As businesses and destinations try to reopen amidst a continuing pandemic (don’t forget that!), flight schedules for airlines both big and small are being heavily reduced, resulting in a number of canceled flights and putting your future travel plans in jeopardy. Did you optimistically book a non-refundable flight to Hawaii for late summer, only to find out that the state’s 14-day mandatory quarantine policy is still in place? Don’t worry, you can probably get some sort of refund for that.
Whether you’re booking a new flight or getting nervous about a ticket you already have, now is a good time to familiarize yourself with the current state of each major airline’s change and cancellation policies. Keep in mind that if you booked your travel through a third party and not directly from the airline, you’ll most likely have to check with the third party regarding any refunds, but for flights booked directly, this guide will have all the information you need.
Here are all the current major airline flight change and cancellation policies.
Currently, if you’ve booked anytime between February 27th, 2020, and June 30th, 2020 with plans to travel by May 31st, 2021, you may cancel or change your flight with absolutely no fee, so long as you plan on traveling within a year of the original ticket date. Any flights canceled by Alaska — and there are bound to be many with various airlines cutting down their schedules — will entitle you to a full refund.
If you booked your flight as a “Saver” fare between February 27th and June 30th of this year, you, unfortunately, don’t qualify for any itinerary changes, but you may cancel your flight and receive equal credit in return. In the event your trip was booked prior to February 26th of this year, you may change or cancel your trip without a fee for any ticket for travel through December 31st, 2020. Saver fares purchased in that range are eligible for a refund via credit into your Alaska account.
Find the full policy here.
American Airlines will continue to waive change fees on tickets purchased before June 30th, 2020 for travel through September 30th, 2020. The airline will allow you to rebook travel for any destination and from any origin, so long as the travel will occur by December 31st, 2021, which is a pretty sweet deal. Unfortunately, they won’t cover the difference in the ticket price of your rebooking.
This offer also applies to new travel booked by June 30th, 2020. Keep in mind, you’re only allowed to change your trip once, so choose wisely.
Read the full policy here.
Passengers flying on British Airways may change or cancel their flights without a fee if they have travel booked anytime before August 31st, 2020. Refunded flights will be reimbursed through travel vouchers that are valid until April 30th, 2022.
For new bookings, passengers may change or cancel their flights fee-free for all travel taking place before April 30, 2021.
To view British Airways’ full policy, click here.
People who booked trips on or before April 17th for travel through September 30th will be able to cancel or rebook their flights with no additional fees. Fare differences for changes will be waived if your changed itinerary matches the same destination and takes place before September 30th, 2020. If you’re unsure of where and when to rebook, you may opt to receive a travel voucher for the value of your ticket that will remain valid until September 30th, 2022.
If your flight was canceled, you’re entitled to a full cash refund. Any ticket for travel purchased anytime before June 30th, 2020 can be canceled or changed without fees for up to a year from its original purchase date, though fare differences do apply.
Check out the full policy here.
At Frontier, passengers who booked a flight between March 10th and April 15th are permitted to a one-time change to their itineraries without a fee, though travel will have to be completed by September 12, 2021, and any fare differences will apply. If you’d like to cancel a flight, the value of your ticket will apply to the purchase of a future ticket but it must be booked within 90 days of the cancellation.
For future travel through Frontier, change and cancellations may be made 60 days or more prior to the departure date at no additional price, though changes are subject to the difference in fare and options prices. A $79 change fee will be applied to changes made 59-14 days prior to departure, shooting up to $119 for any changes 13 days before departure. Canceled flights will result in a travel credit that must be used within 90 days.
Read Frontier’s policy here.
Flights canceled or suspended by Hawaiian airlines will entitle customers to a full refund. If you purchased a ticket before March 1st, 2020 for travel between then and September 30th, 2020, you may rebook your flight anytime before May 31st, 2022 without change fees. Customers who purchased tickets between March 1st and June 30th, 2020 may rebook their flights with no change fees within two years of their original ticket purchase date. In both cases, fare differences will apply.
Read Hawaiian’s full policy here.
In the event your flight through JetBlue is canceled, you will be eligible to receive a full refund (if canceled by JetBlue), or receive credit for your flight valid for 24 months after its date of issuance (if it’s canceled by you).
Bookings made anytime before June 30th will be able to be changed or canceled without any additional fees.
Read JetBlue’s full policy here.
Southwest customers may cancel or change their itinerary for no fee, as per their general change/cancellation policy. As an added protection, customers that booked non-refundable tickets for travel between March 1st and September 7th of this year may receive a credit of equal ticket value valid for travel anytime before September 7th, 2022.
Read Southwest’s full policy here.
Flights canceled by Spirit are eligible for a full refund. If you wish to change or cancel your flight, Spirit will waive your fees, though canceled flights will be reimbursed via a flight credit that must be used within six months. Changes to itineraries must be made within 12 months of the original travel date.
Read Spirit’s full policy here.
Tickets for travel before October 31, 2020, can be canceled without fees and will be refunded through a travel voucher of equal value that must be spent by December 31, 2021. Passengers who wish to change their flights will be able to do so but must pay change fees and fare differences.
The same rules apply for new bookings made before October 31, 2020, though rebooking must be made within 12 months of the date of issuance of the travel voucher.
Check Qantas’ full policy here.
United will continue to waive all change and cancellation fees for trips booked between March 2nd, 2020, and June 30th, 2020 for travel before December 31st, 2020. If your flight was canceled by United and cannot be rebooked with a new itinerary that will get you to your destination within six hours of your original arrival time, you’ll be entitled to a full refund. In the event you cancel your flight, you will receive a travel credit valid for 24 months with no additional cancellation fees.
All flights booked prior to June 30th, 2020 may be changed without any additional fees for a full 12 months from the date of original issuance.
Read United’s full policy here.
All canceled Virgin Atlantic flights are eligible for a full refund. If you wish to rebook your travel, you won’t be charged any additional change fees so long as you rebook travel before September 30th, 2022. Fare differences will apply.
Read Virgin Atlantic’s full policy here.