Change Fee and Cancellation Fee Policies and Waivers of 46 Airlines Due To 2019 Novel Coronavirus

Airlines have announced and amended policies to change fees and cancellation fees on a temporary basis due to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — which is also known as COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV — pandemic in response to the growing fear around the world of the virus which has quickly spread.

Change Fee and Cancellation Fee Policies and Waivers of 46 Airlines Due To 2019 Novel Coronavirus

The first airline to have officially announced the temporary policy changes was JetBlue Airways — followed by Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and numerous other airlines. Interestingly, airlines such as Allegiant Air, JetBlue Airways, Alaska Airlines, and Frontier Airlines do not even serve airports in countries which have endured the most severe impact of the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — including China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Iran.

Since this article was first written, additional companies have announced their policies — and the policies of some of the companies which had already been announced had been amended.

Aeromexico

Different policies are applied to different situations with Aeromexico in different ways, depending on booking dates and your travel destination.

Passengers who have purchased their flights to or from international destinations before Monday, March 9, 2020, the following flexibility waiver is presented.

Applicable for passengers with tickets starting with 139, issued before Monday, March 9, 2020, flying with Aeromexico or on codeshare flights.

The policy a waiver is valid from Thursday, March 12, 2020 through Saturday, October 31, 2020.

  • No charges will be applied for departure dates, as long as the route and cabin remain the same. In case there is any difference in the fare between the original ticket and the new ticket, this difference must be paid at the time of making the change.
  • Route change is allowed at no additional cost. In case there is a fare difference between the original ticket and the new ticket, this difference must be paid at the time of making the change.
  • If the passenger decides not to use the service, the ticket is valid for a year from the issue date. The applicable change fee and fare difference will apply for new travel dates.
  • Unused value of the coupons can be issued as an EMD, valid for AM tickets and ancillaries. Route changes are allowed, name changes are not allowed. Valid until Saturday, October 31, 2020 (inclusive) for re-booked travel and re-issue.

Please note that we are not responsible for covering any additional costs incurred by passengers affected by this situation — including ground transportation, accommodations, food, and telephone calls, among other examples.

  • Effective dates: Sunday, March 1, 2020 through Thursday, April 30, 2020.
  • Ticket issuing allowed until Saturday, October 31, 2020.
  • The rescheduled trip must begin before Saturday, October 31, 2020.

Be aware that different flexibility travel waivers are offered for passengers flying to the United States who have recently been to the People’s Republic of China — as well as passengers who purchased their flights:

  • Before Friday, March 6, 2020, flying to or from Italy
  • Between Tuesday, January 28, 2020 and Sunday, May 31, 2020, flying to or from China
  • Before Friday, March 6, 2020, flying to or from Seoul

Air Canada

Air Canada Airbus A320 airplane

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Change fees are waived one time per ticket for customers of Air Canada, and the same fee waiver applies to canceling for a voucher applied to future travel. Although more expensive airfares will be charged, the difference in less expensive airfares will not be reimbursed. Award tickets are also included.

Tickets must have been booked between Wednesday, March 4, 2020 through Tuesday, March 31, 2020 for travel through Thursday, December 31, 2020.

Changes or cancellations must occur at least 24 hours prior to departure of the flight.

Air Canada has issued travel alerts for:

  • Wuhan for Wednesday, January 22, 2020 through Sunday, March 29, 2020; and Monday, June 15, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Beijing and Shanghai for Saturday, March 28, 2020 through Thursday, April 30, 2020; and the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin must be within the validity period of your ticket.
  • Hong Kong for Friday, January 31, 2020 through Tuesday, March 31, 2020; and Monday, June 15, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Japan and South Korea through Thursday, March 19, 2020; and Monday, June 15, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Iran through Tuesday, March 31, 2020; and Monday, June 15, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Italy through Tuesday, March 31, 2020; and Sunday, May 31, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.

Air France

Air France Boeing 777-328ER airplane

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Different policies are applied to different situations with Air France in different ways, depending on booking dates and your travel destination. Each ticket which is purchased in March can be changed once time without a fee; and tickets which are purchase prior to March can be changed or canceled for free if travel is scheduled prior to Sunday, May 31, 2020. Customers with tickets which are not refundable will receive a voucher good for one year.

