I authored a post several days ago entitled How a $177 Dollar Ticket Costs $597 Dollars – When Change Fees Attack that got a little attention. Probably because of the title, but change fees are worth a conversation. In my case, I had purchased a low fare to Raleigh, NC (RDU), but had my plans interrupted by an unexpected business trip. Unfortunately, I would not return to Atlanta until after my planned departure for RDU. When looking into changing the flight, I found that I would have to pay an additional $440 to confirm the change. That obviously was not going to happen with a ticket that I only paid $177 for.
My only option was to hope for Same Day Confirmed (SDC), or I would have to walk away from the fare. Delta got some attention recently for changes to their SDC policy, notably, the requirement that you be rebooked in the same fare class originally purchased for your new flight. That means if you buy a T fare, T needs to be available on your new flight. I was not optimistic, but it was worth a try because it worked out for me. I called Delta at 6am on the morning of my flight, and told the agent that I wanted to try for SDC. She replied that flights looked tight, but asked what timeframe I was looking for, and searched. The 8:30PM was available! I was rebooked in X, the agent collected my $50, and within seconds I had an email confirming my new itinerary.
So, SDC worked in this case, even with the new requirement to be rebooked in the same fare class. I even had an empty seat beside me. I don’t remember the last time that happened!! Granted, the aircraft was a 757, and my route was ATL-RDU. That said, RDU is not a small market for Delta, and there are a lot of Medallions living in the RDU area. Moral of the story – make the call if you need to change plans. It might work out for you too, new fare code restrictions or not.