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Which airlines are offering free cancelation and changes for future trips?

We feel so badly for all those who are in limbo with upcoming trips and everyone affected the corona crisis. We are still hoping to complete our trip to Switzerland in Sept. We have non-refundable accommodations already booked before the crisis hit, in Murren. I would like to take advantage of the somewhat security of airlines that are offering free cancelation and/or changes. I know that United and Delta are doing this and I wonder if anyone else has already done the research and knows if other airlines are offering that as well?

Posted by
242 posts

I do a fair amount of work with student travel, and several websites geared to that have been keeping track of links to policies in a digestible manner. Here's an example from Student Universe.

Posted by
576 posts

I'm trying to interpret Delta's policy. I purchased my ticket to Athens on December 22, 2019. I have now cancelled the trip. If I read Delta's policy correctly, I can rebook without a change fee, but only if I rebook and begin the travel by December 31, 2020. In other words, if the virus is still an issue through the Fall, I will have only a narrow window late this year to take advantage of the no-fee rebook.

It seems that the reasonable thing for Delta to do is to allow rebooking and travel though the end of 2021.

Posted by
2901 posts

Amy, that is a great link on the airline policies. Thank you for sharing that.

Posted by
449 posts

I am mainly concerned about my March 22nd trip to France. If I got the opportunity to cancel and take later on, I would be happy.

Posted by
35 posts

Eric,
I'm in the same boat, only my ticket was purchased September 18th. I called Delta yesterday and yes, I have to re-book AND travel by 9/18/2020 or lose it all. As I highly doubt that's going to be an option for me I would lose the whole thing. As I'm on immune-suppressing drugs with a compromised system my doctor ASKED me to postpone until this is all in the rear-view mirror. Disappointed in Delta. The option to book through 2021 would buy a Lot of good-will and loyalty.

Posted by
5539 posts

Call Delta and explain your medical situation. They have been flexible with illnesses in the past when we called them directly.

Posted by
1866 posts

I too would suggest to call Delta directly and speak to a Supervisor. Please let us know how this all works out. I believe there are many travelers who are facing this in the upcoming months. Your experience may help others.

Posted by
2760 posts

We are scheduled to fly to France on Lufthansa in mid-April, and purchased our tickets last Fall. As I read Lufthansa's current policy (https://www.lufthansa.com/xx/en/flight-information), we can rebook with no fee if we do so before our travel date and the new flights are before 12/21/2020. However, I see nothing about cancellations. Given that there are 4 legs to the flight and that Lufthansa just announced they will be cancelling up to 50% of their flights, it's highly likely that at least one of our legs will be cancelled, which presumably would entitle us to a refund. However, I really don't want to wait until the last minute for cancellation. If I cancel in the next 2 weeks, I will only lose a few hundred dollars in deposits for gites and a few other things. But if I wait too long, I'll lose more. So it looks like the best alternative is to rebook for the Fall and see what happens.

Posted by
35 posts

Suki, Janis - If you were referring to me, of course I called them (Delta) direct, hoping they might help with an in-person call instead of simply cancelling on-line. That was the response I received. Her exact response was "well, everybody has a health concern, if you don't want to go then don't" Period.

Posted by
576 posts

I was on hold with Delta this morning for an hour and a half before I had to drop off. Grrrr.

Posted by
2231 posts

Here is my experience, just now: called United, was told the wait would be over an hour, and it was about that, before the very helpful customer service rep came on the line, from Manila. Thank heavens for speaker phone and background music. My flights were booked with United mileage, but my international flights were actually on partner airlines Air Canada, LAX to Rome in April, then returning on Lufthansa, Bologna to SFO on June 2. The rep was very helpful, and arranged to (1) cancel all the flights, (2) return the miles to my mileage account (within 48 hours, she said), (3) refund the taxes paid to my credit card, and (4) waive the normal $125 cancellation fee. I hope that all goes through as expected. I will need to call both Air Canada and Lufthansa to get refunds for the extra legroom I paid for with each.

