Airline Cancellation Policies Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Everything You Need to Know

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With the whole world in a bit of chaos because of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you may be wondering what to do about your upcoming flights.

With travel either banned or highly discouraged right now, you may be needing to cancel or change a flight. The good news is that most airlines are offering flexible policies that allow you to make the changes you need without any fees.

This post will outline the change and cancellation policies due to COVID-19 for many major airlines. For each airline, we’ve included a direct link to its specific policy so you can stay up to date on any changes.

Airline Cancellation Policies Due to COVID-19

Air Canada

All reservations booked by February 28, 2021, for travel by February 28, 2022, can be canceled or changed 1 time without a fee.

If you booked through Air Canada, you can convert your ticket to an Air Canada Travel Voucher that doesn’t have an expiration date or you can opt for Aeroplan Miles with a 65% bonus.

If you booked directly with Air Canada or through Kayak, Skyscanner, or Google Flights, you’ll be able to cancel online in the My Bookings section of the website. If you booked through a travel agent or online travel agent, please contact them for assistance.

To change or cancel an award flight, click here.

To read Air Canada’s full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

Air France

You can change any Air France flight without a fee. You can also cancel any flight through September 30, 2021. You’ll receive a refund or a travel voucher that’s good for 1 year.

If you’d prefer to cancel your trip and you booked directly with Air France, fill out this form online. You’ll receive a travel voucher that is good for 1 year on all Air France, KLM, Delta, Virgin Atlantic, and Kenya Airways flights. If you booked with a travel agent and would like to cancel your flight, contact the agent directly.

To read Air France’s full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

Alaska Airlines

For Alaska Airlines tickets purchased on or before February 26, 2020, for travel between March 9, 2020, and December 31, 2020, cancellation and change fees will be waived. If you choose to change your flight, your new flight needs to be completed by February 28, 2021. If you cancel your trip, your funds will be held as a credit that can be used towards a new flight.

For tickets purchased between February 27, 2020, and March 31, 2021, for travel by February 28, 2022, change and cancellation fees will be waived. If you choose to change your flight, your new flight needs to be completed within 1 year. If you cancel your trip, your funds will be held as a credit that can be used towards a new flight.

To read Alaska Airlines’ full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

Allegiant

Any Allegiant reservations can be changed or canceled 1 time without a fee before the original fight’s departure time. If you choose to cancel your flight with Allegiant, you’ll receive a voucher in the amount you paid that can be used on a future flight.

Changes or cancellations can be done from the My Booking section of the website.

To read Allegiant’s full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

American Airlines

You can rebook any American Airlines flight (including basic economy tickets) without penalty under the following conditions:

  • The ticket was purchased before March 1, 2020, for travel through May 31, 2020
  • Tickets purchased by June 30, 2020, for travel through September 30, 2020, you can rebook without change fees, including award tickets
  • If you have a ticket that is expiring between March 1 and September 30, 2020, the value of your unused ticket can be used for travel through December 31, 2021

In addition, American has eliminated all change fees for first, business, premium economy, and main cabin seats on domestic or short-haul international flights issued on or after August 30, 2020, and all long-haul international flights that originate in North or South America.

In addition, change fees are waived on all tickets purchased by January 31, 2021, including basic economy and award tickets.

If you booked through American Airlines, you can cancel your trip online if it’s more than 72 hours out, and then call once you’re ready to rebook your trip. If your flight is in the next 72 hours, call American Airlines (all numbers can be found here). If you booked through a travel agent, contact your agent.

To read American Airlines’ full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

British Airways

British Airways COVID 19 cancellation policy
Thankfully, major airlines are issuing relaxed cancellation and change policies with no fees. Image Credit: British Airways

British Airways is allowing passengers to cancel or change any flight that was made after March 3, 2020, for travel by August 31, 2021. If you change your flight, you’ll have to pay any difference in price but won’t incur a change fee. If you choose to cancel your flight, you’ll receive a voucher for the amount you paid to be used on a future booking.

To read British Airways’ full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

Hot Tip: If you’ve got hotel reservations, you may want to take a peek at our guide to hotel cancellation policies due to COVID-19.

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific bookings made before March 23, 2020, for travel between March 17, 2020, and July 31, 2020, can be changed or canceled without any fees. You can change your ticket through May 10, 2020, for travel by December 10, 2020.

All tickets purchased by March 31, 2021, for travel by December 31, 2021, can be changed without a fee.

If you booked directly with Cathay Pacific, use the My Bookings section on the website to make changes. If you booked with a travel agent, contact the agent to adjust your reservation.

You can make changes through the My Bookings section of the website through April 20, 2020. After that, you’ll need to call your local reservations office to make changes.

To read Cathay Pacific’s full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

Delta Air Lines

Delta is waiving change fees on all flights purchased before April 17, 2020, departing through March 2021, and all tickets purchased by March 31, 2021.

