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Your Guide To Major Airline Change And Cancellation Policies During COVID-19

By DeAnna Taylor

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There are lots of changes happening by the day in regards to flights and airline changes. With new travel bans being implemented globally, it poses lots of uncertainty for travelers on what to do about booked flights.

If you had flights booked before the pandemic and are looking for answers on your respective airline’s change or cancellation policy, we’ve got you covered. Check out this list of the current policies of some of the major airlines around the world. Keep in mind these policies can also change, so it is best to double-check the airline’s website for the most up to date information.

American Airlines

You can change any flights booked for travel through April 30 for free. You must pay any difference in fare between the two flights and you must travel by December 31, 2020, on the re-booked ticket.

American will issue a refund for the following flights:

  • Europe, including the United Kingdom: tickets purchased on March 11 or earlier for travel through May 31, 2020.
  • Italy or South Korea purchased on or before February 24, 2020 
  • Hong Kong purchased on or before January 28, 2020 
  • China bought on or before January 24, 2020 

Delta Airlines

If you booked flights on or before March 9, 2020, for travel before April 30, 2020, you can change your flight to a later date without penalty. You will still be responsible for any difference in price. You must do so and travel by December 31, 2020.

If you choose to cancel your flight, you will be issued a flight credit which is available for one year from your ticket’s original booking date.

Tickets booked to the following restricted destinations can be changed up until May 31, 2020, and must be used before December 31, 2020:

  • China, South Korea, Europe (including the UK), Argentina, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala and St. Maarten

Frontier Airlines

If you booked your flight before March 10, 2020, for travel before April 30, 2020, you can change to a new travel date that happens before November 9, 2020. Flights booked between March 10 and March 31 for travel through November 9, 2020, can also be changed without any fee. You will need to pay any difference in price.

If you choose to cancel a flight within those dates, you will be issued a flight credit that must be used within 90 days of the cancellation date.

JetBlue

For travel dates between March 10 and April 30, 2020, you can change your ticket for free regardless of the purchase date for new travel that will happen before October 24, 2020. Any tickets for travel before June 1, that were purchased after February 27 can be changed without any fee. Any bookings made between March 6 and 31 can be changed if the travel date is before September 8. Again, rebooked travel must happen by October 24, 2020.

You can cancel any flights in exchange for an airline credit in the full amount. The credit must be used one year from the credit issue date.

Southwest

There are no special date restrictions when it comes to changing or canceling your flight for a credit. Southwest already has a policy in place that allows you to re-book or cancel your flight within ten minutes of your scheduled departure. Any flight credits issued must be used within one year and cannot be transferred to another passenger. You are responsible for any price differences when you re-book.

Spirit Airlines

You can change any flights one time without penalty regardless of travel or purchase date. For cancellations, a flight credit will be issued and you must book your new travel with six months, although you can travel as far as the calendar shows.

United Airlines

If you purchased a ticket before March 3 for travel through April 30, you can re-book until December 31, 2020, or one year from the original ticket issue date (whichever comes first).

Anything booked between March 3 and 31, can be changed or canceled without a fee. Cancellations will receive a travel credit. You must pay any price difference between changed flights.

Tickets booked to China and Hong Kong with a travel date before June 30, 2020, are eligible for fee-free rebooking or a cash refund, even on non-refundable fares. Tickets to Italy and South Korea before June 30 are eligible for re-booking without fees, but not for cash refunds.  

Related: Major U.S. Airlines Begin Flight Cuts And Hiring Freeze Due To Coronavirus

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DeAnna Taylor

DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel blogger, author, and writer. While Charlotte, NC (her hometown) is her base, she's always somewhere on a plane. Catch her on IG: @brokeandabroadlife.

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