Air France has issued travel alerts for:

  • All flights to and from all airports in China for Friday, January 31, 2020 through Sunday, May 31, 2020; and Tuesday, June 30, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • All flights to and from Seoul for Thursday, February 27, 2020 through Thursday, April 30, 2020; and Sunday, May 31, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • All flights to and from all airports in Italy for Tuesday, February 25, 2020 through Thursday, April 30, 2020; and Sunday, May 31, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.

Air India

Change fees are waived for one time only on all existing tickets for travel between any stations within the network of Air India through Thursday, April 30, 2020 and new tickets booked through Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Tickets must be reissued on or before Sunday, May 31, 2020. Any subsequent changes will be subject to the normal reissue fee.

Tickets can only be reissued by the agency which originally issued the ticket. Although more expensive airfares will be charged, the difference in less expensive airfares will not be reimbursed.

Changes must occur at least 72 hours prior to departure of the flight.

Air Transat

Air Transat

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Change fees are waived one time per ticket for customers of Air Transat for travel through Thursday, December 31, 2020; and the same fee waiver applies to canceling for a voucher applied to future travel. Although more expensive airfares will be charged, the difference in less expensive airfares will not be reimbursed.

Changes or cancellations must occur at least 72 hours prior to departure of the flight.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines

Photograph ©2013 by Brian Cohen.

Change and cancellation fees will be suspended and waived for customers of Alaska Airlines who purchase new tickets or travel between Thursday, February 27, 2020 and Thursday, March 12, 2020 and later decide not to travel because of concerns related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. This waiver applies to travel through Monday, June 1, 2020.

You must contact Alaska Airlines by midnight on Thursday, March 12, 2020 if you decide to change or cancel your trip to receive full travel credit to fly as a passenger with the airline later on — valid up to one year from the issuance of the credit. Fare differences may apply.

Alitalia

Alitalia airplane with Lufthansa in the background

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

If Alitalia cancels your flight, you are eligible for a full refund. Otherwise, you may change or cancel your flight through Sunday, May 31, 2020 at no cost for tickets which were purchased prior to Friday, April 3, 2020.

The new travel completion date is Thursday, December 31, 2020 — or you may receive a voucher good for one year.

Changes or cancellations must occur prior to departure of the flight or by Sunday, May 31, 2020.

All Nippon Airways

Different policies are applied to different situations with All Nippon Airways in different ways, depending on booking dates and your travel destination.

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Allegiant Air

Allegiant Air

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Customers who would like to request changes to their travel plans can contact the customer support representatives of Allegiant Air to request a one-time change to their travel plans without incurring change fees or cancellation fees.

For cancellations, a voucher for the full amount of the current itinerary will be issued for future travel with Allegiant Air. Vouchers must be used to purchase and complete travel within one year of the original date on which the ticket was purchased and booked.

American Airlines

American Airlines

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Change fees will be suspended and waived up to 14 days prior to travel for customers of American Airlines who purchase tickets or travel between Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 4:30 in the afternoon Central Standard Time and Monday, March 16, 2020 at 11:59 in the evening Central Daylight Time.

This change offers customers the best fares with even more flexibility. This offer is available for any fares which have been published by American Airlines.

American Airlines has issued travel alerts for:

  • Wuhan for Thursday, January 23, 2020 through Tuesday, March 31, 2020; and no exact date was given as the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Beijing and Shanghai for Friday, January 24, 2020 through Friday, April 24, 2020; and Tuesday, June 30, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Hong Kong for Tuesday, January 28, 2020 through Friday, April 24, 2020; and Tuesday, June 30, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Seoul for Monday, February 24, 2020 through Friday, April 24, 2020; and Tuesday, June 30, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Eleven airports in Italy for Thursday, February 27, 2020 through Friday, April 24, 2020; and Tuesday, June 30, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.

Austrian Airlines

For all travel through Thursday, December 31, 2020, Austrian Airlines waives change fees and cancellation fees — and original fare conditions are waived for this flexible policy. Although more expensive airfares will be charged, the difference in less expensive airfares will not be reimbursed.

Changes or cancellations must occur prior to:

  • Outbound flight
  • Tuesday, March 31, 2020 for new ticket purchases
  • Monday, June 1, 2020 for existing ticket purchases prior to the policy changes

Avianca Airlines

Avianca

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Avianca Airlines offers a single change for free on tickets booked between Wednesday, March 4, 2020 and Sunday, March 15, 2020 through Thursday, December 31, 2020 — but it does not waive the cancellation policy of your ticket nor is the refund fee waived. The waiver only applies to flights operated by Avianca Airlines and its subsidiaries and not with flights operated by partner airlines. It also only applies to ticket purchases in the United States and through Avianca Airlines — not through travel agencies or third-party Internet web sites.

