You guys, if you have an upcoming flight within the next couple of months, you need to do this one thing to potentially save you some big money. Domestic and international airfare prices have gone down drastically and all you have to do double-check whether or not the price you paid is still the cheapest price out there. With cancelation and change fee waivers in place with most of the major carriers, it’s a no-brainer to call and get a price-adjustment, even on non-refundable tickets, when your flights have gone down in price.
I just did this with three Southwest flights, an Alaska Airlines flight and an American Airlines flight and I saved over $470 total (and got a better non-stop flight)! Here’s how you can too.
Note: This only applies to tickets purchased outside of your free 24-hour cancellation period. If you find a cheaper flight within 24 hours of when you purchased your ticket, just refund the ticket back to your original form of payment and purchase the new ticket at the cheaper price.
If you have an upcoming flight with Southwest Airlines, they are are the easiest to re-price. They have a simple, “no change fees, no cancellation fees, no questions asked” policy and you can do everything online. All you have to do is log into your account and look at your upcoming trips.
Select the flights you want to re-price and enter in the desired travel dates. They can be the same dates if you want to stay on the same flights but take advantage of the cheaper fares or completely new flights.
Southwest will then display the new prices. Click on the flight that works for you and if the price you originally paid is more expensive than the current price, you will get an automatic credit. It should be noted that in this example, I already made the change from the higher price ticket I previously held. It doesn’t look like much but this flight actually saved me $111.
The credit will show up in your travel wallet, which can then be applied to any future Southwest bookings within one year of when the original ticket was issued. It really is that simple. But I know some of you are complaining that it should be a refund to your credit card (and I agree) but hey, a travel credit for something that I already paid for is better than nothing. I think we can all agree on that. The good thing about Southwest Airlines is that it never hurts to double-check your flights. Their no change/cancellation fees policy lasts year-round so it’s not specific to this current crisis.
Now for American, United, Delta, Alaska, etc, the process is a little more cumbersome but still worth it if the price difference is great enough. For these other airlines, you will have to double-check whether your travel dates are within the allowed coronavirus travel exemption periods.
Alaska Airlines is offering no change or cancellation fees for any tickets purchased on or before February 26, 2020, OR for any new tickets purchased between February 27 and March 31, 2020.
For tickets purchased on or before February 26, 2020, your original travel dates must be between March 9, 2020, and May 31, 2020, in order to qualify for the free change/cancellation. For tickets purchased on or after February 27, 2020, your travel dates can be anytime from February 27, 2020, until February 28, 2021, to qualify for free change/cancellation.
If you have a non-refundable ticket that qualifies for a free change or cancellation, you must call Alaska Airlines at 1-800-252-7522 to make the change. Provide the agent with your booking reference number and if your trip qualifies, he/she will cancel your ticket free of charge and deposit the credit to your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan travel wallet. You can then use those travel funds to book the same flight or any other future flight you want.
Similar to Alaska, American Airlines is also offering a relaxed change/cancellation fee waiver for any new flight booked from March 1, 2020, through March 31, 2020. Any new flights booked within this time frame will not incur a change/cancellation fee if you decide to change/cancel later on.
American Airlines will also waive the change/cancellation fees for any tickets purchased PRIOR to March 1, 2020. However, your original travel dates must occur between now and May 31, 2020.
If you have a non-refundable ticket that qualifies for a free change or cancellation, you must call American Airlines at 1-800-433-7300 to make the change. Provide the agent with your booking reference number and if your trip qualifies, he/she will cancel your ticket free of charge and deposit the credit to your account. Your credit will be linked to your original booking reference number so do not lose this. Your travel credit can be used to book the same flight or any other flight but it must be used by December 31, 2020.
I just did this over the phone. It took me about an hour to get through but it saved me $300 on a previously booked flight, returning from Puerto Vallarta in April.
United is bullshit and will not let you refund or cancel your ticket. They will only let you change to another flight without any fees attached. If your flight is more expensive, you will have to pay the difference in fare. If your flight is cheaper, you will not receive a credit. Total crap.
Similar to American Airlines, Delta is letting customers change or cancel their tickets free of charge. For customers who purchased tickets from March 1, 2020, to March 31, 2020, with travel dates from March 1, 2020, to February 25, 2021, you may change or cancel your flight anytime before your flight for an eCredit. The eCredit must be used to rebook a future flight by February 28, 2021.
For customers who previously booked tickets with travel dates between March 1, 2020, and May 31, 2020, you can change or cancel your flight without a fee. Your eCredit must be used by December 31, 2020.
Delta has made it easy to do this online. Instructions can be found here.
JetBlue is also letting customers change or cancel their tickets without a fee. For customers who purchased tickets from March 6, 2020, to March 31, 2020, for travel through September 8, 2020, you can change or cancel your flight without a fee. For customers who previously booked tickets with travel dates between March 10, 2020 and April 30, 2020, you can change without a fee or cancel for a credit to your travel bank. The funds will be valid for one year from the date of issuance.
As you can see from my examples above, prices have dropped significantly and you take advantage of these new savings. You already paid for the tickets and your refund will be in the form of a travel credit but that’s better than nothing. Why not save some money where you can?
What do you think of these change/cancellation fee waivers? Do you have any bookings that will qualify? If so, please share them with us in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!