8 Things To Know Before You Fly Delta Air Lines

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COVID-19 continues to affect airline travel around the world. See how Delta Air Lines is handling the coronavirus pandemic.


If you ask people about air carriers that offer an enjoyable flying experience, Delta Air Lines is often near the top on most people’s lists. The Atlanta-based airline has a solid reputation and a vast partnership that allows it to offer flights to almost anywhere.

In this article, I’m going to show you everything you need to know about flying with Delta including how to save money with the carrier.

Flying Delta? Here’s What You Need To Know

Team Clark has been researching and writing about the policies and amenities of the major airlines so that you can make an informed decision when you fly.

Table of Contents:

1. Where Does Delta Fly?

Delta, along with its partnership network, SkyTeam Alliance, and regional affiliate service, Delta Connection, flies to more than 325 domestic and international destinations in more than 60 countries.

As part of the SkyTeam Alliance, Delta itineraries can put you on planes flown by Aeroméxico, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Air France and many others.

With service to six continents, Delta is likely to be able to get you just about anywhere you want to go. See Delta’s route map here.

2. What Are Delta’s Baggage Fees?

Delta handles baggage fees in line with much of the airline industry. If you’re traveling light and have only a personal item and one carry-on bag, you can avoid baggage costs.

Here’s a summary of what you’ll pay for baggage fees as of November 2021:

  • $0 for a personal item
  • $0 for a carry-on bag
  • $30 for a checked bag
  • $40 for a second checked bag

If you have more bags, you will be charged additional fees. See Delta’s baggage policy for details.

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3. What Are Delta’s Class Fares?

When you purchase a Delta ticket, you’ll have the following options:

  • Delta One: flatbed seats for select international and domestic routes.
  • Delta Premium Select: Available on select international and domestic routes. This option features larger seats and larger entertainment screens than the Main Cabin.
  • First Class: Features amenities like a large seatback screen and up to eight inches of extra legroom compared to Main Cabin seats.
  • Main Cabin: These regular fare seats make up the majority of main cabin seats and are eligible for upgrades for Comfort+.
  • Basic Economy: These nonrefundable and unchangeable budget seats are assigned after check-in and are not eligible for upgrades. Basic Economy fares are usually unchangeable although Delta is allowing changes through the end of 2021.

Regardless of your fare, Wi-Fi is available for purchase on most Delta aircraft.

Inflight meals may be included with your fare for long-haul domestic routes and all international flights, a Delta reservations agent confirmed to Team Clark. That said, Delta has limited its food and beverage options during the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. What Is Delta’s Seat Selection Process?

For Main Cabin fares, Delta allows you to pay for your seat when you book your flight or be assigned a seat free of charge close to boarding time.

You can also opt for a Comfort+ seat, which offers up to three inches of extra legroom. The fee for Comfort+ varies based on route and type of aircraft.

For Basic Economy fares, your seat will be assigned after check-in, and you won’t be able to choose any upgrades.

When I went through the flight-booking process in November 2021 for a regular fare on Delta.com, I saw that I could get a Comfort+ seat for an additional fee that ranged from $80 to $400 round-trip.

In one example, a Main Cabin round-trip fare from Atlanta to New Orleans was priced at $323, but with Comfort+, the fare ballooned to $703.

5. What Is Delta’s Frequent Flyer Program?

Delta’s frequent flier program is called SkyMiles, and it’s free to join. The loyalty program has been ranked as the #2 airline rewards program by U.S. News & World Report,

However, money expert Clark Howard says SkyMiles are typically of low value. “The exception is when Delta’s offering special redemption deals,” he says.

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Clark says that, when Delta starts marketing a destination that is not generating much traffic, using your SkyMiles to those places can potentially be a real bargain. And he advises that you redeem your SkyMiles quickly instead of banking them.

Want to know more about Delta’s rewards program? Here’s how to get the most out of Delta SkyMiles.

6. Does Delta Price-Match Its Fares?

Not exactly. But Delta does offer a Low Fare Commitment to comparison shoppers who find a cheaper fare on another site. Here’s what it says:

“If you find a lower price somewhere else within 24 hours of purchasing your ticket, our 24-Hour Risk-Free Cancellation Policy allows you to cancel your ticket and receive a full refund.”

7. How Do Customers View Delta?

When it comes to customer satisfaction, Delta ties Southwest Airlines for the top spot among major U.S. airlines in the American Customer Satisfaction Index report that was released in April 2021:

AirlinesApril through September 2020Previous Period % Change
Southwest Airlines801%
Delta Air Lines793%
Alaska Airlines780%
JetBlue Airways76-3%
United Airlines761%
All Others746%
American Airlines73-1%
Allegiant Airlines72-3%
Frontier Airlines683%
Spirit Airlines673%
Airlines (Average)761.3%

What Is Delta’s Customer Service Number?

Delta’s customer service number is 800-221-1212Here’s the best way to reach Delta and other major airlines.

8. How To Get a Deal on Delta

Although Delta doesn’t have as many cheap fares as some of the other airlines, you can occasionally score a deal if you have a strategy. Here are some ways to save on Delta fares.

Visit Delta’s Deals Page

Delta.com has a page that shows current flight deals from your location.

As an example, in November 2021, I saw round-trip fares from Atlanta, Georgia, to New Orleans, Louisiana for $167, from Atlanta to Austin, Texas, for $247 and from Atlanta to Seattle, Washington, for $267.

Join Delta’s SkyMiles Program

Another way to get a deal on a Delta flight is to sign up for Delta’s SkyMiles program. As a member, you can expect:

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  • Exclusive airfare sales
  • Bargains on redemption specials
  • Exclusive offers and promotions from Delta partners

Be Flexible

You can also book some affordable fares on Delta.com if you’re open to flying on the day before or after you originally intended.

To save, go to Delta.com on your computer, (it won’t work in the app) enter your flight information and click the “My dates are flexible” button on the homepage.

From there you’ll see a fare calendar that lets you find cheaper flights.

Delta fare calendar
Screenshot via Delta.com

Want to learn more? Here’s how to plan a trip.

Have you flown Delta Air Lines? Tell Team Clark about your flying experience in the comments below!

More Travel Resources From Clark.com:

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