Changes must occur 15 days prior to departure of the outbound flight.

British Airways

British Airways Airbus A320-232

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Change fees will be suspended and waived for customers of British Airways who purchase new tickets or travel between Tuesday, March 3, 2020 and Monday, March 16, 2020 and later decide not to travel because of concerns related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

Cabo Verde Airlines TACV

Cabo Verde Airlines covers new ticket purchases through Thursday, April 30, 2020 for travel through Saturday, May 30, 2020. Change fees are waived; but only through Tuesday, June 30, 2020. An additional option to cancel or refund the ticket is available only for flights to Italy, which have no fare difference. All other flights will charge the difference in the fare — if any — and follow the refund policy at the time of booking the ticket.

Changes must occur 14 days prior to departure of the outbound flight.

Cathay Pacific Airways

Cathay Pacific Airways

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Different policies are applied to different situations with Cathay Pacific Airways in different ways, depending on booking dates and your travel destination — but free unlimited changes are available for any tickets which were purchased between Monday, March 9, 2020 and Monday, April 20, 2020 for travel through Sunday, February 28, 2021 for new tickets which have been purchased and booked; and Thursday, December 10, 2020 for all flights to or from Hong Kong which were purchased between Tuesday, February 4, 2020 and Sunday, May 31, 2020.

Although more expensive airfares will be charged, the difference in less expensive airfares will not be reimbursed.

Award tickets are covered for flights to and from Hong Kong flights — but not the unlimited changes policy.

Changes or cancellations must occur prior to departure of the flight.

Cathay Pacific Airways has:

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines bankruptcy emergence Salt Lake City

Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Change and cancellation fees will be suspended and waived for customers of Delta Air Lines who purchase new tickets or travel between Sunday, March 1, 2020 and Tuesday, March 31, 2020 and later decide not to travel because of concerns related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

This travel waiver allows you to change your itinerary one time without incurring a fee. The travel waiver applies to all travel outside the United States as well as Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands.

Delta Air Lines has issued travel alerts for:

El Al Airways

El Al Boeing 747-400 airplane

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Different policies are applied to different situations with El Al Airways in different ways, depending on booking dates and your travel destination.

Finnair

Finnair

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Passengers who purchased and booked tickets for flights operated by Finnair in March 2020 and April 2020 will not be charged fees to change flights for original travel dates through Monday, November 30, 2020 with no specified limit on new travel dates. Charging a difference in fares is not mentioned — nor is whether award travel is included in the policy.

Changes or cancellations must occur prior to departure of the flight.

Flynas

The waivers of Flynas — which is the ultra-low-cost carrier of Saudi Arabia — covers all new and previous purchases and bookings of tickets with flights between Monday, March 9, 2020 and Thursday, April 30, 2020, with Monday, October 5, 2020 as the last day by when travel must be completed. Although more expensive airfares will be charged, the difference in less expensive airfares will not be reimbursed.

Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Frontier Airlines has two change fee waivers in effect.

For tickets issued prior to March 10, 2020 with original travel dates between March 10 and April 30, 2020 customers may make a one-time change to their itinerary without a change/cancel fee by contacting 801-401-9000.

For tickets issued March 10 through March 31, 2020, customers may make a one-time change to their itinerary without a change/cancel fee by contacting 801-401-9000.

As always – no change fees apply 60 days or more before departure.

Bookings made between March 10 and March 31, 2020 will be permitted a one-time change to travel plans without a change fee or a cancellation fee; while bookings made prior to March 10 with original travel dates between March 10, 2020 and April 30, 2020 will be permitted a one-time change to travel plans without a fee.

Changes under this special waiver are subject to the terms and conditions below; additional restrictions may apply.

