Customers on Delta, United, Alaska and Hawaiian now have through the end of this month to book basic economy tickets that can later be changed or canceled with no fee.
Conversely, on April 1 American resumed its pre-pandemic prohibition on ticket changes for basic economy itineraries within North American and the Caribbean. American customers who purchased basic economy tickets prior to April 1 can still make changes on those itineraries, but changes aren’t allowed for any bookings that were made beginning Thursday.
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All five of those carriers had been slated to bring back basic economy ticket change prohibitions this month prior to a late extension of long-standing Covid-19 travel waivers by Delta, United, Alaska and Hawaiian.
Along with American, Frontier went ahead with plans to add ticket restrictions on bookings completed April 1 and beyond, while Spirit says it will do the same on April 4.
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Frontier resumed charging a $39 fee on most bookings for changes made between seven and 59 days prior to departure and a $59 fee for changes made six days or less before departure.
Spirit hasn’t said what its change fee will be for most bookings beginning April 4, but the carrier typically charged a $90 change fee before the pandemic.
On Thursday JetBlue briefly implemented a $100 fee for changes to domestic basic economy bookings and a $200 change fee for basic economy South American bookings. But the carrier reversed course on Friday and now intends to implement those fees for bookings made from June 1 and beyond.
Among the other two primary mainline U.S. carriers, Allegiant is continuing to waive change fees indefinitely. Southwest also allows all tickets to be changed or canceled and has a long-standing no-change-fee policy.
Even on airlines that don’t assess change fees, flyers will have to pay for any fare differential.