How To Check Delta Flight Status And What To Know About Delays And Cancellations
There’s nothing worse than arriving at the airport the requested two to three hours before your flight takes off only to find it’s been delayed, or worse, canceled. Airports aren’t bad places to spend a couple of hours, but when it stretches into four, five or more hours to kill, anyone would be forgiven for tearing their hair out.
It’s equally frustrating for those waiting to meet their loved ones at the arrivals gate when a flight is unexpectedly off schedule. Standing about in the terminal is frustrating, and can lead to raised levels of stress, not to mention those excessive car parking charges.
But it’s easy to check a Delta flight status, which can take the guesswork out of everything. Here’s how.
The official Delta flight status tool
Delta Air Lines offers a flight status checker right on its website. To find it, simply head to delta.com/flightstatus, where you’ll be able to find out exactly what’s going on with your flight, and when you can expect it to take off, or arrive. Even better, you don’t even need to know the flight number!
To search for a flight, you just need to know where it’s flying from and to, and on what date. If you know the airport code for the originating flight, that can save time, but no worries if you don’t; simply start typing the name of the airport or city that the flight is departing from and the system will suggest the airport you need.
Enter the origin and arrival airports, and select the date of the flight to see all the flights operating that route on that day. If you do know the flight number, even better. Just click the route dropdown to select a search by flight number, and you’ll be taken straight to that flight.
What else is in this post?
- The official Delta flight status tool
- Refining and understanding results
- Real-time flight tracking
- Rights and reimbursement if your flight is delayed or canceled
Refining and understanding results
If you’re searching on a busy route, such as New York to Atlanta, the results page will have many flights listed on it. You can refine these results using the departure times on the left to narrow down the list. You can also select flights with either one stop or multiple stops too, if that matches your itinerary.
Hopefully, your flight is showing as ‘on time’ – most of Delta’s are. Insight from OAG shows that Delta was the second most punctual airline in the United States in 2021, with an 88.4% on-time arrival performance. However, sometimes things do go wrong and flights do get delayed or canceled, so what can the Delta flight status dashboard tell us about that?
Clicking on the ‘flight details’ of a delayed service can tell you a bit more about what’s happening, although not a lot. The most Delta will tell you is ‘we’re sorry, but this flight has been delayed’ – it won’t go into details about the reasons why.
However, it will tell you some useful information, particularly what time it expects the flight to take off, and what time it, therefore, expects it to arrive at its destination. It can also tell you the gate number for the departure and arrival, as well as the terminal, if the airport has more than one.
Scrolling down will give you more information on the airplane, the onboard services, the length of the route and more. It also states how often this particular flight number arrives on time, and how often it is delayed more than 30 minutes.
Helpfully, from this screen, you can select to receive real-time notifications about your flight, either by email or text message. This can be particularly useful for those picking up passengers at the airport, as it can tell you when the flight has left, giving plenty of notice to begin the trip to the terminal.
Real-time flight tracking
If you want to check in real-time exactly where your flight is now, you can do so on a number of flight tracking websites. For ease of use and good coverage, we love FlightRadar24.com as an option.
The downside to this service is you will need to know the flight number or registration of the airplane in order to track it. If you’ve used the Delta flight status tool as above, this shouldn’t be too hard. Your flight number is on the left of the status box, starting with the letters DL.
Head to the FlightRadar homepage and simply enter the flight number into the search box. It’s worth noting that if the Delta flight starts DL0, you might need to remove the 0 to get your flight to show up.
If you’re sure your flight is in the air, it should appear as a ‘live flight’ in the dropdown list. Just click on this to see the full details. Select ‘show on map’ to see exactly where it is in real-time.
In this case, we can see DL507 is on approach to Atlanta, right on time. The box on the left gives full details of the flight, showing what time it was scheduled, what time it actually departed and how long until it is expected to land. It’s a very cool tool!
Rights and reimbursement if your flight is delayed or canceled
For domestic flights in the USA, Delta is not obliged to pay any form of compensation for a delay. That could change soon, as the US DOT is considering new consumer protections for flights, so be sure to check the current situation.
What Delta will do is keep you informed of the flight status via signs at the airport, via its website and via its app. If the flight is canceled completely, the airline will rebook you on the next available service. If the flight doesn’t leave until the following day, Delta will provide you with overnight accommodation, often with a meal thrown in.
You can request compensation for out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to a delayed or canceled flight, but it’s at the airline’s discretion if this is paid or not. Travel insurance offers more protection, so make sure you have it in hand before your flight.
If your Delta flight is coming from Europe, it’s a whole different matter if your flight is canceled or severely delayed. Passengers departing from Europe are covered under an EU regulation called EU261. This promises to pay out a fixed amount based on the length of your flight and the delay you’ve incurred.
As soon as you’ve been delayed more than three hours, you become eligible for EU261. As Delta is an international airline, you could be owed from $400 up to $600, depending on how far you’re flying. Delta is obliged to tell you about this right, but don’t hesitate to look into it if you’ve suffered a long delay from a European airport.
The same applies to Canada flights, whether they are to, from, or within Canada. The country’s Air Passenger Protection requires large airlines like Delta to pay from $400 up to $1,000 per passenger, depending on the length of the delay.
Delays and cancelations due to situations beyond the airline’s control, such as bad weather or a medical emergency, are not covered by any compensation.