Update: Airlines Extend Suspension of Change and Cancellation Fees 2020 Due To 2019 Novel Coronavirus

Commercial airlines which are based in the United States have announced extensions of policies to suspend change and cancellation fees on a temporary basis due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic.

Update: Airlines Extend Suspension of Change and Cancellation Fees 2020 Due To 2019 Novel Coronavirus

Without further ado, here is the list of eleven airlines which are based in the United States — plus British Airways — and their updated policies pertaining to the suspension of change and cancellation fees on a temporary basis.

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 Tuesday, June 30, 2020 and later decide not to travel because of concerns related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. This waiver applies to travel through Monday, May 31, 2021.

Exception Policy:

  • Tickets must be changed or canceled prior to the departure of your original flight.
  • If you purchased your tickets through a third party, such as Expedia, another travel agency, or another airline, contact them directly for assistance.
  • If you purchase a Saver fare between Thursday, February 27, 2020 and Tuesday, June 30, 2020, you may:
  • If you purchase a nonrefundable First Class, main, or award ticket between Thursday, February 27, 2020 and Tuesday, June 30, 2020, you may:
  • This waiver is valid only for tickets issued by Alaska Airlines, which you can identify by a 13-digit ticket number that begins with Alaska Airlines code “027”.
  • Tickets issued by other airlines with a different carrier code — ticket numbers that do not begin with “027” — are subject to the waiver policy of the other airline.

Allegiant Air

Allegiant Air

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Customers with reservations may implement a one-time change to their travel plans without incurring change or cancel fees. Changes and cancellations can now be made directly by visiting Manage Travel.

For cancellations, the following options are available to you:

  • You may change your flight to any other scheduled Allegiant flight(s) at no additional cost.
  • You may cancel your reservation and receive a full credit in the form of an Allegiant voucher for future travel, which is good for two years from the date of the initial reservation.
  • You may contact our customer care center at 702-505-8888 for other options.

American Airlines

American Airlines

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Contact your travel agent for assistance if you did not book your ticket directly with American Airlines.

Otherwise, change fees will be suspended and waived for customers of American Airlines who:

  • Bought a ticket before Tuesday, June 30, 2020, for travel between Sunday, March 1, 2020 and Wednesday, September 30, 2020, you can rebook without change fees. Travel must be completed on or before Friday, December 31, 2021.
  • Buy a new trip between Sunday, March 1, 2020 and Sunday, May 31, 2020, for all future travel, you can also change it a later date without change fees.
  • Plus, if you have a ticket that is expiring between Sunday, March 1, 2020 and Wednesday, September 30, 2020, the value of your unused ticket can be used for travel through Friday, December 31, 2021. You may owe any difference in ticket price.

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, June 30, 2020 and later decide not to travel because of concerns related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

Change and cancellation fees will also be suspended and waived for all domestic and international travel departing between Sunday, March 1, 2020 and Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

If your travel is eligible for a waiver, you can move your travel dates and even select a new destination. Your unused ticket will be applied toward your new flight, and in some instances a fare difference will apply. If the new fare is lower, you will receive an eCredit for the difference. If the new fare is higher, the difference will be collected. The fare difference will be waived for changes to existing travel between Sunday, March 1, 2020 and Wednesday, September 30, 2020 if originally purchased before Friday, April 17, 2020 and traveling to the same destination before Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

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.

Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Change and cancellation fees will be suspended and waived for customers of Frontier Airlines who purchased tickets:

  • Between Tuesday, March 10, 2020 and Wednesday, April 15, 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, if any.
      • Cancel flight: cancel fee waived, customer retains the value of the ticket to be applied toward the purchase of a future ticket to be booked within 90 days of cancellation for travel available through the selling schedule.
      • To change your reservation, visit the My Trip page. The change fee will automatically be waived.
      • To cancel your reservation and retain the value of your ticket to be applied towards the purchase of a future ticket within 90 days of cancellation, please visit My Trip to manage your booking.
    • For changed flights, travel must be completed by Sunday, September 12, 2021
    • All tickets are nonrefundable unless otherwise specified in the Contract of Carriage
  • Prior to March 10 with original travel dates between Tuesday, March 10, 2020 and Thursday, 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 to be booked within 90 days of cancellation for travel available through the selling schedule.
      • To change your reservation, visit the My Trip page. The change fee will automatically be waived.
      • To cancel your reservation and retain the value of your ticket to be applied towards the purchase of a future ticket within 90 days of cancellation, please visit My Trip to manage your booking. The cancel fee will automatically be waived.
    • For changed flights, travel must be completed by Sunday, September 12, 2021
    • 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.

