As of March 19, the U.S. State Department issued a level-four Global Health Advisory encouraging “U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.” And on April 3, The U.S. Department of Transportation published an Enforcement Notice saying foreign and domestic airlines are obligated to offer passengers a timely refund if they cancel or make a "significant schedule change" to their flight. Per the notice, that means if an airline offers you a voucher, you have a right to ask for a full refund instead. This is, however, only the case if your flight specifically gets canceled or re-routed.
During this time of uncertainty, we've provided a breakdown on several airlines' current change and cancellation policies. At the moment, airline call centers are overwhelmed with phone calls, so across the board, they're asking travelers not flying in the next 72 hours to take action online. The policies are changing as the situation develops, so we'll be updating this article to reflect each airline's latest policy.
Delta Air Lines
Delta is not charging change or cancellation fees for any travel through May 31, 2020. If you opt to cancel your Delta tickets, Delta is issuing an eCredit for the full value of your ticket. If you’re not sure when you’ll be able to travel—which, at this point, is the norm—Delta recommends canceling, accepting the eCredit, and then rebooking before December 31, 2020. Those who purchase plane tickets between March 1 and April 15 benefit from waived change fees through March 12, 2021. And Delta recently put out step-by-step instructions on canceling or changing your flight.
United will allow anyone with tickets for travel between March 10 and May 31 to change or cancel, without being charged a fee, online or through the United app; follow these instructions to do so. For those who purchases tickets between March 3 and March 31, all change fees are waived.
Virgin Atlantic has waived change fees for all travel scheduled through May 31, 2020. This applies only for passengers who purchased flights before March 11. And their travel can be rebooked until April 30, 2021.
All Nippon Airways
Those flying ANA in the near future can cancel and request a full refund. Their cancellation policy is actually based on where you are departing from or flying to. Those flying to or from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, South Korea, and India can ask for a refund if their boarding date is on or before April 30, 2020. Depending on where you're flying to or from, you must have purchased your ticket before a certain date (which varies) to be eligible for the refund.
American Airlines will waive their change fee for flights booked up until May 31, 2020. To receive a full voucher upon cancellation or a waived change fee, you must have booked your flight before March 1. Furthermore, for those who purchased plane tickets between March 1 and April 15, the reservation can be changed without fees.
JetBlue has waived change and cancellation fees for those flying between March 10, 2020 and May 31, 2020. Customers can currently rebook their flights through October 24, 2020. This can all be done online at Manage Trips.
Air France KLM
Air France has waived change fees for any travel planned through May 31, 2020—and you can make changes to your flights up until September 30, 2020. Air France has decided to ground its entire A380 fleet, while KLM follows suit with their Boeing 747 fleet. Furthermore, Paris-Orly airport is closed as of April 1, which will further impact the Air France flight schedule.
As of March 25, the UAE will suspend all passenger flights. In response, Emirates will allow anyone with travel booked through June 30 to reschedule with no rebooking fee. And provided the new flight is in the same general region, Emirates will not charge customers for the difference in fares. The UAE will start allowing a few flights out starting April 6, at which point Emirates will pick up very limited service to London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Zurich and Brussels.
Aer Lingus has waived all change and cancellation fees for travel through May 31, 2020, but strongly encourages their customers to cancel or change flights online at Manage Trip. Those flying in the next 72 hours or who require special assistance can still call in to Aer Lingus, but to discourage overloading the call center, those with travel booked farther out will be charged a €5 administration fee for their call.