Travel News

US Airlines Make a Positive Adjustment for Change Fees for All Customers

Written by Charlie

The big US airlines have made positive improvements to their change fee waivers and now it covers all customers! Find out the new policies if you want to change your ticket!

When the big US airlines rolled out their change fee waiver policies, I was pretty hard on them. It was very obvious that it was all about trying to attract new business instead of protecting the business they already had. However, they have made a great change to that policy so time to update and give credit where credit is due!

US Airlines Update Change Fee Waiver Policies

So, here are the current change fee policies for the big US airlines. It should be noted that Southwest continues to offer changes and cancellations with no fees whatsoever – just like they always have! 🙂

Alaska Airlines – Change Fee Waiver

Link: Alaska Change Fee Waiver

  • No change or cancellation fees for travel through March 31, 2020, regardless of purchase date.
  • No change or cancellation fees for new tickets purchased between February 27 and March 31, 2020.
  • Eligible reservations can be changed or canceled online.
  • Funds will be deposited into your Mileage Plan account.
  • A fare difference may apply to your new itinerary. For more details, visit alaskaair.com.
American Airlines – Change Fee Waiver

Link: AA Change Fee Waiver

Current Policy for New Tickets

  • If you purchased a ticket on American Airlines between March 1, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. CT and March 16, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CT, you may change your flight once without paying a change fee if the change is made at least 14 days in advance of your outbound travel date.
  • Tickets must be purchased for travel between March 1, 2020 and January 26, 2021.
  • We will waive the change fee only on published Non-Refundable Fare tickets.
  • Tickets must be purchased between March 1, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. CT and March 16, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CT, with original travel between March 1, 2020 and January 26, 2021.
  • Changes must be made at least 14 days prior to the departure of your original flight.
  • New travel must be completed within 1 year of original ticket issue date.

New Policy for Old Tickets

The change fee is waived if you:

  • Are traveling on an American Airlines flight
  • Bought your ticket by March 1, 2020
  • Are scheduled to travel March 10, 2020 – April 30, 2020
  • Can travel March 10, 2020 – December 31, 2020
  • Don’t change your origin or destination city
  • Rebook in the same cabin or pay the difference
  • Changes must be made over the phone – call AA reservations
Delta Air Lines – Change Fee Waiver

Link: Delta Change Fee Waiver

Current Policy for New Tickets

No Change Fees For All Tickets Purchased Between March 1-31, 2020

  • Affected Customers: All Tickets issued between March 1, 2020 – March 31, 2020
  • Impacted Travel Date(s): March 1, 2020 – February 25, 2021
  • Ticket Can Be Changed One-Time To An Alternate Itinerary. Must Be Re-issued On/Before: February 28, 2021
  • Rebooked Travel Must Begin No Later Than: February 28, 2021

New Policy for Old Tickets

No Change Fees for Customers Scheduled to Travel March 1 – April 30, 2020

  • Affected Customers: All Tickets Issued on or before March 9, 2020
  • Impacted Travel Date(s): March 1, 2020 – April 30, 2020
  • New Ticket Must Be Re-issued On/Before: Dec 31, 2020
  • Rebooked Travel Must Begin No Later Than: Dec 31, 2020
United Airlines – Change Fee Waiver

Link: United Change Fee Waiver

Current Policy for New Tickets

  • Tickets: For tickets issued March 3 through March 31, 2020, customers will be permitted to change free of charge 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.
  • Cancellations: 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.
  • Fare Validity: 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.
  • Minimum Stay: No minimum stay.
  • Blackout Dates: No blackout dates.
  • Miscellaneous: 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 are nonrefundable except during the first 24 hours after purchase. Other restrictions may apply.

New Policy for Old Tickets

  • Original Travel Dates: March 9, 2020 – April 30, 2020
  • Flight Changes: New tickets must be reissued on/before December 31, 2020 or 12 months from original ticket date, whichever is earlier
  • Rebooked travel must commence within 12 months from the original ticket issue date
  • Original Ticket Must Be Issued On or Before: March 2, 2020
Bottom Line

Missing from this list is JetBlue. That is because they have not updated their policies. But, for Alaska, American, Delta, and United, it was only right that they should cover their customers who had booked before all of this started and good for them doing that.

What is missing, right now, is what airlines like American Airlines are doing with award tickets like their Web Specials that do not allow for any changes. I am waiting to hear back on that and will update when I hear something.

So, if you had booked travel before March for up through the end of April, you now get to make changes to those tickets with no change fees and just the fare difference. That means that if you avoid summer and holiday travel, you should be ok! For anyone that has had a marathon cancel, this is great news indeed!

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About the author

Charlie

Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

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