In addition, all change fees and award redeposit fees are being permanently waived for travel originating in North America for tickets purchased in 2021 (excluding basic economy fares).

To change or cancel an upcoming Delta flight, visit the My Trips section on its website.

To read Delta’s full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

Emirates

If your flight was scheduled to depart by June 30, 2020, you’ll be able to rebook your flight for any Emirates destination within the same region. You can also request a travel voucher in the amount you paid for your ticket that will be valid for 12 months from the date of issuance.

Change fees are being waived for flights departing by June 30, 2021. You’ll have 24 months from your original travel date to use the ticket.

If you booked through Emirates, use this form to request a travel voucher. If you booked through a travel agent, contact the booking agent.

To read Emirates’s full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

Hot Tip: Be prepared. Educate yourself on the basics of travel insurance.

Etihad

All flights can now be changed without any fees.

To change or cancel your Etihad flight, use this link.

To read Etihad’s full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

Frontier Airlines

All change and cancellation fees are waived on flights booked from December 22, 2020, through February 28, 2021. In addition, any flight can be changed or canceled without a fee 60 or more days prior to departure. If you make a change 7 to 59 days prior to departure, the change fee is $39. Any changes made 6 days or less before departure will incur a $59 fee.

Visit the My Trips section of the website to make adjustments to your reservations.

To read Frontier’s full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

JetBlue Airways

JetBlue Covid 19 cancellation policy
JetBlue, like most other airlines, is offering flexible cancellation policies with no fees. Image Credit: JetBlue

If you have a JetBlue flight scheduled anytime through February 28, 2021, you’ll be able to change or cancel it without a fee. You can rebook your trip within 1 year in the Manage Trips section of your online account (a fare difference may apply). If you choose to cancel your flight, you’ll receive a JetBlue Travel Bank Credit valid for 18 months.

To read JetBlue’s full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

KLM

Flights booked before March 31, 2021, with a departure date by September 30, 2021, can be changed or canceled without a fee. You can change your travel dates or request a travel voucher. Flights booked before March 31, 2021, with a departure by on or after October 1, 2021, can be changed without a fee but refunds aren’t available.

To read KLM’s full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

Lufthansa

Any flight booked through February 28, 2021, can be rebooked free of charge (except for travel from Japan to Europe).

To read Lufthansa’s full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

Qantas

If you’re booked on a domestic Australian Qantas flight that departs before October 31, 2020, you’ll receive a 100% flight credit that will be valid for booking and travel by December 31, 2021.

If you booked an international Qantas flight before May 19, 2020, for travel between August 1, 2020, and October 31, 2020, you can cancel your booking and receive a full value flight credit. You’ll need to request your flight credit by June 30, 2020, then rebook and travel by December 31, 2021.

To change or cancel a Qantas flight, use the My Booking section of your online account.

To read Qantas’ full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

Qatar Airways

Tickets for all Qatar flights that are issued by December 31, 2020, for travel by December 31, 2020, are subject to a relaxed cancellation policy.

If you choose not to travel, you’ll receive a travel voucher worth 110% of what you paid for your ticket originally (minus taxes). If you would prefer to change your tickets or request a refund you’ll need to call Qatar directly. All changes need to be made at least 3 days before departure.

In addition, all flights purchased by April 30, 2021, can be changed or canceled at no cost.

If you booked through a travel agent, contact the booking agent to arrange changes to your ticket.

To read Qatar’s full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

Southwest Airlines

You can cancel your Southwest flight up to 10 minutes before departure. You’ll receive travel funds for the amount you paid that can be used for a new flight. Any travel funds created between March 1, 2020, and September 7, 2020, will have an expiration date of September 7, 2021. In addition, some of these travel funds will be able to be converted into Rapid Rewards points through December 15, 2020.

Any travel funds that are set to expire between March 1, 2020, and September 7, 2020, will now have an expiration date of September 7, 2022.

Beginning September 8, 2020, any travel funds created from a Wanna Get Away fare can be used for up to 1 year from the purchase date.

You can change your Southwest flight here.

To read Southwest’s full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

Hot Tip: Have a cruise coming up? You’ll find all the information you need in our guide to cruise cancellations due to COVID-19.

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines is waiving all change and cancellation fees for flights affected by COVID-19 booked by October 31, 2020. You can cancel your reservation using this form and you’ll receive a travel credit. This credit can be applied to a new flight that’s booked in the next 6 months for travel dates up to 9 months in the future (depending on route).

To read Spirit’s full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

United Airlines

All change fees are being waived for any United Airlines reservation that was booked by March 2, 2020, for travel between June 1, 2020, and January 31, 2021. Changes or cancellations must be made by June 30, 2020, and your new flights must occur within 24 months from the original travel date.

Additionally, there won’t be any change fees for new flights booked by June 30, 2020.

