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Hoping to fly to VCE in the fall but Delta seems to want us to take an eCredit

We are scheduled to take a RS tour that begins on Oct. 1. So far, none of the RS fall tours are cancelled, but cancellation seems likely. We're not sure we'd go even if the tour is not cancelled. Air has been booked since December, MKE to VCE, with a layover at ATL, and then to get home, AMS to MKE, with a layover at DTW. A couple of months ago, I got notice of a flight change but it wasn't the kind that allows for a cancellation and full refund or a no-fee modification of our flights. We were simply put on a flight out of MKE that leaves 45 minutes after the one we booked, making our layover time in ATL 3.25 hours instead of 4 hours. Each time I've used our record locator to check the status of the flights, I see that they're all still there. Until today. I've received no emailed notice of any further changes, but now when I'm in Delta's My Trips link and put in our record locator, our reservation pops up with a red "coronavirus travel update." It reads "There has been a flight cancellation affecting your trip and we have been unable to find another flight. We apologize for the inconvenience. To cancel your ticket and receive an eCredit toward future travel, click "Modify flight," then "Start Flight Cancellation." Your ticket number becomes an eCredit that can be used to book future travel."

The strange thing is that below that message, all four of our flight legs are listed and you can see the departure and arrival times and all say "on time." Delta is not letting us know which leg got cancelled.

I checked on it by going into the booking link of Delta's website and putting in each leg as a one way trip. One can still book a trip from MKE to ATL, then to VCE, on our date, and at the other end of the trip, from AMS to DTW, then to MKE, so I don't know why Delta has claimed "We have been unable to find another flight." The issue has to be that our flight from ATL to VCE was supposed to be non-stop. That option appears to be gone. Delta's daily non-stop to Venice from Atlanta is seasonal and we were getting in on one the very final days of it. Now I don't see the non-stop offered. It's possible they eliminated it altogether for 2020. However, it is still very possible to get from ATL to VCE with a plane change. So Delta's claim of being "unable to find another flight" must be an acknowledgment that there is no other way to get there non-stop. They could have shown it as a schedule change, getting us from ATL to VCE with a stop at AMS, for example. It seems like Delta is trying to entice us to take an eCredit now, instead of offering us a schedule change.

I know that a flight cancellation requires a refund. And if we booked ATL-VCE as non-stop but now can only get there with a stop, that qualifies as a flight cancellation permitting the refund. We don't have to take an eCredit. So it is disturbing that the red warning doesn't notify me of the refund option. I would never use the "Start Cancellation" link to get an eCredit when I know I can call and speak to an agent and get a full refund.

But maybe I shouldn't do that yet. Because our Delta flight to Europe is pre-Sept. 30, we qualify for some rather favorable re-booking policies. If we ask Delta now to give us a refund or eCredit, and then the tour is a go, and we want to take it, who knows what the new airfare might be? Delta's current policy is that we can re-book our flights to the same destinations with no change fees, and if our new flight date is on or before our current booking, we pay no fare difference either. My red coronavirus warning doesn't note this but I'm aware of it.

Under these circumstances, wouldn't it make sense to do nothing right now? Wait until we know if the tour is a go and we've made our decision on whether to take it? If we go, we could have our choice of other flights to get to our destinations without having to pay additional airfare? Am I missing anything?

Posted by
964 posts

Here is a summary of my recent experience with Delta:

August 2019: Delta announced a new seasonal non-stop route from Boston to Manchester England

November 2019: Booked RS Best of England Tour for a departure on September 7, 2020. Our plan was to visit Liverpool before the start of the tour, so the new Boston-Manchester nonstop route was appealing to us.

January 2020: Purchased Delta multi-city tickets Boston - Manchester 9/1/20 and return from Heathrow to Boston on 9/23/20.

Mid-April 2020: Noticed that the BOS-MAN route was not available for purchase on the Delta website or on Kayak. Flights available were 1 -stops through JFK or Atlanta.

4/26/20: Checked my reservation through Manage My Trips. The BOS-MAN flight was cancelled by Delta but no email was sent.

4/27/20: Requested refund for the entire trip from Delta on the phone. I could have obtained a no-fee credit from Delta on the website to be used by 9/30/22 but preferred the refund. Delta has a special phone number for cash refunds: 1-800-847-0578. The cash refund service is available Monday - Friday 8 AM to 7 PM. I waited a couple of minutes on the phone, and the representative was friendly and helpful.

4/28/20: Refund posted to credit card statement.

I expect that the RS Tour will be cancelled, or at least they will issue a credit to be used by the end of 2022. It doesn't seem like travel across the ocean will be very much fun this year so we will not be traveling.

Overall, I am happy with how Delta handled this. This whole process was simplified by the fact that the Boston - Manchester leg was a new route, and I expected it to be cancelled. Also, the entire itinerary was purchased on the Delta Website with no partner airlines involved. We also did not have the complication of separate flights within Europe.

Posted by
52 posts

I also live in MKE. I also had a flight MKE-ATL-VCE. it was canceled. Delta wanted to give me a voucher but I called and they said I could get a refund. This flight was canceled in April, I was supposed to leave on May 30. I am still waiting for my refund. I like Delta and will still fly them. I read an article that said Delta will basically fly to its four hubs, LHR, CDG, FRA and AMS. Passengers can fly to other European destinations via KL And AF. Unfortunately I think direct flights USA-VCE, DUB, FCO, etc are a thing of the past for now. Delta will have a much smaller imprint in Europe.

Posted by
2773 posts

LHR, CDG, FRA and AMS

LHR and FRA are not Delta hubs, and normally one can't fly onward with a single ticket from those airports on Delta.

Posted by
1217 posts

There will be additional Delta schedule changes between now and then as the airline tries to 'right size' service to meet new levels of demand (and joint venture partners Air France and KLM make their own schedule and flight adjustments) The earliest that Delta would be doing their big fall schedule adjustment is probably mid-July and mid-August for October is more likely in that regard.

There's a thread in the Delta sub-forum at Flyertalk about the current major schedule reductions and it's helpfully getting noted when the big revisions happen. (The July cuts and adjustments seemed to become public the last Saturday in May)

I had to call in after that one because I'm still trying to make a trip to Yosemite happen this summer and was told the Silver Medallion line hold time was 9 hours. I opted for a callback instead and that happened about three hours later.
Good luck!