Yesterday we reported that United Airlines would no longer charge a $200 ticket-change fee if you needed to change your domestic flight. Today we thought we would take a look and see how much competing US carriers charge and who is the most expensive.
Before we get into that, let’s first congratulate United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby for making such a bold move during this challenging time for air travel. Along with the scrapping of the $200 fee, the Chicago-based airline has said that, beginning in 2021, passengers can fly standby for free on the same day as their booked flight if there is a seat available on the aircraft.
In a message to customers, the United boss talked about getting rid of the fee in a video made to accompany the press release in which he said,
“Following previous tough times, airlines made difficult decisions to survive, sometimes at the expense of customer service. United Airlines won’t be following the same playbook as we come out of this crisis.”
Now that we have given United a pat on the back, it’s time we praise the world’s largest low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines, who have never charged for a ticket change.
The only rule Southwest has is that if the new ticket price is higher, the passenger has to pay the difference. If the ticket cost happens to be less expensive, Southwest will reimburse the difference in the form of a voucher that can be used towards future travel.
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The big three
Now, let’s take a look at United Airlines’ biggest competitors American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, and see where they stand regarding changing domestic tickets. Not surprisingly, before United’s move, both Delta and American were charging the same $200 for a domestic ticket change.
If a passenger needed to change a flight ticket on the same day, both Delta and American charge $75, with the fee being waived for Delta Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Medallion members.
Large regional airlines
If you fly within Alaska, passengers are not charged for a ticket change but are charged $125 if they cancel. Out of state, Alaska Airlines charges a change of ticket fee of $125 and the same price if you need to cancel. To change a ticket on the same day costs $50 or $25 if you are flying within California or Alaska Airlines shuttle market.
Inter-island date/flight or reroute changes are subject to a $30 change fee per ticket and any fare difference. If the new fare is less than the original, no refunds will be given. For international travel, it will cost you $300 to change or cancel your ticket. Flights that originate in Australia, Japan, or Korea are subject to different fees.
JetBlue charges its customers $75 for ticket changes and cancellations made 60 days before the departure date. If the change or cancellation is made later than 60 days, the charge is based on the ticket price.
Fares under $100 incur a charge of $75, fares between $100 and $149.99, $100. For fares more than $150 but less than $200, the change fee is $150. For fares, $200 and up, the ticket change fee is $200. Same-day changes to all tickets are the same as before 60 days $75.These fees do not apply to Blue Flex tickets.
If you need to change or cancel a ticket within 24 hours of purchase and if the departure date is more than seven days away, Spirit Airlines will not charge a fee. Other than this, it is $90 online or $100 if the changes are made over the phone or at the airport.
Changing your ticket 90 days before departure is free, while passengers who want to change their tickets less than 90 days but longer than two weeks have to pay $49. Ticket changes or cancelations made 13 days or less from travel will incur a $99 fee.
Passengers who opt for a Trip Flex ticket at the time of booking can cancel or change the flight up to one hour before departure without any fee. If you do not have a Trip Flex ticket, you can change or cancel up to seven days before the flight for $75. No changes can be made, and no tickets will be refunded within seven days of travel.
Airline’s policies are changing all the time, especially now, so please check what each airline ticket policies are before booking. Currently, many airlines are temporarily waiving ticket change fees due to COVID-19.
Do you think American and Delta will now have to follow United and waive ticket change fees? Please tell us what you think in the comments.