Update: More Airlines Suspended Change and Cancellation Fees 2020 Due To Coronavirus

Six airlines have announced policies to suspend change and cancellation fees on a temporary basis due to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — which is now also known as COVID-19 — outbreak in response to the growing fear around the world of the virus which has quickly spread.

Update: More Airlines Suspended Change and Cancellation Fees 2020 Due To Coronavirus

The first airline to officially announce the temporary policy changes was JetBlue Airways — followed by Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines. Interestingly, of those five airlines, JetBlue Airways and Alaska 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.

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 between Thursday, February 27, 2020 and Wednesday, March 11, 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 JetBlue Airways 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.

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 one year from date of issuance toward future JetBlue air travel only. Rebookings are permitted during the Booking Window; after the 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.

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.

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.

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.

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; 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 March 3 and 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.

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.

Summary

Do not be surprised if additional airlines announce policies to suspend change and cancellation fees on a temporary basis due to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

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, ©2015, ©2016, ©2017, and ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

5 thoughts on “Update: More Airlines Suspended Change and Cancellation Fees 2020 Due To Coronavirus”

  1. ghostrider5408 says:

    where is Air France in all this I wonder

  2. JimC says:

    At least for British Air, it’s only waiver for change fees. I don’t see anything about cancellation fees. Need to be accurate in the information you are giving out.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I appreciate you bringing that to my attention, JimC. It will be corrected.

      Thank you.

      1. JimC says:

        I realized that comment might have come across harshly. Not my intention.

        Just wanted to point it out so people don’t get the wrong information.

        Thank you for the correction

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          I did not take your comment harshly at all, JimC. I am truly sincere about being thankful for you pointing out that error on my part and giving me the opportunity to correct it.

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