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List of airline change and cancellation policies due to coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing global uncertainty over travel. Countries including China, Italy, Spain, and the United States have introduced sweeping travel restrictions to tackle the problem, with many other countries likely to follow their lead. Needless to say this has a huge impact on people’s travel plans.

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Quick access: list of policies

In case you are in a hurry, here’s a quick access list of airline cancelation policies due to coronavirus:

As a result of the travel restrictions, most airlines have created new Covid-19 cancellation and change policies to help people adjust their plans more easily. They’re generally offering fee waivers on flight changes, or cancellations in exchange for non-refundable travel vouchers. Waivers normally apply to both basic economy and first class travel.

Some airlines are also extending these policies to cover new bookings, so travelers don’t have to worry about having to cancel further down the line. Loyalty scheme changes are also common, so members don’t miss out on their points.

But while many airlines are adopting similar policies, the timeframes and details vary massively—and they’re changing all the time. So we’ve put together a list of all the airline change and cancellation policies for coronavirus. Many airlines are still updating their policies day by day as the Covid-19 situation escalates, but we’ll do our best to keep it up to date.

First, here’s a few general pointers to keep in mind if your travel plans are affected by coronavirus. To skip to the list, just scroll down.

General tips on making changes to your flight due to coronavirus

Airlines are canceling more and more flights themselves

Before getting in touch with your airline, check your flight status and their website to see if it’s likely to be cancelled—or has been already. Depending on where they operate, some airlines are planning to cancel 80% or 90% of their flights in April and May. If this is the case, you probably don’t need to contact them as they’ll reach out to you automatically.

Don’t call unless you have to

Unsurprisingly, airlines’ customer support teams are overloaded with calls as they try to manage booking changes on a massive scale. As a result, airlines are asking their customers to change their bookings online whenever possible. If calling customer support can’t be avoided, most airlines are requesting that travelers only call when their departure is 72 hours away or less.

Expect more flights to become refundable

With the global coronavirus situation constantly changing, airlines are struggling to keep up. Some airlines have already extended their policy multiple times as the severity of the epidemic has become more obvious. So if your flight still isn’t due for a couple of weeks, keep an eye on the airline’s website for new policy details that could affect you.

How do you cancel a flight?

flowchart on how how to cancel a flight.

Airline coronavirus travel policies

Aer Lingus

All change fees are waived for all airfare types and markets. Flight dates can be changed online, but departure destinations must be changed on the phone.

Air Canada

All bookings made before March 4th for travel before April 30th can be changed for no charge. The one-time change offer stands up until 2 hours before the flight departs. Customers must reschedule travel for before December 31st.

Travelers can also cancel their booking within these same dates to receive a voucher for future flights.

Air China

Air China is giving full refunds on tickets purchased before January 28th with travel scheduled after January 1st, 2020. Requests for refunds have to be made before scheduled departure.

Air France

Rebooking is fee-free for any flights departing before May 31st, as long as your new trip is scheduled before November 30th. This applies to dates only—not destinations—and includes both non-refundable and refundable fares. Flights departing before May 31st can also be cancelled in exchange for a voucher.

For new bookings, dates can be changed on any flight ticket purchased before March 31st, as long as the new trip is scheduled for before November 30th.

Loyalty scheme changes

For Silver, Gold, and Platinum members whose memberships are expiring in March, April, or May 2020, the XP objective for renewal has been lowered.

Also, no miles will expire between now and the end of the year. Full details on Flying Blue changes.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska is waiving flight change and cancellation fees for all tickets purchased between February 27th and March 31st. For flights booked before February 27th, the same waiver applies as long as the flight was scheduled for before May 1st.

American Airlines

For tickets bought before March 1st, change fees are waived for all flights scheduled between March 1st and April 30th. Flights can be rescheduled for any time before December 31st, 2020.

British Airways

All booking changes are free on any existing booking scheduled to depart up until May 31st. Rebooking is also free on all new bookings made until May 31st.

Loyalty scheme changes

BA are also adjusting their loyalty scheme for travel affected by Covid 19, offering 6 month extensions on Companion vouchers and Gold upgrade vouchers. That includes memberships due to expire between February and May. 

And customers who were supposed to travel to China, Hong Kong, or Italy will have any renewal or upgrade upheld—regardless of cancellations.

BA Exec Club concession [Update March 31st]

BA Exec Club will be lowering Tier Point thresholds by 30% for all members due for Tier upgrade or renewal in April, May, and June. The new thresholds are: 

·       Bronze: 210 Tier Points 
·       Silver: 420 Tier Points 
·       Gold: 1,050 Tier Points 

To ensure Members can still use their Gold Upgrade Vouchers, Companion Vouchers and Travel Together Tickets earned via a British Airways credit card, we’re also applying a six-month expiration extension to any current vouchers.

Cathay

Cathay is offering free rebooking on all flights that were booked before March 18th, and were scheduled to travel between March 17th and May 31st. Flights can be rescheduled for any time until December 10th.

They’re also giving free refunds on flight cancellations for tickets bought before March 18th with planned travel between March 17th and May 31st.

Copa Airlines

No change fees on tickets purchased before March 31st, with travel dates up until June 15th. New flights must be booked and completed before December 31st. They’re also offering free cancellation in exchange for credit towards a new trip.

