All the latest flight waivers and cancellations: an airline-by-airline list
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Editor’s note: This post is being updated as new information becomes available.
Airlines are being hit hard as the novel coronavirus disease known as COVID-19 spreads across the globe.
Carriers flying to Asia bore the initial brunt of the fallout, but now that the virus has spread to other continents – including Europe and North America – airlines have canceled flights and rolled out change-fee waivers as they’ve tried to keep up with the quickly evolving situation.
U.S. carriers continued to refine their schedules in response to demand, which they say has fallen precipitously since coronavirus has emerged here. Whether domestic or international, American, Delta, United, Southwest, Alaska, JetBlue, Spirit and Hawaiian have all made significant cuts to their schedules.
Here are the latest waivers and cancellations currently in place at U.S. airlines. This post will be regularly updated with new information.
Flight waivers in place at US carriers
Alaska is waiving change fees under two policies. For travelers who purchased their tickets before Feb. 26, for travel between March 9 and May 31, tickets may be rebooked for no fee, so long as the new travel occurs between March 9, 2020 and Feb. 28, 2021. For travelers who purchase tickets between Feb. 27 and April 30, for any new travel through Feb. 28, 2021, the itinerary can be changed for no fee, so long as the new travel takes place by Feb. 28, 2021.
Allegiant is allowing customers a one-time change to their travel plans without incurring change or cancellation fees. This waiver applies to both new and existing bookings. Allegiant has not specified an end date for the waiver.
American has two broad waiver policies. Passengers who bough tickets before March 1 for travel through May 31 can change their itineraries without paying a change fee. Passengers who book a ticket through April 15 can also change their itinerary without paying a fee.
More information about American’s location-specific coronavirus waivers is available on its website.
Delta Air Lines
Delta has two broad waivers in place. Itineraries set to take place through May 31 are eligible for a fee-free one-time change, but a fare difference will apply. Those itineraries may also be canceled for no fee. Any travel purchased through April 15 can be changed for up to a year from the date of purchase for no fee.
More information about Delta’s waivers is available on its website.
Frontier is covering passengers under two separate waiver policies.
Customers who booked tickets prior to March 10, for travel through April 30, are eligible for a one-time no-fee reservation change. Those who book tickets between March 10 and March 31 are eligible for a one-time, fee-free reservation change for any travel date. Under both policies, customers will be responsible to pay any differences in fare. Those who rebook after April 30 will need to use a special online form. More information about the policies is available on the airline’s website.
Hawaiian has issued a blanket waiver, allowing all travelers who book flights between March and May to make changes for no fee for up to a year from the original purchase date. For travelers who booked travel prior to March, set to take place by May, there will be no fee for a change, so long as the new itinerary begins by Dec. 31, 2020.
The airline has also issued a variety of geography-specific supplemental waivers, which can be found on its website.
JetBlue is waiving change and cancellation fees under three separate policies:
- For customers who purchased travel between Feb. 27 and March 5, with their itinerary set to start through June 1
- For customers who purchased travel between March 6 and March 31, with their itinerary set to start through Sept. 8
- Any customers with travel set to begin up to and including May 31. Passengers covered by this policy must begin their new itinerary by Oct. 24 and may be charged a fare difference
More information about JetBlue’s waivers is available on its website.
Southwest has a long-standing policy of not charging change fees on any of its flights, but it does generally charge fare differences when tickets are rebooked. However, the airline is now also waiving fare-difference charges on some rebookings. More information about the policy is available on Southwest’s website.
Spirit is waiving cancellation fees and issuing credit equal to the value of a reservation, valid for six months if passengers decide to change their itinerary due to coronavirus concerns. The credit must be used within six months of claiming it, but can be applied to flights beyond the six-month window. More information is available on Spirit’s website.
United will waive change fees on all bookings made on or before March 2 for travel through May 31, so long as the new ticket is issued on or before Dec. 31. The airline will continue waiving change fees on all new bookings made through April 30. The updated itinerary must take place within 12 months of the ticket’s original date of issue.
More information about United’s coronavirus waivers, including location-specific policies, is available on its website.
Flight suspensions and cancellations made by US carriers because of coronavirus
U.S. airlines have significantly reduced their schedules in response to anemic demand and coronavirus-related travel restrictions. Here’s a roundup of schedule modifications by airline:
American has reduced its network by 75%, including all long-haul flights except ongoing service from London to Miami and Dallas/Fort Worth. AA is also operating between DFW and Tokyo (Narita). More information about American’s schedule changes is available on its website.
Delta Air Lines
Delta has announced significant changes to its schedule, reducing flights by 70% over the next few months, and up to 80% on international routes. Some international routes — including Atlanta-London and Detroit-Amsterdam — will maintain service, but many others are being suspended temporarily. More information about Delta’s schedule changes is available on its website.
Hawaiian announced it would suspend almost all flights outside of its inter-island network, and reduce its inter-island schedule. Beyond its inter-island network, the airline said it would continue a daily flight between Honolulu and Los Angeles, and one weekly flight between Honolulu and American Samoa.
The airline announced it would reduce its network by at least 40% in April and May, and anticipates significant cuts in June and July as well. Customers should be prepared for changes across the network.
Southwest is reducing flights on some routes, including suspending a service to a handful of destinations in the tropics. Overall, the carrier expects to cut capacity by about 20%. More information is available on the airline’s website.
Spirit announced it would be reducing its network by up to 25% into May. While it has not published a comprehensive list of affected routes, passengers should suspect reduced service on many routes and pay close attention to their emails for possible changes.
United will cut a large share of its network through the May schedule, including 90% of its international routes. The current plan is for the airline to serve just six cities abroad in the pared-down schedule: Frankfurt, London, Tel Aviv, Sao Paulo, Tokyo and Sydney. More information about the airline’s schedule changes is available on its website.
Additional reporting by Benji Stawski.
Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.