JetBlue reinstates flexible travel waiver, leaving AA as lone holdout

Apr 2, 2021

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.

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.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

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.

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.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


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.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 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, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

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

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.