Travel plans are bound to change every once in awhile, and the first thing travelers might wonder is whether their airline tickets are refundable. Cancellation policies vary among airlines. For travelers flying on Delta, one of the largest commercial airlines, refunds are available, but Delta's cancellation policy depends on when and how the flight was booked.

Delta’s 24-Hour Cancellation Policy

The easiest way to cancel a flight and get a refund is by taking advantage of Delta’s 24-hour cancellation policy. Delta travelers can get a refund on most eTickets purchased directly through Delta. Tickets purchased through third-party ticketing websites don’t qualify under this policy.

This Delta cancellation policy is fairly seamless and doesn’t even require a phone call. Travelers can cancel the ticket and receive a full refund, including any prepaid fees and direct ticketing charges. There is no Delta cancellation fee. To do this, travelers need to enter their names and confirmation numbers to search for their itineraries on Delta’s website. Delta will give the option to cancel the ticket. The refund is then automatically applied to the original form of payment. For those who purchased tickets at a Delta ticket office or an airport ticket counter, the receipt can be e-mailed to Delta and a refund will be issued. (The receipt number begins with 006).

For flights that originate outside of the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands or Canada, the request cannot be made online. Rather, travelers need to contact Delta’s reservation line at 1-800-221-1212.

The cancellation requests need to be made by midnight of the day after the eTicket is purchased or midnight of the departure date for the first leg of the flight, whichever comes first.

How to Get Money Back If You Cancel Your Flight

For those canceling tickets more than 24 hours after the tickets were purchased, it’s still possible to get a refund.

To check if a ticket is refundable, go to Delta’s website ( and enter the ticket or document number and the airline will display refund eligibility and information. Even if the ticket is not refundable, a traveler could cancel his or her itinerary and apply the value to a future flight. In this scenario, a change fee would apply.

Some tickets, such as basic economy fares, are not eligible for either refunds or changes.

For those who purchased tickets from a travel agency, it’s best to contact the agency for changes.

Refunds for Cancelled or Delayed Flights

Travelers can request a refund if a flight was canceled or delayed or if they were downgraded (i.e. purchased a first-class ticket, but were seated in an economy row). Delta has a “Refund Exception Form” online that can be filled out in these scenarios. The short form asks for contact information, flight information and the reason for the request.