[Update] Delta & United Announce Waived Change Fee Policies [Update: Now Includes Flights Purchased Earlier]


Update 3/10/2020: United has also expanded the waived change fees to include flights purchased on or before March 2 for travel from March 9 to April 30, 2020. This allows you to change your flight to one that takes place by December 31, 2020 or within one year of when you first booked it, whichever date comes first.

Update 3/9/2020: Delta has now expanded the waived change fees to include flights purchased on or before March 9th for travel March 1 – April 30 2020.  Rebooked travel must begin by December 31 2020.

Update 3/4/2020: Delta has now expanded the waived change fees to include all flights purchased from March 1-31, 2020 (domestic and international) regardless of when travel is scheduled to occur. You will still owe any difference in fare and you will be allowed to change without a fee to another flight within a year of the original booking date. Note that cancellation is not covered.


We’ve seen an increasing number of airlines in recent days announcing that they’ll be waiving change fees. They’ve been seeing a drop in reservations as a result of Coronavirus concerns, with Alaska, JetBlue and American Airlines all updating their policies to encourage people to continue booking flights.

They’ve been joined today by Delta and United who have both announced new policies. These two airlines are taking different approaches though, so here’s what you need to know.

an airplane on the runway at sunset


You can find Delta’s announcement here. They’re offering a one-time waiving of change fees, but only for international flights which includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands Update 3/4/20: This now includes all flights, both domestic and international. This is valid for flights booked from March 1-31, 2020 for travel through the end of the schedule (February 2021).

Although change fees are waived, you’ll have to pay the difference if the change results in a higher fare. What isn’t made clear in their announcement is if award flights are eligible with this policy or only paid flights.


You can find United’s announcement here. United has a more generous policy than Delta as both international and domestic flights are eligible for the change fee waiver. The dates are somewhat similar to Delta’s in that change fees will be waived for flights booked from March 3-31 (rather than from March 1) and they’ll allow you to rebook your flights up to 12 months from the original date that your ticket was issued.

If the new flight is more expensive, you’ll have to pay the difference. If the new flight is cheaper, it doesn’t look like they’ll refund you for the difference which is somewhat understandable. United has stated that this policy will be in force for all tickets, fare types, destinations, etc., so this does seem to be available for both paid and award flights, so long as your ticket number begins with 016.

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[…] again?  Summer?  Fall?  Winter?  We don’t know.  But we do know that, in most cases, flights purchased in March for later travel are changeable for free.  Should we book now in the hopes that the Coronavirus will be under control by the time we fly?  […]

[…] 3/10/2020: In addition to Delta and United, American Airlines has announced that they’re extending their waived change fees to include […]


Now I wait for United to extend this to at least May 08, for flights booked pre-March. I just had an event get postponed from May to July.


any update on how this applies to award flights ticketed by delta or united?

i’m hesitant to book a flight now but if there is free waiver to cancel and redeposit for no fees i’d make a booking assuming my event doesnt get canceled later.

Doctor of Credit claims the following:
“For award bookings you can get the miles and taxes back with no fees as well.”

Dans Deals has a diff interpretation
“Update: United has clarified that:

No refunds will be given for awards, but you can cancel your award and rebook any other award within 1 year with no penalty. However if the new award costs fewer miles you will not receive a mileage refund. Note that United may still offer mileage refunds, but it will be on a case by case basis. If you booked an award in the past 24 hours you can still get a free refund for it.
If your new ticket is less expensive than the old ticket you normally would receive a voucher for the difference in fare. However United writes that they will not be offering any vouchers or refunds under this free change and cancellation policy, so you won’t want to rebook less expensive travel and you won’t be able to transfer your ticket to someone else via a voucher as you would normally be able to. If you booked a paid ticket in the past 24 hours you can still get a free refund for it.”


It’s going to get Worse before it gets better here and I’m 64 days before flt .China and Vietnam are getting better so Wait if u can the terms should get better too .

[…] 3/10/2020: In addition to Delta and United, American Airlines has announced that they’re extending their waived change fees to include […]

[…] was the last of the main US airlines to announce that they’d waive change fees for flights booked during March, but they’re […]


I was told yesterday, by customer service on the phone, that this does indeed apply to award tickets. The $150 cancel/redeposit fee will be waived. Supposedly. I say that because I also contacted Delta via Twitter the day before (they hadn’t announced this policy yet) and they simply wouldn’t answer my question about award ticket waivers.



Singapore AL ???