  • Customers can complete a one-time change free of charge as below:
    • Change to new flight of equal or lesser value: change fee waived, no residual value retained by customer
    • Change to new flight at higher price: change fee waived, customer pays fare difference
    • Cancel flight: cancel fee waived, customer retains the value of the ticket to be applied toward the purchase of a future ticket within 90 days of cancellation
  • For changed flights, travel must be completed by November 9, 2020
  • Changes under this waiver must be made at least 24 hours prior to the flight’s scheduled departure time
  • All tickets are nonrefundable unless otherwise specified in the Contract of Carriage

Hawaiian Airlines

Los Angeles International Airport Sun Country Hawaiian Airlines

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Hawaiian AIrlines has suspended flights to Incheon International Airport in Seoul until Thursday, April 30, 2020. Change fees have been waived for travel which is rebooked by Saturday, October 31, 2020; and you will not pay any difference in the fare; while you will need to pay a difference in the fare for travel after Saturday, October 31, 2020, if applicable. Different rules apply to all existing tickets which have already been purchased and booked through Tuesday, March 31, 2020 plus travel dates through Thursday, April 30, 2020.

All travel must be completed by Thursday, December 31, 2020.

Changes or cancellations must occur at least 24 hours prior to departure of the flight.

Hongkong Airlines

Hongkong Airlines has issued a travel alert for all flights to and from Mainland China for Friday, January 24, 2020 through Thursday, April 30, 2020; and Thursday, April 30, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.

Iberia

Iberia

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Customers are permitted to rebook and reroute any flights for travel between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020 which were booked prior to Monday, March 9, 2020 operated by Iberia or its subsidiary airlines onto other flights with Iberia. Simply request a voucher for future travel through Monday, November 30, 2020; or rebook your flight for travel through Thursday, December 31, 2020.

Changes or cancellations must occur by Monday, November 30, 2020.

IndiGo

The policy of IndiGo — which is a low-cost airline based in Indai — covers all tickets purchased and booked and all travel between Thursday, March 12, 2020 and Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Although more expensive airfares will be charged, the difference in less expensive airfares will not be reimbursed.

Changes must occur three days prior to departure of the outbound flight.

Japan Airlines

Different policies are applied to different situations with Japan Airlines in different ways, depending on booking dates and your travel destination.

JetBlue Airways

JetBlue Airways

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

New Tickets: Change and cancellation fees have been suspended for all new flight reservations which are booked between Friday, March 6, 2020 and Tuesday, March 31, 2020 for travel through Tuesday, September 8, 2020. Meanwhile, the suspension of change and cancellation fees still applies for flight reservations which were booked between Thursday, February 27, 2020 and Thursday, March 5, 2020 for travel through Monday, June 1, 2020.

Existing Tickets: Change and cancellation fees have been waived for customers traveling Tuesday, March 10, 2020 through Thursday, April 30, 2020. Customers may rebook their flights for travel through Saturday, October 24, 2020 online in the Manage Trips section of jetblue.com or contact JetBlue Airways prior to the departure time of their originally scheduled flight. Original travel must have been booked on or before Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Fare difference may apply. For cancellations, funds will be issued as a JetBlue Travel Bank Credit, valid for one year from date of issuance.

Kenya Airways

Kenya Airways

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

All tickets which were purchased and booked between Thursday, March 5, 2020 and Tuesday, March 31, 2020 with Kenya Airways have two change fee waivers which applies to intercontinental travel outside of Africa and all fare types for travel through Sunday, May 31, 2020; and award tickets should also be included in the policy. Although more expensive airfares will be charged, the difference in less expensive airfares will not be reimbursed.

Changes must occur by Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

All tickets which were purchased and booked between Sunday, March 1, 2020 and Tuesday, March 31, 2020 with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines are covered under its policy pertaining to its waiver of change fees — as well as tickets which were previously purchased and booked for travel through Sunday, May 31, 2020, when travel must be completed. Although more expensive airfares will be charged, the difference in less expensive airfares will not be reimbursed.

If you need to change or postpone your travel but cannot decide now, you also can opt for a voucher equal in value to the fare you previously paid which will be valid for one year.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has issued travel alerts for:

Korean Air

Korean Air airplane

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Different policies are applied to different situations with Korean Air in different ways, depending on booking dates and your travel destination.

LATAM

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Different policies are applied to different situations with LATAM in different ways, depending on booking dates and your travel destination.

LOT Polish Airlines

LOT Polish Airways From Minsk to Warsaw

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Different policies are applied to different situations with LOT Polish Airways in different ways, depending on booking dates and your travel destination.

