MIAMI – Following a recent announcement by United Airlines (UA) with a similar policy, American Airlines (AA) and Delta Air Lines (DL) have announced that they will eliminate change fees for tickets purchased for travel within the US. 

As we all know, in the past couple of months, the aviation industry has taken a huge hit due to the COVID-19. Airlines have had to quickly adapt to keep current customers and bring in new ones. 

One way carriers have creatively maneuvered to adapt is to make changes to their policies. After UA announced yesterday that it would eliminate change fees, the other two major US airlines were quick to respond.

American Airlines Airbus A321neo N402AN Photo © Luca Flores

American Airlines Policies

American Airlines will be eliminating change fees for all domestic flights and some short haul international flights for Premium Cabin and most Main Cabin fares. 

In addition, passengers will have access to standby flights in order to be rebooked on earlier flights. 

American Airlines Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Rajasaid said, “In a world that’s constantly changing, American is resolute to our purpose of caring for customers at all points of their travel journey.”

Raja continued, “American is offering more flexibility and ease than ever before, should travel plans change. By eliminating change fees, giving customers an opportunity to get where they want to go faster with free same-day standby on earlier flights and providing access to upgrades and seats for all fare types, we’re giving customers the freedom to make their own choices when traveling with American.”

Delta Air Lines McDonnell Douglas MD-88 N961DL. Photo: Luca FLores

Delta Air Lines Policies

Effective immediately, DL will eliminate change fees for tickets booked for travel within the US (including US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico) on all classes except for Basic Economy. 

In a press release published today, Ed Bastian, Delta Air Lines CEO said, “We’ve said before that we need to approach flexibility differently than this industry has in the past, and today’s announcement builds on that promise to ensure we’re offering industry-leading flexibility, space, and care to our customers.”

He continued, “We want our customers to book and travel with peace of mind, knowing that we’ll continue evaluating our policies to maintain the high standard of flexibility they expect.”

Along with waiving change fees, DL has also blocked middle seats until January 2021, provided more than US$2.1bn in cash refunds, extended Medallion Status until 2021, and more to provide flexibility to their employees and passengers.