These Airlines Will Allow You to Change Your Flight for Free Due to Coronavirus

I have to fly to the Maldives on Tuesday. I say “must” because on Friday I learned that my flight to the country was canceled by an airline due to a two-hour transfer I was about to make in South Korea, which is currently one of the areas hit hard by COVID. -19 aka coronavirus.

My story is certainly not unique. Airplanes, which in my experience are already a great place to catch a cold, aren’t exactly the first place many of us want to be during an impending pandemic. Even my flights last week, all domestic to the US, were noticeably easier than usual.

While airlines were initially lenient in canceling and changing flights to and from hard-hit areas like my trip to South Korea, many are now also allowing passengers to change flights that also originate in the United States out of concerns about the coronavirus.

If you have a flight over the next few weeks that makes you nervous, here is a rundown of each airline’s policy for changes and cancellations currently. Also, keep in mind that when an airline waives a change fee, it waives the additional fee you would normally have to pay to change that ticket, you will still be responsible for the change in airfares between your old ones. tickets. and a new ticket, so it’s in your best interest to make changes sooner rather than later.

I went to the coronavirus information page for each airline. While this information below is relevant right this second as I write this, COVID-19 is definitely an ongoing and growing problem, so some of it could definitely change, and many of these opt-out programs are likely to expand.

Alaska Airlines

If you have a flight to Alaska between now and March 12, the airline waives booking change and cancellation fees. Alaska calls this a “peace of mind” waiver, and if you choose to cancel entirely, you will be given credit to rebook your flight (or other) at any time during the next year. The deal also applies to Saver fares, which traditionally do not allow for any changes or cancellations.

Alaska is also making a number of changes to in-flight handling and cleaning of planes between flights. You can read about them here .

american airlines

American Airlines is currently offering waivers for change and cancellation fees only in heavily affected areas .

Anyone with travel plans to Italy before March 15 can change or cancel their flight for free. This feature is only available once, so if you have a flight this week and are rescheduled for next week, you cannot cancel the second flight if you change your mind. Your new trip must be booked by March 15th and must be completed within one year of the original travel date.

For flights to China, Hong Kong and South Korea, American Airlines is extending the cancellation period until March 31 for the Wuhan area and April 24 for other destinations.

Delta Airlines

Delta offers one-time changes to customers with airline bookings to Italy, China or South Korea . Flights to Italy must be scheduled by March 15th and your new flight by April 3rd. For China and South Korea, flights must be scheduled by April 30th and your new journey must begin by May 31st. Canceled flights will result in travel credit for one year from the date of your original flight.


JetBlue offers one of the most lenient offers . This exempts flights from changes and cancellations that are scheduled from now until March 11th. If you do change your flight, your new flight must take place before June 1, 2020. This option is also available for flights booked through JetBlue Basic, which traditionally cannot be changed or canceled. JetBlue also exempts from change fees for flights booked through JetBlue Vacations.

United airlines

United offers once to cancel fees for change of flight with the present moment until 30 April in Italy and China, and up to June 30 in South Korea.

The airline is also suspending some flights to Tokyo Narita, Osaka, Singapore and Seoul.


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