Your Guide to Airline Cancellation Policies

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In response to early 2020's global events, the aviation industry worldwide has been disrupted. Most travelers with plans to fly have either pre-emptively canceled their plans or found that their flights were canceled in advance by the airline.

Unsurprisingly, the three major U.S. airlines—American, Delta, and United—have all drastically altered their flight schedules in response, with American Airlines suspending 60 percent of its long-haul international flights, including flights to Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and South America, as of May 2020. Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines has reduced its capacity by two-thirds, including parking up to 300 aircraft and canceling almost all flights to continental Europe for at least 30 days. United Airlines cut capacity by 90 percent and is flying just six long-haul routes.

Many carriers are also waiving change and cancellation fees in light of the ever-changing sitution, so should you have a flight planned—or are looking to book travel—here's what you need to know about U.S.-based carriers' cancellation policies:

Carrier  Change Policy Refund Policy
Alaska Airlines Change and cancellation fees waived for travel scheduled through Dec. 31, 2020. Changes must be made prior to travel. Credit for future travel, expires one year from date of issue.
American Airlines Change and cancellation fees are waived one time for previously-booked travel on dates betwen March 1 and Sept. 30, 2020. Travelers can also cancel their trips. A one-time change fee will also be waived for all future travel booked before June 30, 2020. Credit for future travel in most cases, although full refunds available for select itineraries.
Delta Air Lines Delta is waiving change fees for all travel through Sept. 30, 2020 and is evaluating the ongoing situation. In most cases, new tickets must used within a year from purchase. Flights booked from March 1 to June 30, 2020 have change and redeposit fees waived for a year from purchase. Passengers are issued credits for future travel.
Hawaiian Airlines Any flights booked through June 30, 2020, are eligible for a fee-free trip change or cancellation valid for two years from the purchase date. Tickets purchased before March 1, 2020 for travel between March 1 and Sept. 30, 2020 are eligible for fee-free rebooking for travel that begins on or before May 31, 2022. Passengers are issued a future travel credit that must be used before the canceled ticket expires.
JetBlue Change and cancellation fees are waived on all tickets purchased before June 30, 2020. Passengers who wish to cancel will be issued a credit for future travel.
United Airlines Change fees waived on all new bookings through June 30, 2020. New flights must be within 12 months of initial booking and fare difference must be paid, where applicable. Passengers will be issued a voucher for ticket value, to be used within 12 months of the original ticket issue.
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