Major Airline Carriers Drop Most Change Fees

On Sunday September 30th, 2020 United Airlines announced it will be eliminating most domestic change fees. Shocking, right? I didn’t think we would ever see the day? Now, Southwest Airlines has already been doing this for years, so welcome to the party, United. However, just like anything else, there are caveats to their announcement because nothing is ever as easy and intuitive as it seems.

Take a look at this quick video from United Airlines to get all the details:

American Airlines Follows United to Eliminate Change Fees

Here are some details straight from

Like United, American and Delta are permanently dropping change fees for most flights as well. In addition, AA’s offering credit if you end up switching to a less expensive flight. There’s a lot more to the announcements though, so let’s take a look at the details

No more change fees

Effective immediately, we’re eliminating all change fees for First, Business, Premium Economy and Main Cabin tickets for all domestic and short-haul international flying.

We’re also waiving change fees on all tickets bought by December 31, 2020, regardless of fare type or itinerary.

Change fees will be waived If you’re flying to these destinations:
  • Any of the 50 U.S. states
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Caribbean
  • Puerto Rico
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
And if you’re flying in any of these cabins:
  • Main Cabin (except Basic Economy)
  • Premium Economy
  • Business
  • First

If your travel plans change, you can keep the full value of your original ticket but will need to pay the fare difference if your new flight is more expensive. If your new flight is less expensive, you’ll get the fare difference in the form of a voucher to use on a future trip.

Example: If you paid $500 for your flight and change to a new flight that costs $300, you’ll receive a $200 voucher for a future trip.

The new change fee policy applies to AAdvantage® award tickets as well.

Related: RyanAir’s New Baggage Policy

Alaska Airlines Joins the Change Fee Party

Following suit of United Airlines and American Airlines, Alaska Airlines is also eliminating change fees. Take a look at what they had to say about their new and updated policy.

Change fees? We sent them packing!

We’re making sure your peace of mind is always top of mind, which is why changes fly free*—forever.

  • Our current peace of mind waiver covers all flights booked through December 31, 2020.
  • Beginning January 1, 2021, change fees will be eliminated on Main and First Class fares everywhere Alaska flies.

*Fare differences may apply.

Extended travel credits

Many of you have travel credits or Wallet funds in your account, but aren’t ready yet to make future plans, so we are extending expiration dates.

  • If you have a valid credit in your Wallet that was deposited before March 1, 2020, your booking expiration date will be extended by 6 months. You do not need to travel before that 6-month extension date – you just need to book your ticket by then.
  • For those of you who cancel flights due to COVID-19 impacts between March 1 and August 31, 2020, the credits in your Wallet will be extended to purchase through July 5, 2021 for travel through May 31, 2022.
  • For flights canceled between July 6, 2020 and August 31, 2020, your credits will display the original expiration date until the extension takes place in mid-September, 2020.
Mileage Plan
  • Your current Mileage Plan status will be extended through December 31, 2021.
  • The elite-qualifying miles you’ve earned January 2020 – April 2020 will be rolled into 2021 to give you a head start on earning status for 2022.
  • We’re extending the current 50% bonus offer to earn elite-qualifying miles with no registration, June 1 – December 31, 2020.
Lounge membership

All active Lounge memberships as of April 1, 2020 will be extended by six (6) months.

What do you think of the major airlines eliminating change fees? Excited or something they should’ve done a long time ago?

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