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

Airline Cancellation Policies COVID 19
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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, if there is one, so that you can stay up to date on any changes.

Airline Cancellation Policies Due to COVID-19

Air Canada

All reservations booked by May 31, 2021, for travel by May 31, 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 points 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 different online travel agent, please contact them for assistance.

To change or cancel an award flight, click to go to your online Aeroplan account.

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

Air France

You can change or cancel any Air France flight that’s scheduled to depart through December 31, 2021, without a fee. You’ll receive a refund or a travel voucher that’s good for 1 year.

If 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 tickets purchased by April 30, 2021, for travel by March 31, 2022, the Peace of Mind waivers will apply. This means change and cancellation fees will be waived. If you want to make a change, your new flight needs to be completed within 1 year. If you choose to cancel your Alaska Airlines flight, your funds will be held as a credit that can be used towards a new flight. Saver fares can’t be changed — they can only be canceled for future travel credit.

Beginning May 1, 2021, all change fees will be permanently eliminated for main cabin and first class tickets.

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 Manage Travel section of the website.

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

American Airlines

Change fees are waived on all tickets purchased by March 31, 2021, including basic economy and award tickets.

In addition, American has eliminated all change fees for first, business, premium economy, and main cabin seats (except basic economy) on domestic or short-haul international flights (defined as the U.S to/from Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) issued on or after August 30, 2020.

Fees will also be waived for all long-haul international flights in first, business, premium economy, and main cabin seats (except basic economy) issued on or after November 19, 2020, that originate in North or South America.

If you booked through American Airlines, you can cancel your trip online. 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 airplane
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 April 30, 2022. 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 change your flight, click here.

To cancel your flight, click here.

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 through March 31, 2021, can be changed or canceled without any fees. New travel dates must be before March 31, 2022.

All tickets purchased between March 23, 2020, and June 30, 2021, for travel by December 31, 2021, can be changed without a fee.

If you booked directly with Cathay Pacific, you can make changes through the Manage Booking section of the website through June 30, 2021. After that, you’ll need to call your local reservations office to make changes. If you booked with a travel agent, contact the agent to adjust your reservation.

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

Delta Air Lines

All tickets purchased March 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021, can be changed without a fee for up to 1 year from the date of purchase.

In addition, all change fees and award redeposit fees are being permanently waived for travel originating in North America for tickets purchased after April 30, 2021 (excluding paid basic economy fares).

If you choose to cancel your flight, you’ll get the value you paid as a voucher to put toward future travel. Tickets that are set to expire in 2021 or are canceled in 2021 will have an expiration date of December 31, 2022.

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

Change fees are being waived for flights departing by September 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’ full policy regarding COVID-19, click here.

Hot Tip: Curious about travel insurance? Educate yourself on the basics of travel insurance and whether or not insurance will cover COVID-19 related claims.

Etihad

All flights scheduled on or before June 30, 2021, can now be changed or canceled without any fees if the flight is rebooked before September 30, 2021. Fare differences will also be waived if you change your flight to another one in the same zone for travel by June 30, 2021.

You can change your Etihad flight online.

If you’d rather cancel your flight, you can request a travel voucher for the value of your ticket that can be used at a later date.

You can also request a refund in situations where your flight has been canceled or you test positive for COVID-19.

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

Frontier Airlines

All change and cancellation fees are waived on bookings made from December 22, 2020, through March 31, 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 airplane
JetBlue, like most other airlines, is offering flexible cancellation policies with no fees. Image Credit: JetBlue

You can change or cancel any JetBlue flight booked on or before May 31, 2021, 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).

After June 1, 2021, there still won’t be change or cancellation fees for Blue, Blue Plus, and Mint fares, but there will be a $75 charge for same-day confirmed changes. Blue Extra fares can be changed or canceled (including same-day confirmed changes) without a fee.

If you choose to cancel your flight, you’ll receive a JetBlue Travel Bank Credit valid for 12 months.

