Delta To Travel Agents: We Are Fighting Chargebacks, But We Won’t Charge You If We Lose

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Update: As commenters point out, Delta only wrote that they will fight chargebacks on operated flights. If you have a chargeback on a cancelled flight, please let us know if Delta is contesting the chargeback and post the results!

I’ve made several posts about not cancelling a non-refundable flight before the day of departure and about getting a refund when your flight is cancelled.

In short I’ve advised people to:

  • Call and ask for a refund for the cancelled flight based on US lawIsraeli lawEuropean law, and the contracts of carriage on most airlines. Ask for a supervisor and be prepared to HUCA (hang up, call again).
  • Dispute the charge with your credit card.
  • File a complaint with the US DoT or with the relevant local complaint board.
  • If those options fail, you can take the airline to small claims court.

Commenters following those steps have had luck getting a refund on Frontier, Spirit, United, Delta, American, Allegiant, El Al with Chase points, Delta with Chase points, Turkish with Chase points, Air Serbia, BA, TAP, etc.

Many travel agents reached out to me to add the caveat that if people booked with a travel agent, by doing a credit card chargeback the airline will just take the funds out of the travel agent’s pockets via a debit memo, so I added that to those posts.

Clearly airlines have been seeing a lot of chargebacks, as Delta has now sent out a notice to travel agents to let them know that if their passengers did a chargeback on a flight that was cancelled, Delta will not be issuing a debit memo to the travel agent.

Delta also writes that they are fighting to have chargebacks on cancelled flights to be resolved in their favor as flights were non-refundable. That’s despite Delta’s contract of carriage stating that they will offer refunds for flights that don’t operate and despite US law requiring refunds on cancelled flights.

Delta conveniently ignores that tickets are only non-refundable when Delta actually operates the flight that was sold. Otherwise they could just make a fortune selling tickets and not operating any flights.

Good thing we just bailed these guys out with tens of billions of taxpayer dollars!

Here’s a copy of the Delta memo to travel agents:



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61 Comments On "Delta To Travel Agents: We Are Fighting Chargebacks, But We Won’t Charge You If We Lose"

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Memo says they’re fighting chargebacks on operated fights. What’s wrong with that?


Dan, did you read the memo? It specifically says they’re fighting charge backs ON OPERATED FLIGHTS.
The major airlines have by no means been operating as Fair players, but you lose credibility when you add unfounded criticisms on top of the many well-founded criticisms.


the letter says “…chargebacks related to non-refundable tickets on *operated* flights…”


what does “operated flights” in point #2 mean?


Flights that didn’t get canceled and flew normally.

Deal Guy

How does chargebacks work? For example, Delta is a business partner with American Express. Why would Amex approve a chargeback, and get delta upset at them?

Dan\'s the Man

Delta is fighting the chargebacks but are they winning them?


Doesn’t it say on memo that they’ll only fight charge backs on operating flights and that on flights that are not operating they’ll accept it as a refund


United cancelled my flight and put me on a different flight an hour and a half earlier. I tried HUCA with no luck. I filed a complaint against united with the DoT. I received a response from United stating: “Due to the current situation with Covid19 and travel restrictions, United has adjust many flight schedules, and I am sorry for the inconvenience.
The tickets purchased for you and your family are non-refundable;”
They then offered a voucher good for 12 months from BOOKING date (not date of cancellation) or travel credit.

At the end they wrote, “If this would be acceptable to you, please reply to this email, and I will be happy to get them sent to you via email.”

Can I just write back that since they cancelled the flight, they are responsible to refund me?

In my opinion it is so misleading to say that because the tickets are non-refundable, they cant refund them to me. Isn’t the non-refundable supposed to mean that if I cancelled it is non-refundable?!


This is not according to DoT regulations, and they have just issued a warning to airlines to refund cancelled flights to passengers if they don’t want to rebook. File a chargeback with your credit card company if they won’t give you cash refund. DO NOT accept the voucher. You can also try replying back first telling the agent that they are required by regulations to issue a cash refund which is what you want, not a voucher.

Reuben Zuazua

Who flies United anymore?


The tone of this article is anti-Delta.

Delta is not charging back travel agents like some other airlines are. This is a positive.

You write “Delta also writes that they are fighting to have chargebacks on cancelled flights to be resolved in their favor as flights were non-refundable.” The memo only states they are fighting chargebacks on operated flights. I don’t see why you are including this.

Heimishe TA

Stop giving ideas to people that don’t know how this works and all the Heimishe Travel Agents are paying out of pocket and eating your … Dan it’s ENOUGH!!!!


Airlines are bleeding but still going above and beyond to try to do right by customers. There are tons of honest loyal people who understand this and have offered to donate miles to help thier fav airlines and then there are the others.


Is there a way to gauge where or not a domestic flight will be cancelled? I just checked my flight for monday and there are only 41 seats on the plane reserved.


