Everyone's decision to continue traveling with coronavirus rampant is a highly personal one. For those that continue to explore afield, many airlines are starting to give travelers significant leeway for future travel.
In an unprecedented move, all the mainland American airlines are waiving all change and cancellation fees for new travel booked through the next two weeks and beyond in some cases.
American's policy will apply to all flights booked through their entire schedule (like, even six months out from now!). For tickets purchased between March 1 and March 4, this applies as long as the cancellation is made 14 days in advance.
(Noting 'cancellation' in this case may mean 'travel credit for the full value of the ticket,' not necessarily a cash refund. The 24-hour booking cancellation is a full straight on cash refund, though.)
In Delta's case, those that have tickets issued this month will also be able to reschedule travel through their entire schedule. On top of that, a few airlines will be waiving change fees for flights booked before March.
These policies are applicable to all fares for every airline mentioned, including the super-budget basic economy fares.
It will take some time to figure out the full economic effects of coronavirus on the airline industry, but it's worth pointing that this is also shoulder season, when airlines often have trouble selling inventory, so they may not be eating as much in ancillary revenue as you think they would be.
Here are the conditions to qualify under this for new travel.
|Starting Booked Date||Ending Booked Date||Travel Through|
|Alaska||February 27||December 31||foreseeable future|
|American||March 1||December 31||foreseeable future|
|Delta||March 1||December 31||foreseeable future|
|Frontier||March 10||September 30||foreseeable future|
|Hawaiian||March 1||September 30||foreseeable future|
|JetBlue||February 27||October 15||foreseeable future|
|United||March 3||December 31||foreseeable future|
Our gut feeling is that there is also a very real possibility that the booked dates might be extended if the coronavirus situation isn't curbed in the short-term future, if the constantly-changing travel restrictions have been any indication.
For previously booked tickets, changes will be waived for all tickets falling under these conditions.
|Booked Date||Travel Starting||Travel Ending|
|American||March 1||March 10||April 30|
|Delta||March 9||March 9||April 30|
|United||March 2||March 9||April 30|