Posted by
94 posts

Barbara, I’m in the same spot (although not immune compromised) and I agree. I am traveling with 10 people on Delta, to ZRH and out of Rome in May (19 days). 4 additional people are joining us for part of the time and will be flying out of Milan, so their flight is cancelled and they are eligible for a refund. 10 of the 14 are 65 - 75, 5 of which have various risk factor issues. We bought the tickets in early July 2019....absolutely no way we are going to be able to use that whole credit by then. I asked them today if I could simply have a year from date of travel and was told no. The agent was hopeful that additional flexibility would be offered. Our CFAR insurance covers a change fee...but not the whole cost.I think it makes sense to cancel (for us) but I want to wait until a more advantageous credit/ refund is offered. It’s just frustrating.

Posted by
9 posts

I just got off the phone with Lufthansa regarding our March flights DEN-FCO. The first thing I learned was that the rebooking fee being waived is only through one year of your original ticket purchase. Our tickets were purchased August 2019 for our March 2020 flights. We would only be allowed to rebook for dates through Aug. 2020 (not Dec. 31, 2020). Second, if any portion of your flights are cancelled and unable to be rescheduled, the entire fare including fees is refunded. Thankfully one leg of our flight was cancelled yesterday, and our entire fare and fees are being refunded. This was after watching the past week as our many flight legs were rescheduled multiple times, and I thought we were going to be out of luck. If you can stand the rollercoaster, wait to rebook until within a week of your scheduled flights. Our flights were 6 days out when one leg was finally cancelled.

Posted by
3116 posts

Cathy, your trip is in September. You will be fine.

My trip to Switzerland is on April 15, two days after the travel ban for flights to the US ends in theory. I fly home April 22.

My concern is that Delta will sharply reduce the number of flights both ways so I don’t know where that will leave me. I had booked my hotel with the ability to cancel for a full refund the day before I arrive. I actually never do that; this is the first time I did it and I must’ve been psychic. 😂

I’ll re-examine the first week of April.

Unless you purchased a fully refundable airfare, you will not get a refund if you cancel your trip with Delta. I purchased my ticket in August and I was told by them that I will have to use that ticket by the middle of September.

Posted by
46 posts

Yesterday, after 5 attempts I was able to get through to American Airlines. It was so bad I wasn't even given the option to hold or get a call back, just a message suggesting I call later. Once I got through I spoke with an awesome agent who worked with me for 30 minutes, as I switched flights looking to pay for 5 seats together.

I was able to move all my trip from late March to June, only paying the increase in fares (which sadly were 33% higher). The flight change fee was waived.

I should also note that these were "Basic Economy" tickets, the absolute lowest class, on both the new and old flights.

Good luck to everyone in dealing with this mess!

Posted by
1369 posts

British Airways has put out a new statement (March 14th) for travels through May 31, 2020:

"To allow greater flexibility, we are enabling customers to change their destination, date of travel, or both for free, on all new bookings made from Tuesday 3 March to Sunday 31 May 2020, as well as any existing bookings that depart up to Sunday 31 May 2020."

They also have a very generous policy on existing bookings, offering a credit voucher good for travel for 12 months from the original date of departure. More details of that in this thread.

Posted by
22 posts

Contact you US Rep and Senator and have them make sure that Airlines make customers whole with a FULL CASH REFUNDS for flights cancelled, or else the Airline should pound sand before getting any taxpayer funded bailout. Trump wants to reward his campaign contributors, and wants to let the pigs in the kitchen again. Make passengers whole first, or those passengers are making de-facto contributions to the wealth of the airline executives.

Posted by
100 posts

With British Airways if you cancel the flight there is a hefty cancellation fee for the outgoing and returning flight. No chance of a refund otherwise. You are able to get an e-voucher good for up to one year from the original date of departure. However, they do not send any type of verification email, nothing stating the flight is on hold.