Information for passengers traveling between March 15 and March 28 2020 

If you have tickets for flights that were cancelled due to International air traffic suspension  between March 15 and March 28, 2020  and it was purchased  before March 13, 2020,  you have several options:

  • Postpone your trips within 3 weeks period after March 29 at no extra cost for new travel dates between March 29 and April 19, 2020. To postpone your trips for later dates than April 19, 2020 you can choose dates from April 20, 2020 to May 31, 2020 or October 17, 2020 to December 13, 2020. This should be done before flight departure date and booking class should remain as in the original ticket. Flight can only be rebooked to another flight operated by lot Polish Airlines and cannot be rebooked to code-share flights are flights operated by other airlines.
  • Get a refund in form of a voucher. Voucher is not refundable. It can be exchanged for a ticket in one of lot offices (LOT Contact Center, Airport ticket offices, lot ticket offices)
  • Get a full refund for your tickets. If the ticket is refunded before the planned departure date – it will be refunded in full. If refund is requested after the planned flight date – only unused flight coupons will be refunded.

Information for passengers traveling to or from Beijing between March 1 and April 24, 2020 

If you have a ticket for canceled flight to or from Beijing purchased before  February 13, 2020, and travel between March 1 and April 24, 2020, you can:

  • Change free of charge travel for a new dates between April 26 to June 30, 2020
    This should be done before flight departure date and booking class should remain as in the original ticket. Flight can only be rebooked to another flight operated by lot Polish Airlines and cannot be rebooked to code-share flights are flights operated by other airlines. Ticket should be change according to original routing in the booking.
  • Get a full refund for your tickets. If the ticket is refunded before the planned departure date – it will be refunded in full. If refund is requested after the planned flight date – only unused flight coupons will be refunded.

Information for passengers who purchased the following tickets which were cancelled: 

If you have a ticket for cancelled flights to or from Newark and Budapest-New York (JFK)-Budapest; to or from Miami; or to or from Los Angeles purchased before March 13, 2020, you can:

  • Postpone your trips for dates between April 13 and May 31, 2020 or between October 17 and December 13, 2020 within the same booking class. Seat availability applies on each flight.
  • To change the departure and destination airport to Toronto or Chicago for flights from March 28 – May 31, 2020 and October 17 – December 13, 2020 within the same booking class.
  • Get a refund in form of a voucher. Voucher is not refundable. It can be exchanged for a ticket in one of  lot  offices (LOT Contact Center, Airport ticket offices,  lot ticket offices)
  • Get a full refund for your tickets. If the ticket is refunded before the planned departure date – it will be refunded in full. If refund is requested after the planned flight date – only unused flight coupons will be refunded.

Lufthansa

Lufthansa boarding sign

Photograph ©2013 by Brian Cohen.

The Lufthansa policy includes prior tickets which were purchased and booked through Tuesday, March 31, 2020 can be changed for travel through April 30, 2020 without paying a penalty; and a change fee waiver for tickets purchased and booked within the month of March can be changed for travel through Thursday, December 31, 2020, by when all travel must be completed. Original booking conditions on covered flights are waived. Itinerary changes are not allowed under the fee waiver, and fare differences are applicable. Flights to the United States under the travel restrictions may be canceled — but that will invokes different rules.

Changes and cancellations must occur by the date of the original flight.

Lufthansa has issued a travel alert for all flights to and from Mainland China for Friday, January 24, 2020 through Sunday, February 23, 2020; and Wednesday, September 30, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.

Norwegian Air

The policy for Norwegian Air covers all existing tickets which were purchased and booked with travel through Monday, August 31, 2020, by when all travel must be completed — as well as the waiver period between Friday, March 6, 2020 and Sunday, March 22, 2020 — for flights beyond the region of Nordic countries. A more limited policy applies to flights only within Nordic countries. Destination changes can be implemented with date changes.

Changes must occur by the date of departure of the outbound flight.

Oman Air

Change and cancellation fees will be suspended and waived for customers of Oman Air who purchase new tickets between Friday, March 6, 2020 and Sunday, May 31, 2020 and later decide not to travel because of concerns related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. This waiver applies to travel through Saturday, October 31, 2020, by when all travel must be completed.

Change fees are waived for up to a maximum of two changes; and the policy only applies to flights operated by Oman Air.

Changes must occur by the date of departure of the outbound flight.

