Delta Basic Economy flights to stop earning SkyMiles, among changes

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Delta Air Lines planes sit on the tarmac at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport on Jan. 8, 2020.

Look closely at those terms and conditions on Delta’s website, and travelers will find some big changes coming to the airline’s cheapest fare class.

As of Thursday, new Basic Economy tickets booked for Jan. 1, 2022, and beyond will no longer earn miles toward Delta’s SkyMiles frequent-flyer program nor contribute toward elite Medallion status.

Customers who want to earn miles for reward trips or qualify for the perks that come with Medallion status, like seat upgrades and access to airport lounges, will have to book Main Cabin tickets or higher.

Delta is also tightening up its change policy, which had been relaxed throughout the pandemic.

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Delta's website reflects new changes to its Basic Economy fares.

special temporary waiver had allowed customers to change or cancel Basic Economy flights without paying fees from travel through Dec. 31, 2021. That waiver has been extended to Jan. 31, 2022, for Basic Economy travel originating in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India. 

For everyone else, starting in the new year, no changes will be allowed on Basic Economy flights. Customers can, however, cancel their tickets for partial credit, which is new.

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