s Delta going all Gilmore Girls and following the lead of American Airlines by permanently eliminating international change fees.
You can find Delta’s full announcement here. The permanent removal of change fees on international flights applies to travel originating from North America and has come into immediate effect. That’s applicable not only on flights operated by Delta but codeshare and joint venture partners too.
The notable exclusion to this is that Basic Economy fares will continue to have change fees which is the same stance that American Airlines took.
In addition to the permanent elimination of change fees, Delta also announced that they’re extending their existing waiver of no change fees for all travel on tickets purchased through March 30, 2021. That incorporates Basic Economy fares and international travel originating outside of North America.
When American Airlines made their announcement, United advised that they’d be extending their change fee waiver. With this latest policy change by Delta though, I suspect we’ll get an announcement in short order from United advising that they’ll permanently remove change fees on international flights too. What’ll be interesting to see is if they decide to one-up American and Delta by including Basic Economy fares seeing as those are still excluded by the other two airlines. It’d be nice to continue seeing a race to the top rather than bottom.