Can you book or change flights into a weather advisory?

One of the blogs I've read most faithfully over the years is Delta Points. Like René, I'm more or less hopelessly in love with Delta as an airline, and have more or less hopelessly given up on Skymiles as a loyalty program (as opposed to a convenient way to travel the world for next to nothing).

One of the things I admire about René is his dedication to booking "low"-level Delta award tickets, and willingness to do anything and everything to get flights, dates and routings that work for his schedule.

And that's why I thought of him when contemplating today's question.

Delta's proactive approach to developing weather situations

Until René started blasting his Twitter and RSS feeds with every Delta weather advisory, I had never paid much attention to the little box on the bottom of Delta's homepage notifying visitors of strikes, unrest, and weather disruptions:

New York City and Philadelphia are affected by inclement weather

As it happens, I'm headed to New York City tomorrow for a long weekend visiting family and friends, and while my outbound ticket is nonstop, my inbound flight connects in Detroit. Yesterday afternoon, I called in to Delta to request my upgrade (my upgrades are sometimes not requested when I book through, and thought I'd ask if the inclement weather would allow me to change from my current, indirect, flight to a direct one.

Unfortunately my return flight on the 15th falls outside of the window of affected dates, June 11-13, so the representative wasn't able to help me.

But then I got to thinking.

Can you book or change flights into a weather exception?

I got to thinking because I'm a Platinum Medallion with Delta, which I regularly claim is the best Medallion status because it gives you free award changes and cancellations. That makes it easy to lock in "low"-level availability when it's available, even if you can't find availability on every leg right away. Plus you can make backup reservations hoping that revenue ticket prices will go down before you actually need to fly.

As the storm advisory helpfully explains:

"Even if your flight is not canceled, you may make a one-time change to your ticket without fee if you are scheduled to travel to, from, or through the following destination(s) on Delta, Delta Connection®, or Delta-coded flights during the specified time periods listed below."

Since I'm a Platinum Medallion, I wondered if I could change my return flight to a low-level flight during the affected dates, then take advantage of the weather advisory to change my ticket back to the original date — but now on a nonstop flight.

Unfortunately, when this occurred to me I was already within the 3-day window when online changes are impossible, and I didn't really feel like trying to convince a phone representative to let me game their system.


I am still curious, however, so next time a weather advisory pops up more than 3 days out, I'll be giving this a shot.

Do any of my readers have experience either deliberately or accidentally taking advantage of a weather-advisory-related change to improve a reservation, without actually changing your plans?