Well, Delta Air Lines has just become the first of the “big three” US carriers to actually do the right thing in light of the coronavirus situation.
Delta waiving change fees on previously booked tickets
Delta has just announced that they’re waiving change fees for all tickets issued before March 9, 2020, for travel between March 1 and April 30, 2020.
Customers who will benefit from this policy can rebook for travel through December 31, 2020.
I have so much respect for Delta for doing the right thing.
Up until now waived fees have only been a sales technique
Prior to this announcement, US carriers have literally been using waived change fees as a sales technique. They’ve only applied this on newly booked tickets as a way of boosting bookings, rather than applying it to those with previously issued tickets.
I of course understand airlines are being hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, but sometimes you just have to do the right thing. Delta says they have our backs, and they’re actually acting like that.
Compare that to United, which in light of this entire situation decided to introduce one of the most outrageous refund policies on schedule changes.
As a point of comparison, Delta’s previous policy allowed for waived change fees for all itineraries purchased between March 1 and March 31, 2020, regardless of when travel was scheduled to occur.
With this new policy even tickets booked before March 1 are covered, assuming you travel through April 30 (though I imagine that date has the potential to be extended).
I don’t like everything Delta does, but they really are in a league of their own among the “big three” US carriers when it comes to realizing that they’re in the customer service and people business.
I understand this is likely to be costly for airlines, but it’s absolutely the right thing to do.
Hopefully American and United come to their senses and introduce similar policies, realizing that they should be giving people the option not to travel, either because they’re scared, or because they’re not feeling well.
With the new US travel ban on Europe, I assume we’ll see even more waivers from US airlines.