Updated 3/10 @ 8:18p EST – JetBlue extended dates of waived fees.
Updated 3/12 @ 9:00a EST – Delta waiving fees for customers traveling to, from, or through Europe and U.K. through May 31
As COVID-19, or Coronavirus, has been gripping down, travel and airline industries are amongst the hardest hit. Travel advisories and restrictions are preventing tourism in certain parts of the world. In addition, at the advice of the State Department, people are voluntarily punting on nonessential travel and steering clear of cruise ships.
So what does this mean for that flight that you booked?
AA has released a statement with their commitment to customer and team safety. In the release they highlighted attention on their cleaning practices and procedures of aircraft, in flight service, and airport areas. There is also a list of updated travel schedules that are affected by the virus. The airline is waiving change fees for customers with tickets purchased through March 31st for travel through April 30th. Travelers would pay differences in fare, where applicable.
Alaska has implemented a more flexible cancellation and change policy. There are no change or cancellation fees for previously booked travel or for travel purchased until March 31st. Of course, fare differences apply for flights that are changed.
Delta is offering a one-time waived change fee for flights purchased from March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2020 with flights scheduled through the month of April. Changes can be done online or through the Delta app.
Update: With the U.S. government-issued travel restrictions for European countries announced on 3/11/2020, Delta has announced that they are waiving fees for customers traveling to, from and through Europe through May 31.
Frontier is allowing customers with tickets purchased from March 10, 2020 through March 31, 2020 to make a one-time change free of charge by calling the customer support line. You can select different departure and arrival cities but travel must be completed before November 9, 2020.
JetBlue is appeasing uncertainty with suspensions of change and cancellation fees for travel through 4/30/20. In addition, new flights booked through 3/31/20 (for travel until 9/8/20) have no additional fees.
Southwest has famously never charged customers with change and cancellation fees. Go Southwest!
Spirit Airlines is being more flexible with their notoriously strict change and cancellation policy because of Coronavirus. Their guidance states that travelers who must alter plans because of COVID-19 are eligible for a free modification or a travel credit valid for up to 6 months. Travelers must call or text the airline for updates to itineraries.
United Airlines is offering additional flexibility for travelers by allowing free changes on travel booked between 3/3/2020 and 3/31/2020 over the next 12 months. Change fees are also waived for travel booked on or before March 2.
It is worth it to note that in our research, all domestic carriers are crediting customers for future travel in the event of cancellations instead of monetary refunds.
Even though it is not air travel, many utilize Amtrak for travels every day. Amtrak has issued similar guidance as air carriers. They highlighted their sanitation mechanisms and announced waived change fees through April 30, 2020.
Domestic carriers are on top of the pandemic and is doing whatever is necessary to minimize the impact of Coronavirus with air travel. All guidance suggests that it is mostly safe to travel with exercised precaution. If you feel comfortable enough to travel, this could be the perfect opportunity to score a cheap fare and to not go insane waiting in the line at TSA. Safe travels!