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JetBlue reinstates flexible travel waiver, leaving AA as lone holdout

April 02, 2021
3 min read
JetBlue reinstates flexible travel waiver, leaving AA as lone holdout
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Good news for those booking JetBlue tickets.

On Friday April 2, the New York-based carrier extended its flexible travel waiver, giving flyers extra peace of mind when planning future travel. All JetBlue fares, including the carrier's Blue Basic option, purchased through May 31, 2021, can be changed or canceled without fees.

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Note that you'll still be on the hook for a possible fare difference if you're switching to a more expensive flight. Also, you'll receive future travel credit for cancellations; refunds are only processed when the airline makes an involuntary change or cancellation to your itinerary.

JetBlue's move comes just days after it let its flexible waiver expire as originally planned on Wednesday, March 31. The airline then implemented its overhauled fare structure on Thursday, April 1, which includes a $100 (or more) change/cancel penalty for basic economy tickets and a no-change-fee policy for all fares.

But now, the carrier's done an about-face and reinstated the global waiver. In a statement to TPG, JetBlue said:

In response to the pandemic, JetBlue was the first airline to offer a Go Back and Forth with Confidence policy waiving change and cancel fees. This policy was set to expire on April 1, in conjunction with the launch of our new fare options eliminating change and cancel fees for all fares expect Blue Basic.
We know our Blue Basic customers need continued flexibility during these uncertain times, and we are extending our Go Back and Forth with Confidence for any Blue Basic fare purchased on or before May 31, 2021. When this policy does expire, JetBlue will be the only airline offering a basic economy/ultra-low-cost fare that has change/cancel flexibility, with change/cancel fees of $100 or $200 depending on the route.

JetBlue's updated waiver applies retroactively, so any tickets purchased on April 1 (with the new fare structure) will now enjoy free changes and cancellations.

Related: JetBlue eliminates change fees on most fares — with a major catch

Of the major U.S. airlines, Alaska, Delta and United have all extended their flexible travel waivers for all tickets purchased through April 30. Right now, JetBlue's is the most generous since it covers all tickets bought through May 31.

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And then there's American Airlines — the strictest of them all. AA's basic economy tickets returned to being non-refundable and non-changeable on April 1, and the carrier confirmed to TPG that there are currently no plans to reinstate the flexible waiver.

Related: American Airlines restricts basic economy flexibility in move to new normal

If you’re concerned about getting sick or needing to postpone your plans due to another wave of COVID-19 infections, then you might want to think twice about booking basic economy fares with American — any itinerary modifications will require a brand-new ticket.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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at American Express's secure site
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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees