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Airline coronavirus change and cancellation insurance policies: An entire checklist of main carriers



Editor’s observe: This publish, first revealed in March 2021, is frequently up to date with new data.  


Whereas many vacationers are as soon as once more keen to take to the skies, numerous flyers proceed to be impacted by pandemic-related service changes, with airways trimming their schedules and lowering headcount, leading to ongoing flight cancellations across the globe.

Early through the pandemic, prospects needed to battle laborious for refunds — in lots of circumstances, airways insisted on providing journey credit, as a substitute, forcing many would-be flyers to hunt restitution by way of the Division of Transportation. A handful of carriers have since improved their refund insurance policies, however some vacationers are struggling to make sense of ongoing modifications, and to say a refund when it’s due.

Beneath, I’ll be digging into the main airways and their present insurance policies, to offer you an concept of what you’re entitled to. I like to recommend looking on the following posts, too:

  • Why you need to suppose twice earlier than accepting an airline voucher
  • Once you’re entitled to a refund in your canceled flight
  • Can I declare EU261 if my flight was impacted by coronavirus?

As at all times, it might be a good time to make use of miles to ebook future journeys — a number of airways have up to date their frequent flyer applications to permit members to cancel and deposit awards free of charge, supplying you with way more flexibility. For a more in-depth take a look at award ticket insurance policies and redeposit charges, take a look at our full information right here.

Airline Change/Cancellation Insurance policies

In This Publish

US AIRLINES

Allegiant

New and current bookings: Allegiant is permitting prospects a one-time change to their journey plans with out incurring change or cancellation charges, legitimate for one 12 months from the unique buy date. A distinction in fare might apply. If Allegiant cancels your flight, it’s possible you’ll be entitled to a full refund to your authentic type of fee. Prospects who select to cancel their reservation can obtain a credit score within the type of a voucher, legitimate for 2 years from the date of the unique reserving.

For extra data: See the complete Allegiant coverage here.

Alaska

Journeys booked between Feb. 27, 2020 and March 31, 2021: Prospects with plans to journey by way of Feb. 28, 2022, might cancel or change their itineraries for no charge, so long as the brand new journey takes place inside a 12 months of the unique journey date. A distinction in fare will apply if passengers transfer to a higher-cost flight. “Saver” fares don’t qualify for itinerary modifications, however prospects can obtain a voucher for the worth of the ticket. If the airline cancels the flight or the flight time is impacted by a couple of hour, prospects can request a full refund to their authentic type of fee.

Award tickets: Prospects who cancel their award tickets may have their miles redeposited for no charge, and the airline will refund the costs for taxes and costs as effectively. 

For extra data: See the complete Alaska coverage here.

Associated: You’re entitled to a refund in your canceled flight, even when the airline says you aren’t

American

New and current bookings: American will waive change charges for all new journey booked by March 31, 2021, together with fundamental economic system and award tickets. Prospects can change their origin and vacation spot cities, however a distinction in fare might apply. If the airline cancels the flight, prospects can request a full refund to their authentic type of fee.

Tickets beforehand booked by Sept. 30 could also be used to cowl journey by way of Dec. 31, 2021. You probably have a ticket that expires between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021, the worth of your unused ticket can be utilized for journey by way of Dec. 31, 2021.

Award tickets: Along with the insurance policies outlined above, all AAdvantage members can change or redeposit award tickets with out penalty at the very least 60 days prematurely of departure.

For extra data: See the complete American coverage here.

Delta

New bookings: Any tickets bought by way of March 30, 2021 might be canceled or modified with none charges, for brand new journey accomplished inside one 12 months of the unique ticket challenge date. A distinction in fare might apply should you transfer to a higher-cost flight.

Present bookings: Prospects with tickets issued earlier than April 17, 2020 for journey by way of March 31, 2021 might cancel or rebook their itineraries for no charge, for brand new journey accomplished by Dec. 31, 2022. Tickets issued between April 17, 2020 and March 31, 2021 might be modified with out penalty, however will solely be legitimate for one 12 months from the unique ticket challenge date. If the airline cancels the flight, you’re entitled to a refund to your authentic type of fee.

