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

Full Disclosure: We may receive financial compensation when you click on links and are approved for credit card products from our advertising partners. Opinions and product recommendations on this site are ours alone, and have not been influenced, reviewed or approved by the issuer. See our Advertiser Disclosure for more details. We appreciate your support!

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 June 30, 2020, for travel by June 31, 2021 can be canceled or changed one 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

If you purchased a ticket before April 21, 2020, for travel before August 21, 2020, you can cancel or change your flight without any fees. You’ll receive a travel voucher that’s good through December 31, 2021.

If you purchase a ticket on or after April 22, 2020, you can change it at no cost as long as the same cabin and fare are available.

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 May 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 June 30, 2020, for travel by May 31, 2021, change and cancellation fees will be waived. If you choose to change your flight, your new flight needs to be completed by May 31, 2021. 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 re-book 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

As of April 8, 2020, American has implemented a new schedule change policy to only provide refunds to customers when schedule changes result in an overall delay of more than 4 hours, or when a customer goes from being booked on a nonstop, to being booked an itinerary with a connection.

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 re-book 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 any flights through July 31, 2020, without fees. You’ll receive a voucher for the value you paid for your flight which can be used on any flight through April 30, 2022.

To cancel your British Airways flight and request a voucher, use this form.

Also, you’ll be able to change the date and/or destination of any new reservation made between March 3, 2020, and May 31, 2020, for travel by December 31, 2020. To make changes to your reservation, use the Manage My Booking section of your online account.

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 June 20, 2020, can be changed up to a year after purchase.

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 that are scheduled to depart from March 1, 2020, through September 30, 2020. The value of your ticket will be refunded as an eCredit which you can apply to another flight that departs by December 31, 2020.

Tickets normally expire one year after purchase, but Delta is providing waived change fees and greater flexibility to travel through May 31, 2022, for customers who:

  • Have upcoming travel already booked in April or May 2020 as of April 3, 2020
  • Have existing eCredits or canceled travel from flights in March, April or May 2020

Meanwhile, new tickets purchased between March 1 and September 30, 2020, can be changed without a change fee for up to a year from the date of purchase.

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 re-book 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.

If you booked your flight before June 10, 2020 for travel between July 1, 2020 and September 15, 2020, you need to reconfirm your flight with Emirates at least 21 days before your departure.

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

Etihad is currently flying a limited number of routes.

If you’re scheduled to fly on Etihad before June 30, 2020, you can re-book or cancel without a fee. If you choose to cancel your flight, you’ll receive a credit that can be used for a new flight. The new flight needs to be booked by September 30, 2020, for travel by July 31, 2020. If you’re also an Etihad Guest member, you’ll receive 5,000 bonus miles.

Additionally, all flights booked by June 30, 2020, for travel by November 30, 2020, can 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

Frontier Airlines customers who have travel scheduled between March 10, 2020, and April 30, 2020, can make a 1-time change without a fee.

Customers who have travel scheduled between May 1-31, 2020, can make a 1-time change without a fee as long as the change is made by March 31, 2020.

Any tickets issued between March 10-30, 2020, can also be changed or canceled once without penalty.

If you choose to cancel your Frontier flight, your funds will be held as a credit which you can use to book another flight within 90 days of cancellation for any available travel dates (currently through November 9, 2020). If you choose to change your flight, the new flight needs to occur by November 9, 2020.

All changes/cancellations need to be made at least 24 hours before your scheduled departure. 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 June 30, 2020, you’ll be able to change or cancel it without a fee. You can rebook your trip anytime through October 24, 2020, in the Manage Trips section of your online account. If you choose to cancel your flight, you’ll receive a JetBlue Travel Bank Credit which is valid for 18 months.

Change and cancellation fees will also be waived on any new bookings made by June 30, 2020, for travel through January 4, 2021.

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

KLM

Any KLM flights that are scheduled to depart by May 31, 2020, can be changed or canceled without any fees as long as you do so by September 30, 2020. Use this form to cancel your flight and request a travel voucher.

Flights booked by April 21, 2020, for travel by August 31, 2020, can be changed without a fee. You can change your travel dates or request a travel voucher that can be used toward any flight by December 31, 2021. Flights booked after April 22, 2020, can be changed without a fee according to the ticket conditions.

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

Lufthansa

If you booked a Lufthansa flight by April 19, 2020, for travel through August 31, 2020, you can change or cancel your flight without penalty. The amount you paid for your ticket will be held as a credit which you can use to re-book a new flight by August 31, 2020, for travel through August 31, 2021.

If the new flight you book occurs by December 31, 2020, you’ll receive a 50€ (~$55) discount.

For new bookings made by April 19, 2020, for travel through April 30, 2021, a 1-time free rebooking will be offered. The new flight must be booked by August 31, 2020, for travel through April 30, 2021.

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.

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

Even though Southwest’s cancellation and change policies are already generous, it still is offering special policies related to COVID-19.

Any flight now through April 30, 2020, can be changed without any fare difference (there is never a fee to change a Southwest flight). The new travel date must be within 60 days of the original travel date and the origin and destination cities must remain the same.

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.

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.

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 through June 30, 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 March 9, 2020, and May 31, 2020. Your new flights must be re-issued 24 months from the original travel date. The new ticket must be for travel that occurs within 24 months of the original ticket issue date.

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 December 31, 2020. 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 before March 19, 2020, for travel through September 30, 2020, change fees will be waived. Your new travel dates must be for flights departing on or before September 30, 2022.

Customers who purchase tickets after March 20, 2020, for travel by December 31, 2020, can also take advantage of this no-fee change policy.

If you booked a ticket on or before March 11, 2020, there’s no change fee or fare difference if you complete your travel by June 30, 2020.

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!)

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written by experts who know these products inside out, and what we recommend is what we would (or already) use ourselves. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. Click here to see a list of advertisers that we work with.