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

KLM

Flights with a departure date by December 31, 2021, can be changed or canceled without a fee. You can change your travel dates or request a travel voucher that can be used within 1 year. Changes can be made online in the My Trips section of the website.

Flights that depart after January 1, 2022, can be changed without a fee, but refunds aren’t available.

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

Lufthansa

Some flights ticketed after August 31, 2020, may be cancelable per fare conditions, with additional payment required if there is a change in fare. You can change or cancel your Lufthansa flight online in the My Bookings section of the website.

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

Qantas

You can change your travel dates without a fee for domestic Australian or trans-Tasman flights that were purchased by April 30, 2021, for travel through January 31, 2022.

Classic Flight Rewards bookings (using Qantas points) that are made before July 31, 2021, can be changed or canceled without a fee through February 28, 2022.

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

All flights purchased by June 30, 2021, for travel through May 31, 2022, can be changed or canceled at no cost. You can also request a refund for the amount you originally paid.

To change or cancel your Qantas flight, click here.

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. If you purchased a Wanna Get Away fare, you’ll receive travel funds for the amount you paid that can be used for a new flight. Business Select and Anytime fares are fully refundable.

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 booked by March 31, 2021.

If you cancel your reservation, 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 change or cancel your reservation, click here.

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

United Airlines

United has permanently removed change fees for economy (excluding Basic Economy), Economy Plus, first, business, and Premium Plus seats on the following types of flights:

  • Flights within the U.S. (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands)
  • Flights between the U.S. and Mexico or the Caribbean
  • International flights originating in the U.S.

Change fees will also be waived on all standard fare tickets issued by May 31, 2021, and Basic Economy tickets issued by April 30, 2021.

You can change your flight online in the My Trips section of the website.

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

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

Virgin Atlantic

For bookings made February 5, 2021, or earlier for travel through December 31, 2021, you can make 2 date changes and 1 name change free of charge. New travel dates must be on or before December 31, 2022.

For bookings made February 6, 2021, through April 30, 2022, change fees (unlimited date changes and 1 name change) will be waived. Your new travel dates must be on or before April 30, 2023.

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
AirAsiaEGYPTAIRMandarin AirlinesSkyUp Airlines
Air AstanaEL AL Israel AirlinesMyanmar Airways InternationalSriLankan Airlines
Air IndiaEVA AirMyanmar National AirlinesSWISS International Air Lines
Air KBZFinnairNeosThai Airways
Air MacauHimalaya AirlinesOman AirThai Lion Air
Air MadagascarHK ExpressPakistan International AirlinesThai Smile Air
Air MauritiusHong Kong AirlinesPeach AviationTurkish Airlines
Air New ZealandIberiaPhilippine AirlinesTurkmenistan Airlines
Air SeoulIndiGoRoyal Air MarocUkraine International Airlines
Air TanzaniaJapan AirlinesRoyal Brunei AirlinesUral Airlines
All Nippon AirwaysJeju AirRyanairVietJet Air
Asiana AirlinesJetstar AsiaRwandAirVietnam Airlines
Austrian AirlinesKenya AirwaysSASVirgin Australia
Cambodia AirwaysKorean AirSaudiaVueling
Cebu Pacific AirLion AirSCAT AirlinesWestJet
China AirlinesLOT Polish AirlinesScoot
EasyJetMalindo AirSingapore Airlines

Final Thoughts

While the coronavirus has changed everyone’s life and travel has been deeply impacted, 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 reschedule your flight or use your travel credit, 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.

Can I cancel or change my Spirit ticket?

Spirit Airlines is waiving all change and cancellation fees for flights booked by March 31, 2021.

If you cancel your reservation, 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 change or cancel your reservation, click here.

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

Can I cancel or change my JetBlue ticket?

You can change or cancel any JetBlue flight booked on or before May 31, 2021, 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 12 months.

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

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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2 comments

  1. One correction on your chart: Delta Basic Economy award tickets for travel within the U.S. do NOT have redeposit/cancellation fees, even if purchased after April 30. It is only paid Basic Economy tickets that cannot be cancelled.

    Reply

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