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 September 30, 2022. Those who purchase plane tickets between March 1 and September 30 benefit from waived change fees through September 30, 2022. 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. As of now, those with travel plans that have changed or those looking at making new travel plans can rebook until May 31, 2022.
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 before May 31, 2020 for travel before September 30, 2020. Fliers must rebook for travel before December 31, 2021.
JetBlue has waived change and cancellation fees for those flying between March 10, 2020 and January 4, 2021. Customers must have booked their travel before May 31, 2020 and the tickets are valid for 24 months from the "date of issuance." Rebooking 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.
Emirates will allow anyone who booked before June 30, 2020 for travel on or before November 30, 2020 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. Fliers can now keep and rebook their ticket for up to 24 months.
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 incur a €5 administration fee for their call.