Award tickets: Delta is waiving redeposit charges for any award flights that qualify below the present waivers. Moreover, Delta is not charging a redeposit or change charge for all SkyMiles members touring on home awards, excluding fundamental economic system bookings.

For extra data: See the complete Delta coverage here.

Frontier

New bookings: Frontier waiving change and cancellation charges for journey by way of March 31, 2021, when made previous to the required check-in time for a flight. Moreover, the airline’s normal coverage permits free of charge itinerary modifications when requested 60 days or extra previous to departure. A $39 change charge will probably be utilized 59-7 days earlier than departure, and can go as much as $59 for modifications six days earlier than departure or much less, together with same-day modifications.

Present bookings (booked between March 10 and April 15, 2020): Prospects might cancel or rebook their itineraries and not using a charge. The brand new, modified itinerary should be accomplished by Sept. 12, 2021. Prospects who cancel their flights will obtain a voucher for the worth of their ticket that’s legitimate for 90 days from the day they cancel. If the airline cancels the flight, prospects can request a full refund to their authentic type of fee.

Present bookings (booked between July 2 and July 31, 2020): Prospects might make one change and not using a charge if the change is made 7 or extra days previous to departure. New journey should be accomplished by Sept. 12, 2021. A fare distinction might apply, however no residual will probably be issued for lower-cost flights. Alternatively, passengers might cancel flights and obtain a credit score, which should be redeemed inside 90 days of challenge for journey by way of the tip of the airline’s present schedule.

Present bookings (booked between Aug. 31 and Sept. 31, 2020): Prospects might make one change and not using a charge if the change is made 7 or extra days previous to departure. A fare distinction might apply, however no residual will probably be issued for lower-cost flights. Alternatively, passengers might cancel flights and obtain a credit score, which should be redeemed inside 90 days of challenge for journey by way of the tip of the airline’s present schedule.

Award tickets: Frontier prospects can cancel previous to departure and redeposit their miles with a $75 charge.

For extra data: See the complete Frontier coverage here.

Hawaiian

New and current bookings: Hawaiian will not be making use of any change charges to tickets booked by way of March 31, 2021, and modifications might be made inside one 12 months of the unique buy date (two years for tickets issued by Dec. 31, 2020). The provider has discontinued change charges for all locations on a everlasting foundation as effectively. Prospects will probably be accountable for paying any extra fare distinction, if it applies. If the airline cancels the flight, prospects can request a full refund to their authentic type of fee.

Present bookings (booked earlier than March 1, 2020 with authentic journey dates till Feb. 28, 2021): Prospects might change or cancel their itineraries for no charge. The brand new, modified itinerary should start on or earlier than Might 31, 2022. Those that select to cancel will probably be issued a voucher legitimate for as much as one 12 months from the unique ticket buy date. If the airline cancels the flight, prospects can request a full refund to their authentic type of fee.

Award tickets: Hawaiian is not charging change or redeposit charges for canceled award flights.

For extra data: See the complete Hawaiian coverage here.

JetBlue

New and current bookings: Prospects can change or cancel tickets booked by way of March 31, 2021, for no charge, although just one change will probably be permitted for current tickets modified after that date. If passengers rebook flights, they could should pay the distinction in value between the unique ticket and the brand new fare. If prospects cancel their journey or transfer to a lower-cost flight, JetBlue will challenge a credit score legitimate for 12 months. Moreover, JetBlue has eradicated change charges for many tickets on an ongoing foundation, excluding Blue Primary fares.

Award tickets: JetBlue is waiving the redeposit charge for TrueBlue factors on award tickets coated by its present waivers.

For extra data: See the complete JetBlue coverage here and here.

Southwest

Southwest has a long-standing coverage of not charging change or cancellation charges, however the provider has adjusted its insurance policies barely in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

New and current bookings: Prospects can select to cancel their reserving and obtain a credit score legitimate for 12 months from the unique buy date. If Southwest cancels your flight, you’ll be eligible for a refund to your authentic type of fee.

