Canceling Travel During Coronavirus: Which Airlines are Waiving Change Fees

Amiee Maxwell

Salt Lake City, UT, USA

As uncertainty grows and more countries are added to the Coronavirus travel ban list, travelers worldwide are wondering what they can do about their upcoming trip. Thankfully, most airlines are waiving change fees and cancellation costs for travel through April 30, 2020, and some airlines are even waiving change fees for flights booked today, so you can still book future travel, despite the uncertainty.

Most airlines are allowing changes up to the date of departure, so you don’t necessarily have to make a decision about your trip immediately. This way, you’ll have time to gather all the best information available to decide whether you want to change your destination or postpone your dream trip.

For the most up-to-date information about how the virus spreads and the ways you can protect yourself consult the CDC website. Also, the CDC is frequently updating their country index page so you can view risk assessments per country. Airline policies and travel restrictions are changing daily, so it’s always best to check with the airline directly.

Here’s how 8 major U.S. airlines are dealing with issues related to COVID-19:

Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines is currently waiving all change fees for customers traveling between March 1, 2020 through April 30, 2020. Travelers can choose to remain on their current flight, change to a different flight, or choose to cancel the trip all together and use the value of the ticket towards a future flight purchase. Although change fees are waived, difference in fares may apply. 

Delta is also waiving change fees for all tickets purchased between March 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 for all travel until February 25, 2021. This means you can still book travel for the next year despite the uncertainty over the coronavirus knowing your ticket can be changed to a one-time alternate itinerary.

The latest: Delta Airlines Cornavirus Travel Updates

American Airlines

American Airlines is waiving change fees for customers who bought tickets prior to March 1, 2020 and scheduled to travel until April 30, 2020. New tickets must be issued on or before December 31, 2020 or 12 months from the ticket purchase data (whichever is earlier). Travel must also begin on or before December 30, 2020 or one year from the original issue date (whichever is sooner). 

The latest: American Airlines Coronavirus Travel Updates

Catania, Italy. depaz / Shutterstock.com

United Airlines

Customers scheduled to travel on United Airlines between March 10, 2020 through April 30, 2020 can change or cancel travel without fees regardless of when tickets were purchased or where you’re traveling. United is also waiving change fees on all tickets purchased from March 3 to March 31, 2020 so you can book future travel knowing you can change flights without penalty. Customers with travel booked to China may also be eligible for a full refund, even for non refundable tickets. Visit their travel waivers page for additional details.  

The latest: United Airlines Coronavirus Travel Updates

Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines is waiving change and cancellation fees for tickets issues before March 10, 2020 with original travel dates between March 10, 2020 and April 30, 2020. Tickets may only be modified over the phone and no change fees will only apply for flights with a departure date 60 days or more. For changed flights, travel must be completed prior to November 9, 2020 and change requests must be completed at least 24 hours prior to scheduled departure time.      

The latest: Frontier Airlines Coronavirus Travel Updates

Southwest Airlines

Unlike other major U.S. airlines, Southwest Airlines does not need to make any special accommodations for COVID-19 since they never charge customers to change or cancel their flights. As long as flights are cancelled or rescheduled 10 minutes prior to scheduled departure time, funds used to purchase the flight can be used for future travel. Travel credits must be used within one year from original purchase date.   

The latest: Southwest Airlines Coronavirus Travel Updates

Thermal scanner at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is offering no change or cancellation fees on all tickets purchased before February 26, 2020 as well as new tickets purchased between February 29, 2020 and March 31, 2020. Tickets must be changed or cancelled prior to departure time. New travel must be completed by February 28, 2021. 

The latest: Alaska Airlines Coronavirus Travel Updates

JetBlue 

JetBlue is waiving all cancellation and change fees for customers traveling between March 10, 2020 and April 30, 2020. Rebooked flights must be completed by October 24, 2020. For cancellations, JetBlue credit must be used within one year of issue date. For new bookings,  cancellation and change fees are waived for tickets issued between March 6, 2020 and March 31, 2020 for travel through September 8, 2020. Changes can be made online or over the phone. 

The latest: JetBlue Coronavirus Travel Updates

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines does not have a specific date change policy and is allowing all travelers a free one-time flight modification. Customers may re-book their flight (fare differences may apply) or cancel and receive a travel credit for the full-value of their flight. Future travel using the travel credit must be booked within six months of issue date. Changes cannot be made online, and must be made over the phone or using their customer service texting system. 

The latest: Spirit Airlines Coronavirus Travel Updates

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