Several major U.S. airlines are extending change-fee waivers to passengers thinking about booking travel, should any of their plans change amid the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
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Many of these airlines had previously extended travel waivers to countries and regions experiencing the worst outbreaks (many of which are still in place). These new policies, however, now extend to all tickets purchased, albeit between specific dates.
Last week, JetBlue became the first U.S. carrier to offer change- and cancellation-fee waivers for passengers who purchased tickets between Feb. 27 and March 11 – across all flights – for any travel completed by June 11.
“While authorities have not issued any travel restrictions to the locations we fly, we want to give our customers some peace of mind that we are ready to support them should the situation change,” said JetBlue President and COO Joanna Geraghty in a media release.
More information can be found within JetBlue’s Travel Alerts.
A growing number of carriers are issuing change-fee waivers for all flights — not just those to affected areas.
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Other major carriers soon followed suit, offering passengers more flexibility to change plans, if not cancel them entirely.
Passengers who purchase travel between Feb. 27 and March 12, with plans to travel by June 30, are eligible to cancel their trips altogether, and put the value of the fare toward future travel. Passengers who purchase nonrefundable tickets during the same time period are eligible for a change-fee waiver, for use on new fares booked before Dec. 31.
“It can be tough to keep track of what’s going on — and maybe even tougher to decide whether to make or keep your travel plans,” Alaska Airlines writes.
Additional information can be found on Alaska Airlines’ Travel Advisories.
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Per its latest policy, American Airlines will be waiving change fees for tickets purchased between March 1 and March 16. Eligible ticketholders must have travel scheduled before Jan. 21, 2021, and make changes at least 14 days in advance of the original scheduled travel date.
Rebooked travel plans must be completed within one year of the ticket’s original issue date.
Additional information can be found within American Airlines’s Travel Alerts.
Frontier Airlines is waiving both change and cancellation fees for travel scheduled to take place between March 3 and March 16. Rebooked travel must be completed by June 1; travelers who cancel will be issued “a credit valid for 90 days,” according to Frontier’s policy.
More information can be found on Frontier’s Alerts page.
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Hawaiian Airlines is extending change-fee waivers for passengers who purchase tickets between March 1 and March 16, across any flight. Ticketholders are required to request changes at least 24 hours before scheduled departure.
Additional information can be found at Hawaiian Airlines’ “Book Confidently” page.
Anyone who purchases travel – domestically or internationally – between March 3 and March 31 is eligible to reschedule their trips without incurring a change fee “to a flight of equal or lesser value” scheduled for one year from the original ticket issue date. Passengers wishing to cancel travel will also not incur a fee, and will be eligible to apply the original value to travel scheduled within a year of the original issue date.
“The waiver applies to all tickets, all fare types, all destinations, all points-of-sale and all travel dates available for sale,” United said in a statement.
More information can be found within United’s Travel Notices.
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Southwest Airlines is one of the few carriers that doesn’t charge cancellation fees or change fees for rescheduled travel.
“As always, our Customers can change their travel itineraries without a change fee and our non-refundable fares can be applied toward future travel without penalty as long as your reservation is canceled 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure of your flight,” reads a message posted to Southwest’s Travel Advisories page.