Porter Airlines

Change and cancellation fees will be suspended and waived for customers of Porter Airlines who purchase new tickets through Tuesday, March 31, 2020 and later decide not to travel because of concerns related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. This waiver applies to travel through one year from the date of booking the ticket for the flight, by when all travel must be completed.

One free change is permitted per ticket. Cancellations of tickets are also permitted, which receive a voucher for the same value and are valid for one year.

Changes or cancellations must occur at least 24 hours prior to departure of the outbound flight.

Qantas Airways

Change fees will be suspended and waived for customers of Qantas Airways who purchase new tickets for international flights between Tuesday, March 10, 2020 and Tuesday, March 31, 2020 and later decide not to travel because of concerns related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. This waiver applies to travel through Tuesday, June 30, 2020; but the date by when all travel must be completed is currently unspecified.

One change fee waiver per ticket is permitted. Although more expensive airfares will be charged, the difference in less expensive airfares will not be reimbursed.

Changes must occur at least three days prior to departure of the outbound flight.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Change fees will be suspended and waived for customers of Qatar Airways who purchase tickets for all flights and later decide not to travel because of concerns related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. This waiver applies to travel through Tuesday, June 30, 2020, which is the date by when all travel must be completed — or if you cannot find new dates which work for you, you can change your ticket to a voucher which will be valid for one year. Although more expensive airfares will be charged, the difference in less expensive airfares will not be reimbursed.

Changes must occur at least three days prior to departure of the outbound flight.

SAS

Change fees will be suspended and waived for customers of SAS who purchased tickets for all flights prior to Tuesday, March 3, 2020 and later decide not to travel because of concerns related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. This waiver applies to travel between Tuesday, March 17, 2020 and Tuesday, March 31, 2020; and Monday, May 18, 2020 is the date by when all new travel must be completed — or if you cannot find new dates which work for you, you can change your ticket to a voucher which will be valid for one year. Although more expensive airfares will be charged, the difference in less expensive airfares will not be reimbursed.

Flights to China and Hong Kong have been canceled through Thursday, April 30, 2020 and no policy is in place yet for flights after that date. The cancellation policy only allows for refunds on flights which have been canceled by the airline.

Changes must occur prior to departure of the outbound flight.

Singapore Airlines and Silk Air

Singapore Airlines

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Change and cancellation fees will be suspended and waived for customers of Singapore Airlines and Silk Air who purchased tickets for all flights to and from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau prior to Saturday, February 8, 2020 — or prior to Tuesday, February 25, 2020 for flights to South Korea — and later decide not to travel because of concerns related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. This waiver applies to travel through Thursday, April 30, 2020; and Monday, August 31, 2020 is the date by when all new travel must be completed.

The policy also applies to flights to and from South Korea, but only a change waiver applies. The Greater China area has a cancellation waiver and a change fee waiver. Flights operated by Singapore Airlines and Silk Air which you cannot fly due to transit or entry problems also have a cancellation fee waiver and a change fee waiver, but this may not apply for award tickets booked via Singapore Airlines for flights which are operated a partner airline.

Cancellations and changes must occur prior to departure of the outbound flight.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Southwest Airlines never charges change fees; so if you want or need to change the flight which you have purchased a ticket, you can do so at any time up to ten minutes prior to the departure of the flight.

Sun Country Airlines

Sun Country Airlines

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Change fees are waived for customers traveling through Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

As always, guests traveling farther out than 60 days can change their reservation online at any time without a fee using My Trips.

SWISS Air Lines

SWISS Air Lines

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Cancelled flights with SWISS Air Lines have the option of a full refund — otherwise, the policy of one free change applies for tickets purchased and booked prior to Thursday, March 12, 2020. All new travel must be completed by Thursday, December 31, 2020. All existing tickets with travel dates through Thursday, April 30, 2020 are considered on hold, not to be flown, and need to be rebooked.

Changes must occur by Monday, June 1, 2020.

Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines has separate policies for new tickets versus prior tickets which were purchased and booked. Prior tickets which were purchased before Thursday, March 5, 2020 must be changed before Monday, March 16, 2020; all new tickets must have been purchased between Friday, March 6, 2020 and Tuesday, March 24, 2020; and both policies only cover international flights which are operated by Turkish Airlines throughout 2020. All new travel must be completed by Thursday, December 31, 2020. The first change is free with both policies. No refunds are permitted. Although more expensive airfares will be charged, the difference in less expensive airfares will not be reimbursed.