Can you explain what this means in layman terms? I had 13 tickets down to Florida which I was successful in get Delta to issue refunds for (Since they canceled the flight). Of the 13 tickets, 7 of them have been fully refunded back to my credit card, 6 I am still waiting for them to do so. They confirmed with me multiple times that those last 6 will be refunded by needed more time because they included some points as well. I even have them on recording saying they will issue full refunds. Do I have anything to worry about now?


I believe it says they are fighting chargeback on non-refundable “operated” flights in the letter, not the cancelled flights. Would be nice if they didn’t fight those either, but it’s not as bad as fighting those on the cancelled flights.


Bottom line; what do I do on a Delta flight this Sunday? They consolidated flights and moved the return by 50 minutes. Why should I not be refunded when there’s a travel advisory to the region? Flights to Philly.


Any ideas on how to get Chase UR back for canceled flights? Chase tells me that the airlines are only offering credit and only in the name of the same passenger!


Thank you Dan.
My flight was not yet canceled but I live in a stay at home order.
If they indeed don’t cancel my flight, will I be able to get refunded?
I’m flying AA milage


Don’t advise people with travel agents to dispute. Just to ask for a refund politely. The travel agent should not end up with your bill! It’s assur.


Consult your posek to find out if it’s ossur, not “F” on the internet.


If they put you on another airline that means your money went to the other airline and you flew. To dispute the charge us stealing from the airline or the travel agent that booked you will end up paying for your ticket. Dan. Do not tell people to dispute charges when they flew or the flight flew.


I booked through a travel agent to Miami for Tuesday. The travel agent said that he can only give me back $325 on each ticket out of $525. He said that his “group” that he gets the seats from is not getting back their amount from Delta.
Any thoughts or options?


Was your flight cancelled, or you’re just not going?


As per the travel agent, my flight was cancelled. But he can’t get me the full amount.


I have a reservation I made on Priceline (two one way tickets, one Delta and the return American). Any tips on how to get a refund with tickets booked on Priceline?? Do I HUCA Priceline or the airlines?


i have a flight that was cancelled after 90 days of the charge, booked with a chase card. is it still diputeable?


Is it probable that Delta and other carriers are not canceling flights that they already sold out or that are already sold to profitability, even when they see no passengers show up to the flight -rathet fly an empty plane then cancel it and risk all the charge-backs?

I mean, even though I may be in that boat, (my ticket is for Sunday and the flight hasn’t been cancelled yet) it seems like the decision I would make, if I was the airline.
Also, less fuel and staff for an empty flight….


Dan, I didn’t mean you. One of the posts is about someone who flew and wants to dispute. Also if the airline flew but you decided not to , you are responsible to the airline, don’t dispute because your travel agent will lose.


I had a Delta flight which got cancelled 2 days before (I waited until then, thanks for the tip, Dan!). Then I called Delta and they refunded the full amount (it was a round-trip) right away, no questions asked. Very impressive.


Dan I filed chargebacks for these two scenarios. Would you have handled it differently?
#1- Bought BA flight via Amex Travel. Tried to cancel in 24 hour free window but Amex Travel phones were overwhelmed and they offer no ability to cancel online. Tried multiple times to reach them up to the day of the flight. I no-showed for the flight.
#2 Bought changeable (but not cancel-able) BA flight from Expedia. Flew first leg. Second leg was in middle of crisis. Tried to call Expedia multiple times to change date but phone system overwhelmed and no ability to change online. No showed for flight and filed chargeback for half the ticket cost.

Jerry Lang

If you decline a charge the money is taken from the airline account and the bill the travel agency. The only way to fight it is if you have a signed imprinted form which really does not exist anymore. We can do address verification but there is a 2% charge and in a zero commission world we would not be able to compete

John Svhmitt

I am a Travel Advisor who sold a Korean Air ticket to a client. Prior to departure, when they learned that their return flight was cancelling, they canceled their trip. Korean would not refund and only give credit. Client will never go now because her son is moving to US. She denied charges and now we have a $3900 debit memo.
Beware of Korean Air!


Delta changed my flight from 8pm to 8am. Is that considered a cancelled flight? I tried to call amex travel to get a full refund since I booked thru them but they said its non refundable and cant get a refund. Anything I can do to get a full refund back to my credit card?

Reuben Zuazua

Delta is ok if you call them to request the change or cancel. You calling your credit company and stating a chargeback is actually lying and filing a false report. I would contest it also, and they will win.


I can no longer go to Japan. There is a lack of flight options. There is no entry option into Japan for Americans. Delta on Twitter is refusing to refund my flight for end of April. I know the ticket would automatically convert to an e-credit valid for 2 years. At this challenging time though, it would really be better if they could refund my ticket, so I can use those funds on a ticket ticket that will get me back to the U.S. What can I do, if anything, to fight to get the refund back?