Delta Airlines

Any trip scheduled for March or April can be changed for free, as well as any international flight scheduled for May. Flights purchased in March are also covered by the same policy. New flights can be rescheduled for any time until December 31st.

EasyJet

EasyJet are now offering fee-free date and destination changes on all bookings—new or existing—until further notice. If the new fare is higher than the original purchase, the traveler only pays the fare difference.

Emirates

All flight bookings made up to and including March 31st can be changed for free or cancelled in exchange for a travel voucher.

Loyalty scheme changes

Emirates Skywards Silver, Gold, and Platinum members can now retain their membership by meeting only 80% of the usual travel requirements. They also get 20% more miles on their trips until June 30th.

Etihad

Flights scheduled to depart before June 30th can be rebooked for free, or cancelled for a voucher. People are also entitled to a full refund on routes that face an extended period of cancellation before April 30th.

Frontier Airlines

Free flight changes are available on bookings made before March 10th with travel dates between March 10th and April 30th. Changes are also free on all bookings made between March 10th and March 31st.

Hawaiian Airlines

For flights that have been suspended or changed schedule, change fees are waived. People can also put the value of the flight towards another flight that departs before December 31st, or get a full refund to their credit card.

If your flight is not specifically impacted by schedule changes, there are route-specific waivers for international travel at the top of this page, and domestic travel at the top of this page.

Iberia

Flight dates on tickets booked before March 11th for travel between March 1st and April 30th can be changed for free, or exchanged for a voucher

For changes, flights must travel before March 31st, 2021. Vouchers are valid until March 31st, 2021 for any date or destination. 

JetBlue

Change and cancellation fees have been waived for all customers with flights departing between March 10th and April 30th. Rebookings can be scheduled up until October 24th. The original ticket must have been purchased on or before March 10th.

KLM

No change fees on flights with scheduled departures before May 31st. Flights can be rescheduled at no extra charge for any time before November 30th. You can also cancel your trip in exchange for a flight voucher that’s valid for one year.

Loyalty scheme changes

For Silver, Gold, and Platinum members whose memberships are expiring in March, April, or May 2020, the XP objective for renewal has been lowered.

Also, no miles will expire between now and the end of the year. Full details on Flying Blue changes.

Lufthansa

Rebooking fees are waived on all bookings made up until March 31st with a travel date up to December 31st. You have until August 31st to make a new booking.

In addition, Lufthansa is offering a €50 discount on the new ticket price for every rebooking.

Qantas

People with travel dates up until May 31st can cancel their flight in exchange for a flight credit. Cancellations must be processed by March 31st. Rebooking fees are also waived. 

Qatar

Travelers can rebook dates on all new and existing bookings scheduled for travel from now until September 30th. Flights within the same time period can also be cancelled and exchanged for a future travel voucher, which is valid for one year. Cancellations have to be made at least three days before departure.

Ryanair

Flight date changes are free on all bookings with scheduled travel between March 13th and April 30th. For all flights cancelled by the airline, full refunds are available.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest uniquely never charges change or cancellation fees. Its rebook policy remains the same.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines is waiving all rebooking fees for bookings made on or before March 15th, for travel up to May 31st. Flights can also be cancelled for a travel credit voucher that’s valid until March 31st, 2021.

Change fees have also been removed for all new bookings until March 31st.

Loyalty scheme changes

KrisFlyer Elite Silver, Elite Gold, PPS and Solitaire PPS Club members whose memberships were due to expire in February or March 2020 will get renewed membership for another year.

Spirit Airlines

Travelers whose plans are affected by coronavirus can receive a reservation credit for future travel in the next six months.

TAP Air Portugal

Booking changes are free for all tickets issued between March 8th and March 31st, but the change must be requested at least 21 days before the check-in date on the original ticket.

For tickets purchased before March 7th, free changes are available on flights scheduled to depart up until May 31st.

United Airlines

New flight bookings made between March 3rd and March 31st can be changed for free. The rescheduled flight can be any time in the next 12 months.

All change fees are also waived for tickets purchased on or before March 2nd, with travel dates between March 9th and April 30th.

Loyalty scheme changes

United has made changes to the MileagePlus program. United state that If you are a current 2020 Premier member, then this status will be prolonged to January 31, 2022. Details will vary depending on status level; however, in general, members will receive the same status next year that they have today, up to and including Premier 1K. For more information on the Mileage Plus program changes, visit the united site.

Virgin Atlantic

No change fees for tickets issued on or before March 11th with original travel dates up until May 31st. 

For all bookings made between March 12th and March 31st, rebooking is also free. This includes scheduled travel dates all the way up until November 30th.

Flights can be rebooked under the new policy for any departure date until April 30th, 2021.

Loyalty scheme changes

Members of the Gold and Silver Flying Club will get 6 months added to their membership. In addition, Gold member vouchers valid up until March 13th also get a 6 month extension.

Virgin are also offering Flying Club members 2,500 bonus miles for each flight they book until April 30th with a travel date before March 31st 2021. And there are 900,000 redemption seats available from August to December 2020.

Vueling

Flight date changes are free on all flights that travel between March 30th and April 30th. The new trip must happen before March 27th, 2021.

Date change fees have also been removed on all new bookings made between now and March 23rd, 2020. New flight dates must be before December 31st, 2020.

ebook on travel management post covid19