No-fee for changes policy provides relief during these uncertain times
by Patti Pietschmann, Travel Diva
(This is an update to a previous article)
Following United Airline’s example, Delta, American Airlines, and Hawaiian are now allowing passengers to cancel flights with no extra charge. This is tremendous news considering change fees often add up to $200 a ticket.
United’s new change fee policy applies to all standard Economy and Premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S. 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. There’s no limit to how many changes you make. However, basic economy tickets are exempt and any alterations comes with a fee.
Going forward in face of Covid
This is definitely a step in the right direction during these uncertain times. Up until now only Southwest Airlines offered fee-free changes.
United also is initiating a free standby policy that starts January 1, 2021. Passengers can go standby for free on flights departing the day of their travel regardless of the type of ticket or class of service.
Delta doing it too
On Delta’s Investor Day in December 2019, the airline shared its intent to overhaul its change fee structure, delivering flexibility and simplicity for customer. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 the airline has been focusing on sensitization of safety of crew and passengers.
Then today, on the heels of United’s new policy, Delta is now doubling down on its mission. It, too, is making it easier for customers to book, change or cancel their travel plans with no fees.
Hawaiian initiates no fee policy
Effective today Hawaiian passengers flying between Hawai‘i and the U.S. mainland, international destinations or within the Hawaiian Islands can reschedule without change fees. The carrier, has already been waiving fees to changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The policy applies to Main Cabin, Extra Comfort or First/Premium Cabin Class seats. Main Cabin Basic have until the end of the year to make fee-free changes.
Flexibility for flights
“We’ve said before that we need to approach flexibility differently than this industry has in the past. Today’s announcement builds on that promise to ensure we’re offering industry-leading flexibility, space and care to our customers,” says Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “We want our customers to book and travel with peace of mind, knowing that we’ll continue evaluating our policies to maintain the high standard of flexibility they expect.”
Delta’s elimination of change fees starts now. It includes tickets purchased for travel within the domestic U.S., Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands in Delta’s First Class, Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort+ and Main Cabin, with the exception of Basic Economy tickets.
Additionally, Delta will extend its waiver on change fees for newly purchased flights, including international flights and Basic Economy fares, through the end of the year and will extend its expiration on travel credits through December 2022 for tickets booked before April 17, 2020.
This is certainly welcome news for flyers and travel agents. It’s also why you should use a helpful, friendly Pavlus travel agent who can take care of your cancellations and rebookings.