Airlines are making big changes to get the public flying again. On Sunday, United Airlines announced that it was eliminating change fees on most of its domestic flights, and one day later, Delta and American airlines followed its lead, dropping the fee on most of their domestic routes, too.
“We’re permanently getting rid of change fees on standard, economy, and premium tickets for travel within the US [Continental US, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands],” United’s CEO Scott Kirby says in a video posted on the airline’s YouTube page. “When we hear from customers about ways we can improve, getting rid of this fee is often a top request.”
United’s change fee waiver in place during the pandemic for international flights will also be extended until at least the end of 2020, the airline announced.
United is implementing an additional series of changes beginning next year. From January 1, 2021, the $75 charge to confirm a stand-by seat will be no more. Additionally, if you’re a United MileagePlus Premier member, you can change your flight day-of for free, meaning that if something comes up and you need to delay or alter your course of travel, the airline won’t gouge you for doing so.
Delta is eliminating its change fees for travel within the domestic US, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands in its First Class, Premium Select, Comfort Plus, and Main Cabin, with the exception of Basic Economy tickets. It will also extend the temporary waiver on change fees for domestic and international flights, including Basic Economy fares, until the end of the year.
American is getting rid of all change fees for First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy, and Main Cabin tickets for all domestic and short-haul international flying — any of the 50 US states, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands. It’s also extending the change fee waiver for any new travel purchases made by December 2020.
A version of this article was previously published on August 31, 2020, and was updated on September 1, 2020, with more information.