Easyjet has announced that flight change fees on all existing and new flight bookings will be waived until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It emailed passengers Thursday evening to say:

“We understand there is uncertainty around travel at this time, so if you currently have a booking with us but would prefer not to fly then from [March 13], you can now change your flight online and we will waive the flight change fee.

“This applies to all existing and new bookings until further notice. Should there be a difference in fare you’ll need to pay this – however by waiving the change fee, we want to ensure you have more flexibility to amend your travel plans.

“Where we’ve been required to cancel flights, customers will be able to transfer to an alternative flight free of charge or receive a refund. And where all flights have had to be cancelled due to local authority guidance – in Italy, for example – we are operating rescue flights to ensure passengers can return home.”

Passengers wanting to change their ticket should go to Manage Bookings on easyjet.com.

The low cost carrier advised against calling its customer service teams due to the long waits currently being experienced.

British Airways has currently only waived flight change fees for bookings made between March 3 and March 31.

Virgin Atlantic has the following policy:

  • for bookings made before 12 March, for travel between 1 March and 31 May 2020, travel can be rebooked between 13 March 2020 and 31 December 2020.
  • for bookings made between 4 March and 31 March, travel can be rebooked between 4 March 2020 and 31 December 2020.

Hundreds of people have written to Business Traveller to say they are frustrated that more airlines are not providing lenient change fee policies in light of the pandemic.

British travellers told the Guardian they felt “betrayed” by airlines this week after Italy flights were abruptly suspended due to the start of a nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus.

Many said they had only travelled as they were unable to change or cancel their flights without incurring a cost.

Qatar Airways has been among the only carriers to allow free rebookings for all flights for travel up to June 30, even if they were purchased before March.

Coronavirus: Airlines waive flight change fees in bid to boost bookings