Can You Cancel Your Flight Because of the Coronavirus? | Travel

The outbreak of the coronavirus has created chaos across the airline industry. Major companies are rapidly updating their policies to accommodate impacted travelers. Each airline’s policy grows more complex as the pandemic spreads, leading to questions from confused customers. To avoid further overwhelming their phone lines, many airlines are asking travelers to avoid calling about flights that are not scheduled to depart in the next 72 hours.What’s more, numerous airlines are cutting flights as a reaction to travel bans and diminished demand. For example, many airlines are reducing flights between the U.S. and Europe in response to the 30-day travel ban between the two continents, which began March 13, 2020, at midnight. (American, United and Delta airlines have capped fares between the U.S. and Europe to help.)Below are the most recent cancellation policies for the top U.S. airlines:American Airlines Coronavirus UpdateAny ticket purchased on or before March 1, 2020, for all travel scheduled through April 30, 2020, will not be subject to change fees. Additionally, tickets purchased on or before March 15, 2020, for scheduled travel through multiple European airports will not be subject to change fees through May 31, 2020. Even more flexible cancellation policies are also in place for South Korea, Hong Kong and China. New tickets must be reissued on or before Dec. 31, 2020, or 12 months from the original ticket date (whichever is earlier).American Airlines is planning to implement a suspension of long-haul international flights from the U.S. The suspension will take place from March 16 to May 6, 2020, and reduce international capacity by 75% year over year. All international flights will be canceled, except for one flight daily from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to London-Heathrow, one flight daily from Miami to London-Heathrow and three flights per week from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to Tokyo Narita Airport.United Airlines Coronavirus UpdateTickets issued between March 3 and March 31, 2020, as well as flights scheduled through April 30, 2020, can have the value of the ticket applied to a new ticket without a fee for up to one year from the original ticket issue date.Flights to and from Europe will continue as scheduled through March 20, 2020, except for flights between Houston and London as well as Denver and London, which will be suspended after March 16, 2020. From March 20 to April 30, 2020, United Airlines expects to fly three daily flights to London and provide daily service to Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Paris and Zurich, plus multiple flights to Munich and Frankfurt, Germany, and Lisbon, Portugal.Delta Air Lines Coronavirus UpdateTickets for travel during March and April 2020, as well as tickets purchased in March 2020, can be changed one time to an alternate itinerary. Additionally, all flights through May 31, 2020, to, from or through Colombia, Europe and Australia as well as select countries in Asia, South America, Central America and the Caribbean could be eligible for more flexible cancellation policies. All flights must be rebooked by Dec. 31, 2020, for travel by Feb. 28, 2021.On March 13, 2020, Delta Air Lines announced they would cut their volume of flights by 40%. Starting March 16, 2020, Delta will operate the following flights once daily: Atlanta to Amsterdam, Atlanta to London-Heathrow, Atlanta to Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Detroit to Amsterdam and Kennedy International Airport to London-Heathrow. All other flights between the U.S. and Europe will be canceled.Southwest Airlines Coronavirus UpdateFunds used to pay for a flight can be applied to future flights as long as a reservation is canceled at least 10 minutes before the scheduled departure. The funds are valid for up to one year from the original purchase date.Alaska Airlines Coronavirus UpdateTickets purchased between Feb. 27 and March 31, 2020, as well as flights booked through April 30, 2020, can cancel their trip for credit or change their flights for no cancellation or change fees. Rebooked travel must begin by Feb. 28, 2021.Allegiant Air Coronavirus Update: Travelers can make a one-time change to their travel plans without change or cancellation fees by contacting customer service via phone, email or social media.Frontier Airlines Coronavirus UpdateBookings made between March 10 and March 31, 2020, as well as travel through April 30, 2020, can be changed without fees. The new flights must be completed by Nov. 9, 2020, and must be booked within 90 days of the initial cancellation.Hawaiian Airlines Coronavirus UpdateTickets purchased between March 1 and March 31, 2020, and flights booked prior to March 9, 2020, for travel between March 1 and April 30, 2020, receive a waiver for a one-time change per ticket without fees.JetBlue Airways Coronavirus UpdateBookings made from Feb. 27 to March 5, 2020, for travel through June 1, 2020, and bookings made between March 6 and March 31, 2020, for travel by Sept. 8, 2020, can be refunded for a credit that’s valid for one year.Spirit Airlines Coronavirus UpdateTravelers who must alter their travel plans due to the coronavirus can make a one-time free modification or receive a reservation credit for the full value of their purchase. The credit must be used within six months to book any flight currently available.Note: The above waivers and flexible travel options only apply if you booked directly with the airline. If you booked with a third-party site, such as Expedia or Booking.com, you’ll need to get in touch with the third-party service to ask about a refund or flight credit.

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