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Delta allows free flight changes if travelers have difficulty reaching agents

Delta Air Lines is canceling fees for changes to basic economy travel during the rest of the year.

The move occurs because travelers have difficulty reaching agents. The waiting times on Delta phone lines have increased due to theIncrease inTravelers in recent months and an “unprecedented” level of questions about travel policies and schedule changes, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a statement Tuesday.

Delta also announced Tuesday that it is hiring more than 5,000 people to help with record call volumes and other services.

Airlines got rid of pesky ticket change fees last year, but the new guidelines excluded basic economy tickets, which are typically the cheapest.

How do I change a Delta flight?

Starting Wednesday, customers who have booked in Basic Economy will be able to make flight changes for trips up to December 31st.

Delta’s temporary waiver of changes to the Basic Economy for 2021 allows eligible customers to Change the date, time or place of your trip on Delta.com and the Fly Delta app.

To change a flight, travelers can select My Trips, select the flight they want to change, and then click Change Flight. If you select Start Flight Change, you can choose which flight to change and search for a new flight.

Travelers can also cancel a trip and receive a credit for the value of the unused ticket. The credit must be rebooked by December 31, 2022.

To cancel, travelers can visit the My Trips page on the Delta website, then select Change Flight and Start Flight Cancellation. Tickets purchased on or before April 30th,2021, can be canceled prior to departure, while Basic Economy tickets purchased after April 30th are final.

If a new flight costs more than the original flight or original credit, travelers will have to pay the difference. Travelers who choose a new flight that is cheaper than the original flight will receive a credit for the difference, which can be redeemed for future trips.

Basic economy flights in 2022 will remain non-refundable and non-modifiable, according to Delta’s website.

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Long waiting times at Delta

Delta and its competitors have seen an unprecedented surge in calls over the past few months, with many callers looking for answers to complicated questions about travel credit and pandemic travel restrictions.

While Delta’s average waiting time is around an hour, travelers have reported waiting times of up to nine hours.

Bastian said he expected to return to normal waiting times by September.

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Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz.

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