As coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread worldwide, more airlines are canceling flights and restricting travel to certain areas. But now some airlines are temporarily waiving cancellation or change fees for travelers who have recently booked flights, allowing for more flexibility due to the virus outbreak.
Concern is growing that the spread of the virus may not be able to be contained, which is causing travelers to think twice about booking travel. The fee waiver policies are an attempt to quell those fears and encourage travelers to continue to book flights, with assurance they can change their plans as needed, penalty-free. Below is a list of airlines that have updated their cancellation and change policies as a result of coronavirus as of March 10, 2020.
Alaska Airlines – Their “flexible travel policy” allows travelers who book a flight between February 27, 2020 and March 12, 2020 for travel through June 1, 2020 to make a one-time change or cancel their flight free of charge. Reimbursement for flight cancellation will be a credit and fare differences will be the traveler’s responsibility.
American Airlines – The airline announced March 1 that customers who purchase a flight between March 1, 2020 and March 16, 2020 for travel between March 1, 2020 and January 26, 2021 can change their flight or cancel free of charge. Customers must change their flight at least two weeks in advance, reimbursement for cancellation will be given as a credit for future travel and any difference in ticket cost will be the traveler’s responsibility and customers must rebook their travels by December 31, 2020.
Air France – Customers who book a flight before March 31, 2020 for travel between March 3, 2020 and May 31, 2020 will be allowed to change their flight free of charge. Travel must be rebooked before May 31, 2020, the ticket must be in the same booking class and you must be going to the same destination.
British Airways – The “book with confidence” customer policy applies for travelers who book a flight between March 3, 2020 and March 16, 2020 and will allow customers to change their travel plans penalty-free right up until departure. Differences in ticket cost will be the responsibility of the traveler.
Delta – Change and cancellation fees will not apply to travelers who have an international flight booked to one of the affected areas before June 1, 2020. Travelers must reschedule their flight by April 3, 2020. Reimbursement for cancellation will be a credit toward future travel and any change in fare will be the traveler’s responsibility. Read details on Delta’s website.
Hawaiian Airlines – Travelers are allowed a one-time flight change free of charge if they book a flight between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2020. See the Hawaiian Airlines website for full details.
JetBlue – Customers who purchased a flight between February 27, 2020 and March 11, 2020 for travel through June 1, 2020 will be able to change or cancel their flight free of charge. Canceled flights will be reimbursed as a credit for future travel and difference in ticket cost will be the traveler’s responsibility.
United Airlines – Flights that were booked before March 2, 2020 for travel between March 9, 2020 and April 30, 2020 can be changed free of charge. Travel must be rebooked by December 31, 2020. Check the United website for details.
Virgin Atlantic – Flights that are booked between March 4, 2020 and March 31, 2020 can be changed free of charge. The rebooked trip must be completed before May 31, 2020. Read the full announcement for more information.
Some airlines are only waiving change and cancellation fees to specific destinations and airports, so be sure to read the fine print and details closely before changing or canceling a flight. If you have any doubts or questions, reach out directly to the airline.
If your airline is not on this list and/or you’re considering booking travel, we recommend purchasing a trip insurance plan and adding cancel for any reason coverage, which can allow you to cancel your trip for any reason and recoup up to 75 percent of nonrefundable trip costs.
If you have any questions related to your upcoming trip and want to learn more about travel and trip insurance, contact our customer support team to get in touch with a qualified travel insurance expert. We also have more information about coronavirus and travel insurance.
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