U.S. airlines begin waiving change fees for Europe travel following coronavirus spread

Feb 27, 2020

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The coronavirus situation continues to escalate around the world — now, U.S. travelers are reconsidering their plans to visit countries throughout Europe, with cities in northern Italy falling under even greater scrutiny following a recent outbreak near Milan.

As a result, U.S. airlines are issuing their first travel waivers covering travel to Europe, focused specifically on Italy — for now, at least.

Currently, American Airlines is waiving change fees for tickets booked by Feb. 27 to, from or through a variety of Italian cities, including Bologna, (BLQ), Florence (FLR), Milan (BGY, LIN and MXP), Naples (NAP), Pisa (PSA), Turin (TRN), Venice (VCE) and Verona (VRN). Customers must be scheduled to travel by March 15 in order to take advantage, and all fees will be waived when rebooking in the same cabin and between the same cities for travel by April 3. These changes can be made on American’s website — just look for the “change trip” option, and fees should be waived. Meanwhile, change and cancellation fees will also be waived for travel beyond April 3, but a difference in fare may apply. For those adjustments, contact American reservations at (800) 433-7300.

Related: Complete guide to traveling during the deadly coronavirus outbreak

Delta Air Lines is offering customers with flights booked on or before Feb. 26 to or from Italy between now and March 15 the ability to make a one-time change without any penalties. Head over to My Trips on Delta’s website, click “Modify flight” and “Start Flight Change” to change your dates. As of now, all fees will be waived before checkout as long as you plan to travel by April 3 — Delta will waive the change fee to travel beyond that date or to another destination, but a difference in fare may apply.

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Meanwhile, United Airlines issued a waiver covering cities in Northern Italy, including Bologna, (BLQ), Genoa (GOA), Milan (BGY, LIN and MXP), Trieste (TRS), Turin (TRN), Venice (VCE) and Verona (VRN). Tickets must have been purchased by Feb. 26 for travel dates by April 30. United will waive the change fee, and fare difference for travel between the original cities departing by April 30 — passengers flying after that date or between different cities than originally booked will have the change fee waived, but a difference in fare may apply. As with Delta, affected customers should be able to make changes by pulling up their reservations online.

We’ll continue to update this page as the situation evolves — in the meantime, if you’re still considering a trip, be sure to check out our detailed guide to traveling during the coronavirus outbreak.

Featured photo by Westend61/Getty Images.

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