Present credit: Beneath its earlier coverage, unused credit had been prolonged with a brand new expiration date of Sept. 7, 2022. Whereas unused credit will stay legitimate till that date, as soon as credit are redeemed, the airline’s present coverage will apply, during which case they’ll expire 12 months after the flight reserving date.

Award tickets: Southwest doesn’t cost a redeposit charge for factors on canceled award itineraries.

For extra data: See the complete Southwest coverage here.

Associated: You’re entitled to a refund in your canceled flight, even when the airline says you aren’t

Spirit

New and current bookings: Spirit is waiving change and cancellation charges for journey booked by March 31, 2021. Prospects who select to cancel a flight voluntarily will probably be issued a journey credit score. Credit issued by Might 31, 2020 are legitimate for 12 months, whereas all credit issued after Might 31, 2020 will expire on Sept. 30, 2021, and all rebooked journey should be accomplished by that date. Passengers who select to maneuver to a dearer flight might should pay a distinction in fare. If Spirit cancels your flight, it’s possible you’ll request a refund to your authentic type of fee.

Award tickets: Spirit is waiving redeposit charges on canceled award itineraries. 

For extra data: See the complete Spirit coverage here.

United

New and current bookings: Any tickets bought by way of March 31, 2021 might be canceled or modified and not using a charge, although a distinction in fare might apply. Passengers can’t get a money refund, and won’t be issued a credit score or refund if the brand new itinerary prices lower than the unique reserving. Credit on cancellations are legitimate for 12 months from the unique ticket date. Change charges may even be completely waived for many home and worldwide flights, aside from fundamental economic system tickets, which can’t be modified if bought on or after April 1, 2021. If the airline cancels the flight, and you’ll’t be rebooked to reach inside two hours of your authentic arrival time, you’ll be able to request a full refund to your authentic type of fee.

Present bookings (booked between March 3 and March 31, 2020): Prospects can cancel or change their itinerary for no charge, so long as the brand new journey commences inside 24 months of the unique ticket’s challenge date. Prospects who select to cancel will probably be issued a 24-month credit score for future journey. If the airline cancels the flight, and you’ll’t be rebooked to reach inside two hours of your authentic arrival time, you’ll be able to request a full refund to your authentic type of fee.

Award tickets: United is not charging change or redeposit charges for canceled award flights booked in North America when modifications are made at the very least 31 days earlier than departure. A $125 charge might apply when modifications and cancellations are requested inside 30 days of a flight.

For extra data: See the complete United coverage here. 

Associated: You’re entitled to a refund in your canceled flight, even when the airline says you aren’t

CANADIAN AIRLINES

Air Canada

New and current bookings: Flights booked by way of April 30, 2021, for journey by way of April 30, 2022, might be canceled or modified one time with none charge as much as two hours earlier than departure. New journey should be accomplished inside 24 months from the date of cancellation. A distinction in fare might apply. Passengers may elect to obtain Aeroplan Miles with an extra 65% bonus miles when canceling, and can quickly have the choice of receiving an Air Canada Journey Voucher that’s absolutely transferable and doesn’t expire.

Award tickets: By way of April 30, 2021, Air Canada is waiving the redeposit charge for canceled award flights for any date on the provider or on associate airways booked by way of Aeroplan.

For extra data: See the complete Air Canada coverage here.

WestJet

New and current bookings: All bookings made on or earlier than April 30, 2021, might be canceled or modified one time and not using a change charge greater than 24 hours earlier than departure. A distinction in fare might apply for higher-cost flights, and a future journey credit score will probably be issued if a buyer chooses to maneuver to a lower-cost flight. Passengers who select to cancel will obtain a journey credit score legitimate for twenty-four months from the date of challenge.

Associated: You’re entitled to a refund in your canceled flight, even when the airline says you aren’t

Award tickets: The airline’s present insurance policies apply to flights bought utilizing WestJet {Dollars}. 

For extra data: Take a look at WestJet’s full policies right here.

Editor’s observe: This publish is frequently up to date with new data. It initially was revealed on March 20, 2020.

Further reporting by Brian Kim, Benji Stawski, Katherine Fan and Zach Wichter.

Featured picture by Getty Photos.



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