Airlines Waive Change Fees Amid Coronavirus Travel Fears
Cost of Change Fees
Some of us who would ordinarily be planning a trip and buying tickets right now are holding off, waiting for the latest news and statistics on coronavirus or COVID-19. Find updated health information here:
- The Centers for Disease Control includes excellent general information as well as tips and advice specifically targeting travelers.
- The U.S. State Department’s site Travel.State.Gov focuses on international travel with detailed information on countries around the world.
Airlines are well aware that many will not or cannot fly during the pandemic, so they are trying to ease coronavirus travel fears about future flights by waiving change fees (which can cost from $75 to $200+ per ticket). In effect, airlines are saying, book now but you can change your mind later without paying a penalty. Only in certain cases are we seeing full refunds, but travel information keeps changes so check with your carrier for the latest guidelines.
U.S. Airline Fee Waivers
We update these pages as soon as we become aware of new information. NOTE: Several states now require visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival (though in some cases, self-quarantine only applies to visitors from certain locations). See your airline and news websites for the latest information.
- UPDATED 4-2-2020: Change fees will be waived for tickets purchased through April 30 for travel through February 2021. Also, per Alaska’s website, “Effective March 25, 2020, the State of Alaska will require all arriving guests to self-quarantine for 14 days, regardless of their perceived health until April 21, 2020.”
- UPDATED 3-30-2020:Change fees will be waived for tickets purchased through April 15.
- UPDATE 4-3-2020: You can now rebook travel for up to two years after the original trip. Complete details here.
- UPDATED 3-30-2020: Change fees are waived for some flights, but not all; it depends when you purchase the tickets. More information.
- UPDATED 3-30-2020: Change fees waived for flights booked March 1-31 for any Hawaiian flight; changes/cancellations must be made within 24 hours of take-off. Also, there is now a 14-day quarantine requirement that went into effect March 26 for all arrivals into the state of Hawaii.
- UPDATED 4-2-2020: Change fees will be waived for customers traveling through Oct. 24, 2020. According to JetBlue’s website, “If you need to cancel your travel plans, we’ll credit the amount in the form of a travel credit that’s valid for one year. For changes, fare differences may apply.”
- This airline isn’t waiving change fees because it doesn’t charge any. If you want to change or cancel a flight, simply let Southwest know at least ten minutes before take-off. Cost to you: $0.
- UPDATED 3-30-2020: The airline asks customers to contact them for a reservation credit, and to do so online if possible.
- UPDATED 4-8-2020: The electronic certificates received for canceled flights are now valid for two years from the date they were issued. More information here.
International Airline Fee Waivers
Click the airline name for the latest information on changing or canceling your tickets.
Note about Fare Differences
In some cases, if you cancel or change your flight to a later date – one which has more expensive airfares, you may have to pay the difference.
Does this ease your coronavirus travel fears at all? We’d love to hear what you think on our Facebook page.
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