All major airlines in the United States are revamping change fees and are getting rid of change fees for most passengers. Following the lead of Southwest and then United, airlines have decided that offering passengers more flexibility is better. Prior to Feb of 2020, most major airlines charged $125-$200 to make changes to itineraries within North America. Now, airlines are doing away with change fees for most fares and the majority of destinations. Not all airlines change polices are created equal. Be sure to check your airlines policies.
Alaska Airlines Change Fees
Alaska Airlines is waiving all change fees to all destinations for the rest of 2020 no matter the fare class. Any ticket purchased in 2020 for travel through Nov 30, 2021 can be cancelled or changed free of charge. This includes savers or basic economy tickets. Credit will be issued in the form of a voucher to your digital wallet or a credit certificate for future travel. Saver fares can only be cancelled, whereas main cabin and first class tickets can be changed. There is really no difference here, except changing a ticket keeps the same ticket number and reservation code.
Alaska Fees 2021 & Beyond
Starting January 1, 2021 change fees on most fares will also be eliminated. Previously, only Alaska Gold and 75k elites were able to cancel tickets without fees. All tickets, except saver fares will be eligible for free changes. Fare differences may apply. Change fee free destinations include every Alaska flies:
- All 50 States
- Costa Rica
No announcements have been made if Alaska Airlines will provide travel credit if the fare is less. Currently, Alaska does offer vouchers for fare difference when the cost is less than the original ticketed value.
American Airlines Change Fees
American Airlines is waiving all change fees for ticket bought by December 31, 2020, for all future travel to all destinations. Regardless of travel class, purchase your ticket by the end of the year and your ticket will allow free changes and/or cancellations. Fare differences do apply. For cancellations and or when tickets cost decrease, an electronic credit will be issued. Use these vouchers for future travel within the next year.
American Airlines Change Fees 2021 & Beyond
Effective September 1, 2020, American Airlines eliminating all change fees for First, Business, Premium Economy and Main Cabin tickets for all domestic and short-haul international flying. Change and cancellation fees will be waived for:
- Any of the 50 U.S. states
- Puerto Rico
- US. Virgin Islands
American Airlines is also waiving all standby fees. Starting October 1, 2020, you’ll be able to stand by for flights on the same day as your original departure to the same destination at no charge. This includes domestic and international travel, regardless of the ticket you bought.
Delta Air Lines Change Fees
Delta Air Lines coronavirus waiver is good for tickets purchased through September 30, 2020. Any ticket purchased before September 30 for travel through September 30, 2021 can be changed free of charge. Only pay the fare difference. If the fare is less, an eVoucher will be issued. This applies to all Delta Air Line destinations and fare classes, even Basic Economy.
Delta Fees 2021 & Beyond
Delta Air Lines will end the collection of change fees for domestic travel in the United States. The United States as defined by Delta Air lines includes:
- All 50 states
- Puerto Rico
- US Virgin Islands.
All fare classes will be exempt from change fees except for Delta’s Basic Economy fares which remain non-refundable and non-changeable. International flights change fees is $200 to $500 depending on the fare class and destination.
JetBlue Change Fees
Jetblue currently is offering a Coronavirus waiver for travel purchased before October 15. If you choose to rebook, you can do so on any flight through the end of their schedule. Fare difference will apply. If the ticket is less or if you cancel the ticket, an electronic credit will be issued for future use.
Jetblue is the only non-ultra low cost carrier which charges change fees which has not announced changes to their 2021 change fee schedule. Check Jetblue’s change fees for the latest information. Change and cancellation fees are waived for TrueBlue Mosaic elite members. At time of writing, the following rules apply.
Blue Basic Fares
Basic blue aka discount economy tickets are always non-refundable and non-changeable.
Blue & Blue Plus Fares
- $200 per-person fee for fares $200 or more + difference in fare.
- $150 per-person fee for fares $150 – $199.99 + difference in fare.
- $100 per-person fee for fares $100 – $149.99 + difference in fare.
- $75 per-person fee for fares under $100 + difference in fare.
$200 per-person fee for all mint tickets
Southwest Airlines has always offered the best change and cancellation policy in the industry. They will never charge you a chance or cancellation policy regardless of flight, fare class, or destination. If the cost of the ticket does increase, Southwest will collect the fare difference. When the price drops, Southwest will issue a credit to be used for a future flight. Cancellation also results in electronic vouchers for future travel.
United Airlines Change Fee
For 2020, United airlines has expanded their 2020 coronavirus waiver for all tickets. The waiver includes domestic and international flights, along with all cabins. This waiver also applies to basic economy tickets. If you purchase a ticket before the end of the year, you can make free changes to the ticket. If you are unsure of travel plans, cancel your flight before departure. Canceling your trip will result in the voucher that’s is good for use in the next 12 months.
United Change fees 2021
United was the first legacy carry to announce that starting in 2021, United Airlines will eliminate change fees for domestic flights. Domestic flights include:
- all 50 states
- Puerto Rico
- US Virgin Islands
United also does not charge change fees to and from Mexico and the Caribbean.
Basic economy tickets will still not be changeable or cancellable. Free changes apply to both revenue tickets and award tickets. If there is residual value due to the fare being cheaper, United will not issue a credit.
Starting in 2021, United Airlines will provide more flexibility to all travelers flying Standby. Standby for free on an earlier flight. Travelers will have to standby for each connection and will not be confirmed through all segments.
Discount Carriers Change Fees
Customers with reservations may make a one-time change to their travel plans without incurring change or cancel fees. Changes and cancellations can now be made online or over the phone.
For cancellations, the following options are available to you:
- Change your flight to any other scheduled Allegiant flight(s) at no additional cost.
- You may be charged or credited for fare differences.
- You may cancel your reservation and receive a full credit in the form of an Allegiant voucher for future travel, which is good for two years from the date of the initial reservation.
There is currently not a published end date for this policy.
As an Ultra Low Cost Carrier, Frontier usually charges for changes. For flight bookings made prior to September 30, 2020, Frontier will waive change fees one time without a fee as long as the change is made 7 days or more prior to departure. Fare differences will apply. If the new ticket is cheaper, no residual value will be refunded or credited to the passenger. Frontier does not allow for close in cancellations without a fee.
For all Frontier flights, cancellation and fees are dependent in how early you make a change. 60 or more prior to departure the fee is free. 14 days to 59 days prior to departure the chance or cancellation fee is $79. Within two weeks of travel, the fee is $119. Fare differences will always be collected when making changes. Residual value for cheaper fares will not be refunded. For cancellations, credits must be utilized within 90 days and can only be applied to once. Balances do not carry forward.
Spirit will waive change and cancellation fees for Guests who book travel by Wednesday, September 30th 2020. If you cancel your flight, you will receive a full purchase price reservation credit instantly.
For purchases on or after October 1, 2020 the normal spirit airline change and cancellation fees will apply:
- Ticket Modification or Cancellation via the internet: $90 per person
- Ticket Modification or Cancellation at the airport or over the phone: $100 per person
- Group Booking Itinerary Modification or Cancellation $50 per person