Additional waivers include the following:

South Korea/Seoul-Incheon (ICN)

  • Any tickets purchased before February 23, 2020, for travel between February 24, 2020, and April 30, 2020, will have change fee and any fare difference waived as long as the new travel occurs by June 30, 2020, and is in the same cabin class and for the same route.
  • For any tickets purchased before February 23, 2020, for travel between February 24, 2020, and April 30, 2020, that are changed to depart after June 30, 2020, the change fees will be waived.

Hong Kong (HKG)

  • Any tickets purchased before February 12, 2020, for travel between January 28, 2020, and April 30, 2020, will have the change fee and any fare difference waived as long as the new travel occurs by June 30, 2020, and is in the same cabin class and for the same route.
  • For any tickets purchased before February 12, 2020, for travel between January 28, 2020, and April 30, 2020, that are completely changed, the change fees will be waived. Rescheduled travel must take place within 1 year of ticket issuance.
  • Refunds are allowed for unflown flights

Beijing (PEK), Chengdu (CTU), Shanghai (PVG)

  • Any tickets purchased before February 12, 2020, for travel between January 24, 2020, and April 30, 2020, will have the change fee and any fare difference waived as long as the new travel occurs by June 30, 2020, and is in the same cabin class and for the same route.
  • For any tickets purchased before February 12, 2020, for travel between January 24, 2020, and April 30, 2020, that are completely changed, the change fees will be waived. Rescheduled travel must take place within 1 year of ticket issuance.
  • Refunds are allowed for unflown flights

Wuhan (WUH)

  • Any tickets purchased by January 21, 2020, for travel between January 22, 2020, and March 29, 2020, are fully refundable

To request a refund, go to united.com/refunds.

To read United’s full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

Virgin Atlantic

For tickets issued through December 31, 2021, change fees will be waived. Your new travel dates must be for flights departing on or before December 31, 2022.

To change or cancel a flight that was booked directly with Virgin Atlantic, use this form. If you booked through a travel agent, contact the agent directly.

To read Virgin Atlantic’s full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

Additional Airlines Impacted

Additional Airlines Impacted and Their Policies
AirAsiaEasyJetMalindo AirSilkAir
Air AstanaEGYPTAIRMandarin AirlinesSingapore Airlines
Air IndiaEl Al Israel AirlinesMyanmar Airways InternationalSkyUp Airlines
Air KBZEVA AirMyanmar National AirlinesSriLankan Airlines
Air MacauFinnairNeosSWISS International Air Lines
Air MadagascarHimalaya AirlinesOman AirThai Airways
Air MauritiusHK ExpressPakistan International AirlinesThai Lion Air
Air New ZealandHong Kong AirlinesPeach AviationThai Smile Air
Air SeoulIberiaPhilippine AirlinesTurkish Airlines
Air TanzaniaIndiGoRoyal Air MarocTurkmenistan Airlines
All Nippon AirwaysJapan AirlinesRoyal Brunei AirlinesUkraine International Airlines
Asiana AirlinesJeju AirRyanairUral Airlines
Austrian AirlinesJetstar AsiaRwandAirVietJet Air
Cambodia AirwaysKenya AirwaysSASVietnam Airlines
Cebu Pacific AirKorean AirSaudiaVirgin Australia
China AirlinesLion AirSCAT AirlinesVueling
Eastar JetLOT Polish AirlinesScoot

Final Thoughts

While the coronavirus has changed everyone’s life and travel has all but come to a halt, the good news is that airlines are being flexible during this time. Most airlines are allowing ticket changes and cancellations without fees.

If you decide to cancel or postpone a flight, be sure to read through your airline’s policy so you know when you’ll need to use your travel credit or reschedule your flight by, as these can be different for each carrier.

Having to cancel an upcoming flight is never fun, but the important thing to remember is that we’ll all get through this and you’ll be able to fly freely throughout the world again soon.


Frequently asked questions

Can I cancel or change my flight due to COVID-19?

Yes, major airlines are offering waivers so you can change or cancel your upcoming flight without fees. Each airline has its own policy, so be sure to check to make sure your flight falls within the timeframe for waived fees.

How can I cancel my upcoming flight?

If you booked your flight directly with the airline, in most cases you’ll be able to cancel online. If you booked your flight with a travel agent or an online travel agency, you’ll need to contact the booking agent to cancel.

Katie Seemann

About Katie Seemann

Katie is an Ohio native who caught the travel bug after spending a semester in college in Nottingham, England. In addition to exploring England, she visited Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands during that time and loved every minute of it (everything except the hostel in Scotland – that’s an experience she doesn’t intend on repeating!) In 2015, Katie discovered the world of points and miles, and since then she’s earned countless points and has an embarrassingly large number of credit cards in her wallet (which she needs a spreadsheet to keep track of!)

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