Changes must occur by five days prior to the outbound flight with new tickets; or by Monday, March 16, 2020 for existing tickets.

United Airlines

United Airlines

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Change and cancellation fees have been suspended and waived for customers of United Airlines who purchase tickets or travel between Tuesday, March 3, 2020 and Tuesday, March 31, 2020; and they will be permitted to a flight of equal or lesser value up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date. If the new flight is priced higher, the customer may change for no fee but must pay the fare difference. If the customer decides to cancel their flight, they can retain the value of the ticket to be applied to a new ticket without fee for travel up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date.

If the customer decides to cancel the flight they booked between Tuesday, March 3, 2020 and Tuesday, March 31, 2020, they can retain the value of the ticket to be applied to a new ticket without fee for travel up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date.

This applies to all tickets, all fare types, all destinations, all points-of-sale, all travel dates available for sale, provided ticket number starts with 016. No minimum stay is required; and no blackout dates will be applied.

United Airlines has issued travel alerts for:

  • Wuhan for Wednesday, January 22, 2020 through Sunday, March 29, 2020; and no exact date was given as the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Beijing, Chengdu, and Shanghai for Friday, January 24, 2020 through Thursday, April 30, 2020; and no exact date was given as the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Hong Kong for Tuesday, January 28, 2020 through Thursday, April 30, 2020; and no exact date was given as the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Seoul-Incheon for Monday, February 24, 2020 through Thursday, April 30, 2020; and Tuesday, June 30, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Nine airports in Italy for Thursday, February 27, 2020 through Thursday, April 30, 2020; and Tuesday, June 30, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.

Virgin Atlantic Airways

Virgin Atlantic Airways Boeing 747-400 aircraft Los Angeles International Airport

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Virgin Atlantic Airways has canceled flights to China until Sunday, April 19, 2020; and created a waiver for rebooking tickets on flights to or through Italy. The policy of Virgin Atlantic Airways pertaining to the cancellations and changes of flights also allows for rerouting to a new destination without having to pay a change fee — but a fare difference may be charged for this or for travel after the covered period.

Depending on the policy, tickets must have been purchased by Tuesday, March 31, 2020 for travel between Sunday, March 1, 2020 and Sunday, May 31, 2020.

All new travel must be completed by Thursday, December 31, 2020.

Changes or cancellations must occur prior to the date of departure of the flight.

WestJet Airways

WestJet Airlines

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

WestJet Airways has separate change policies for the purchases and booking of tickets prior to Tuesday, March 3, 2020 — as well as to tickets which were purchased between Tuesday, March 3, 2020 and Tuesday, March 31, 2020 — and you can cancel a flight to receive a credit voucher which is valid for one year for existing tickets.

The travel dates which are covered are between Sunday, March 1, 2020 and Thursday, April 30, 2020. No travel completion date has been specified.

Changes or cancellations must occur at least 24 hours prior to departure of the flight.

Summary

Policies pertaining to the advent of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus were accurate at the time this article was written; but policies may have changed since then. Click on the link for the airline whose policy affects you to ensure the latest iteration of its policy concerning change fees and cancellation fees.

Are the temporary changes in policies implemented by the aforementioned airlines a way to assuage fear by customers of the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — or is this some sort of marketing gimmick designed to capitalize on that fear? You decide for yourself…

…but would having the suspension of change and cancellation fees be nice if it was implemented on a permanent basis?

This article is the latest in a series pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in an effort to get the facts out with information derived from reliable sources.

Other articles at The Gate which pertain to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus include:

Graphic ©2016 by Brian Cohen. All photographs ©2007, ©2013, ©2015, ©2016, ©2017, ©2018, and ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

4 thoughts on “Change Fee and Cancellation Fee Policies and Waivers of 46 Airlines Due To 2019 Novel Coronavirus”

  1. Barry Graham says:

    Wow, what a great piece of work! Thanks Brian!

  2. GorillaInRwanda says:

    Thanks. Missing China Airlines…the one I need…their website is a bit on the confusing side. TRied calling…endless hold music.

  3. Miles says:

    I would feel more confident about Norwegian’s “CashPoints” voucher program if I thought the airline would be still around in the future.

    I purchased tickets with a Chase Sapphire Preferred card less than 60 days ago, but the Chase website won’t let you request a chargeback for non-delivery of a service in the future.

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