MIAMI- Due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19, Governments’ precautions and revenues concerns, carriers are continuing to waive change fees for canceled and delayed flights to Asia and Europe.

New options for travel changes during specific times are being launched by various companies for passengers who have already booked flights. The travelers who fulfill the changes, delays and refund conditions will not have to pay any incurring fares.

Besides waiving change fees, at least seven US airlines are rescheduling flights, following the decrease of passenger demand to Asia and Italy, not to mention the travel alerts from the US Department of State (DOS), in which South Korea and Italy were raised to level 4 and Japan represented a concern.

Reasons for changing flights

Succeeding Wuhan, China as the first canceled destination, several routes to China, South Korea, Italy, Iran and Japan have been affected with suspensions until March and April.

Some of the trips canceled by US-based carriers’ are precautionary measures to avoid flight stops in various airports with high traffic; other trips have been changed in airlines’ efforts to maintain their revenue in light of low passenger demand and refund requests.

US carriers change fee policies

  • American Airlines (AA) will not charge change fees between March 1 and March 16 on flights booked during March 1, 2020, and January 26, 2021, with 14 prior to the travel date.
  • Alaska Airlines (AS) offered “flexible travel options” for purchased tickets during February 27 and March 12 on travel dates between February 27 and June 1.
  • Delta (DL) launched a one-time change until May 31 for travel dates booked through April 30.
  • Frontier Airlines (F9) announced no incurring fees in reservations between March 3 and March 16 by one-time change requests for trips scheduled until June 1.
  • Hawaiian (HA) suspended its route to Incheon, South Korea (ICN) through April 30. Accordantly travels rebooked before October 31 will not have change fees if there are no changes in the ticket’s departure. After this date, the passengers would have to pay the fare difference.
  • United Airlines (UA) waives change fees and offers no fare differences for newly purchased flights through June 30, as long as they have the same ticketing class as the original booking. However, if the case is a rescheduling of a previously-booked trip, the fare differences would apply for the traveler.
Photo: Brandon Farris