Change and cancellation fees will be suspended and waived for customers of Hawaiian Airlines who purchased tickets:

  1. Between Sunday, March 1, 2020 and Tuesday, June 30, 2020: No change fees for any changes made within two years of the original ticket purchase date. A fare difference may apply.
  2. Before Sunday, March 1, 2020 with travel dates between Sunday, March 1, 2020 and Wednesday, September 30, 2020: No change fees for rebooked travel that begins on or before Tuesday, May 31, 2022. A fare difference may apply.

JetBlue Airways

JetBlue Airways

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Change and cancellation fees will be suspended and waived for customers of JetBlue Airways who purchase new tickets or travel by Tuesday, June 30, 2020 and later decide not to travel because of concerns related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Rebooking your flight through this waiver applies towards any flight through the end of the flight schedule of JetBlue Airways.

Tickets must be purchased prior to Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Fare differences may apply. Eligible changes made will receive a JetBlue Travel Bank Credit in the amount of the flight fare plus any applicable taxes and fees, valid for 24 months from date of issuance toward future JetBlue air travel only. Rebookings are permitted during the corresponding booking window; after the corresponding booking window, only the first rebooking will be eligible under this policy, and will be subject to the fare rules and Contract of Carriage in effect at time of this rebooking. This policy applies through all booking channels. Group Bookings must be handled through 1-888-JETBLUE Option 2. Only the flight component of a JetBlue Vacations package is eligible under this policy. We recommend customers contact JetBlue to understand the cancel and change policies applicable to rental cars, hotels, and other travel product components of their bookings. Changes/cancellations must be made prior to scheduled departure (otherwise fare is forfeited). All flight reservations made one week or more prior to a flight’s departure may be cancelled without penalty up to 24 hours after the reservation is made for full refund or Travel Bank Credit.

For voluntary cancellations, funds will be issued as a JetBlue Travel Bank Credit, valid for 24 months from the date of issuance. JetBlue Vacations bookings will be issued as JetBlue Vacations Credit, valid for 24 months from the date of issuance.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Southwest is unique in the airline industry because the airline does not charge fees to change or cancel flights; so the change and cancellation policies are permanent and not temporary.

Tickets which cannot be refunded — such as Wanna Get Away fares — not flown on the travel date but canceled in accordance with the No Show policy of Southwest Airlines can be applied to future travel.

Refundable tickets — such as Anytime and Business Select fares — not flown on the travel date can also be applied to future travel.

Find out additional information on refunds by clicking here.

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Change and cancellation fees will be waived for customers of Spirit Airlines who book travel by Tuesday, June 30, 2020 and later decide not to travel because of concerns related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Go to  My Trips, enter your name and confirmation number, then proceed with the steps to change or cancel your flight. If you cancel your flight, you will receive a full purchase price reservation credit instantly.

Sun Country Airlines

Sun Country Airlines

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Change fees will be waived for customers of Sun Country Airlines for qualifying itineraries for travel through Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

Guests looking to cancel their flight can do so online using MyTrips and receive a flight credit to use toward future travel. Flight credits expire one year from the date the original itinerary was booked and can be used towards travel beyond the date of expiration. To redeem flight credits, the confirmation number of the original booking will act as a credit code when booking on suncountry.com.

United Airlines

United Airlines

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Change and cancellation fees will be suspended and waived for customers of United Airlines who purchase tickets or travel between Tuesday, March 3, 2020 and Tuesday, March 31, 2020, as customers will be permitted to change free of charge to a flight of equal or lesser value for travel up to 24 months from the original ticket issue date.

For tickets issued between Wednesday, April 1, 2020, and Tuesday, June 30, 2020, customers will be permitted to change free of charge to a flight of equal or lesser value for travel 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 new flight is priced lower, the customer may change for free but no residual value will be given.

If you decide to cancel the flight which you booked before Tuesday, March 31, 2020, you can retain the value of the ticket to be applied to a new ticket without fee for travel up to 24 months from the original ticket issue date. If you decide to cancel the flight which you booked between Wednesday, April 1, 2020, and Tuesday, June 30, 2020, you 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. No blackout dates. Fares, fees, rules and offers are subject to change without notice. Seats are capacity-controlled and may not be available on all flights or days. Fares cannot be refunded except during the first 24 hours after purchase. Other restrictions may apply.

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 are scheduled for travel until Friday, July 31, 2020 or purchased new tickets from Tuesday, March 3, 2020 are eligible for a range of flexible rebooking options — including taking a voucher — because of concerns related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

All vouchers — regardless of when they were claimed — can now be used on new bookings up until April of 2022.

Summary

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?

Graphic ©2016 by Brian Cohen. All photographs ©2007, ©2013, ©2014, ©2015, ©2016, ©2017, ©2018, and ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

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