This week has seen major US carriers fall over themselves in a race to remove change fees for domestic flights, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to shake up the aviation industry.
Most carriers worldwide have been waiving change fees on all flights over the last few months in the light of global travel restrictions.
But airlines including AA, Alaska Airlines, Delta and United have now made what they are calling a “permanent” move to remove the charge on domestic flights.
United was the first to announced its plans on Monday, removing the charge altogether from January for flights within the US, with no limit to the number of times changes can be made.
Delta followed suit shortly after, for all domestic flights excluding Basic Economy fares.
American Airlines also made a similar move on Monday, removing change fees for all domestic and short-haul international flights (including those to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean), again for all classes of travel except Basic Economy.
And on Tuesday Alaska Airlines also announced the removal of change fees on all domestic and international flights, for all tickets except Saver fares.
In addition United, Delta and Alaska are all set to introduce the ability to apply for same-day standby flights to all destinations without charge from January.
Commenting on the changes American’s Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Raja 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. 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.”