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MAJOR U.S CARRIERS ELIMINATE CHANGE FEES

February 9, 2021
Airlines, American Airlines - EN, Delta Air Lines - EN, Press Releases, United Airlines - EN

United, Delta, and AA have dropped their change fees — here’s what you should know:

Amid the pandemic, most airlines have been waiving change fees in order to help travelers have more flexibility during this tumultuous time. Not only do travelers need more assurances due to ever-changing health and travel restrictions, but this also helps the airlines in attracting passengers to book tickets again. In fact, some consumer advocate groups, such as the Consumer Federation of America, have been pushing for rates to be cut entirely, given the circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Change fees, which can be up to $300, are ancillary fees charged when a traveler needs to alter their itinerary, even for minor changes. This is on top of any difference in fare which the airlines will also charge.

The airlines will allow customers to keep the full value of their original tickets if they change their travel plans before the scheduled trip. Although customers will have to pay any fare difference for a new flight, customers will not lose the value of their ticket if the new flight is less expensive. For example, if a ticket cost $ 500.00 and was exchanged for a ticket that cost $ 300, we will allow the remaining $ 200.00 to be used on future trips.

Take a look below for how the three major US air carries have changed their policies and are improving their customer care practices.


  • United Airlines announced over the weekend that it is permanently ditching exchange fees on all economy and premium class tickets for travel within the US, effective immediately.
    • Beginning January 1, 2021, any United customer can fly for free on a flight departing the day of their travel regardless of ticket type or class of service – a first for US airlines, while Premier members MileagePlus can confirm a seat on a different flight on the same day with the same departure and arrival cities as your original ticket if a seat is available in the same fare class.

    • United is extending this exemption for new tickets issued until December 31, 2020, to allow unlimited changes at no charge. This policy applies to all types of tickets issued after March 3, 2020 and is valid for domestic and international travel.

    • They are giving customers more flexibility to change their flights on the day of their travel. With the ability to sign up for free on the same day waiting list, customers will now have the option of taking a different flight with the same origin and destination airports as their original itinerary if space is available upon departure. This enhanced option will be available to all customers for travel within the United States and to and from international destinations beginning January 1, 2021. Customers wishing to change flights can be added to the waiting list through the app. United mobile, on  united.com  or at the airport no later than 30 minutes before departure for domestic flights and one hour before departure for international flights.

    • They are also enhancing the travel experience for your MileagePlus members, including waiving all redeposit charges on award travel for flights changed or canceled more than 30 days prior to departure and allowing all MileagePlus Premier members to confirm. a different flight on the day of your trip. Additionally, as of January 1, 2021, all Premier members will be able to confirm a free seat on a different flight with the same departure and arrival cities as their original ticket. This expanded option will allow MileagePlus Silver members and above to confirm a new seat in the same fare class as the ticket if space is available. Earlier this year, United announced that it will extend the status of MileagePlus Premier and Global Services members through January 2022.

  • Delta announced that it is permanently waiving exchange fees on tickets purchased for travel within the United States and is implementing further measures as follows:
    • The elimination of exchange rates is effective immediately and includes tickets purchased for travel within the United States, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands in First Class, Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort + and Delta Main Cabin. The only exception is basic economy class tickets.
    • Permanent elimination of change fees for Delta tickets when flying from North America to anywhere in the world.
    • Extending existing waiver of no change fees for all tickets purchased through March 30, 2021, for travel at any time to anywhere.
    • Delta will continue delivering on its industry-leading commitment to provide more space for customers as the only U.S. airline blocking middle seats for flights departing now through March 30, 2021.
    • For more information you can go to our Delta Air Lines press release here:

  • American Airlines is committed to making travel as easy and flexible as possible, therefore it has made the following changes to enhance your travel experience:
    • AA has eliminated fares for domestic flights and even some short-haul international destinations, such as Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The new policy applies to all fare classes, except the basic economy.
    • It has eliminated all exchange fees for tickets purchased in the Premium Cabin and most Main Cabin fares for travel within the US and between the US In addition to the following locations: Canada, Mexico. Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands
      This includes AAdvantage® award tickets.
    • They are also exempt from change fees for all tickets purchased through December 31, 2020, regardless of the type of fare or itinerary.
    • For trips from October 1, you can fly for free on a previous flight to the same destination the same day, regardless of the fare purchased.
    • Starting this fall, if you fly in Basic Economy, you can purchase extras like upgrades, seats, priority boarding, and same-day flight changes.
    • For travel beginning January 1, 2021, Basic Economy class tickets will no longer earn Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM), Elite Qualifying Segments (EQS) or Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD) towards a future elite status.

What we’re doing to help you navigate the world during a pandemic

We’re here to keep you up to date on the ever-changing regulations and make sure that you are fully informed about which airlines offer the most financial and safety protections for their travelers. When you’re ready to plan your next trip, contact one of our travel experts or visit one of our offices!

At Tom Tours Agencia de Viajeswe want the best for our clients, that’s why we want to keep you informed about the best ways to travel during this unprecedented situation.

With these measures, United, Delta and American Airlines seek to give their customers flexibility and confidence to be able to travel and make last minute changes to their tickets. If you have any questions or concerns do not hesitate to contact us directly by clicking on the button below

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