Coronavirus: Is my airline waiving change fees?
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Editor’s note: This post is being continuously updated as new information becomes available.
Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in March, airlines around the world have had to make many changes to survive, including changes to their schedules, retiring aircraft early and sadly, letting go of staff.
However, many airlines have implemented positive changes when it comes to travellers wanting to change flight dates, times and, in some cases, even the destination of a flight. Most fees now won’t be charged, though a fare difference may still need to be paid, if applicable.
So, whether you booked a flight before the pandemic, since the start or if you’re thinking about booking future travel but aren’t sure, then look no further than this list for everything you need to know about the airlines you’re most likely to fly from the U.K.
Here are the latest waivers currently in place at select European airlines. This post will be regularly updated with new information. (Last update: 26 August 2020.)
Aer Lingus has waived fees for changes on all bookings when made before 31 December 2020. Customers will be expected to pay any fare difference that there may be at the time of rebooking.
You can visit Aer Lingus’ dedicated coronavirus page here.
For any new booking made on or before 21 April 2020, and your trip is scheduled before 31 August 2020, you can postpone your departure date without change fees, subject to availability of the same fare. Your new trip must begin no later than 30 November 2020. If your original trip was scheduled on or after 1 September, you can change your departure date without any change fee, but may have to pay a fare difference if applicable.
For tickets purchased on or after 22 April 2020, these can also be changed without a change fee, but there may be fare different charges depending on your chosen dates.
You can visit Air France’s dedicated coronavirus page here.
For those who no longer wish to fly, all passengers who purchased a ticket from 1 August to 30 September for flights departing until 31 July can change their flight departure date or destination to within one year of the original flight. A cancellation and full refund is possible, should that be in the fare conditions of the ticket.
The same can be said for those who purchased a ticket from 1 May to 31 July 2020 for travel until 31 July 2021, however, these passengers are also entitled to request a voucher should they wish.
Passengers booked on a MilleMiglia award ticket can request a change of reservation or choose to reclaim their miles and receive a refund of the airport taxes.
You can visit Alitalia’s dedicated coronavirus page here.
The airline has issued updated its Book With Confidence initiative, in which it is removing the change fee on all new flight and holiday package bookings made from 3 March to 30 September. This will cover journeys through until 31 August 2021. Any existing bookings that depart up until 31 August 2020 can also request to change the destination, date of travel or both without being charged a fee.
You can visit British Airways’ dedicated coronavirus page here.
As of Friday, 13 March, EasyJet is informing passengers who no longer wish to travel that they can change their plans. Ticketed passengers can now transfer their flights to alternative dates and/or an alternative destination without having to pay a change fee. Unfortunately, EasyJet is still making passengers pay any difference in fare. The waiver applies to new and existing bookings until further notice.
You can visit EasyJet’s dedicated coronavirus page here.
Passengers are permitted to change their booking made between 1 April and 31 August 2020. Changes must be made at least seven days before the departure date. The flight must be Finnair-operated and marketed.
Booking cancellations will adhere to the ticket rules of your original booking.
You can visit Finnair’s dedicated coronavirus page here.
Bookings made between 28 May and 31 August for travel until 31 December 2020 can be changed to any date, time, origin and/or destination for free, up to 15 days before travel. Date changes are permitted for travel up to and including 30 June 2021. Any difference in fare will be charged.
Tickets purchased with Avios and group reservations are not included.
You can visit Iberia’s dedicated coronavirus page here.
Passengers with booked travel can change their flight or request a voucher until 30 September 2020. If you want to rebook your flight, you must have a booked flight with a scheduled departure date until 31 August, you can change your travel dates without having to pay the change fee (until and including 30 November), change your destination without paying a change fee or request a voucher with one-year validity.
You can visit KLM’s dedicated coronavirus page here.
As per the airline’s announcement on Tuesday, all Lufthansa fares can now be rebooked free of charge an unlimited number of times.
However, charges may still be incurred if the same booking class is not available when changing to different date or destination.
You can visit Lufthansa’s dedicated coronavirus page here.
If your flight was cancelled, you can request a refund of your unused ticket or choose CashPoints and get an extra 20% that can be used for your next trip. There are some restrictions that apply to the offer, so it is best to read the terms and conditions to see if you’re eligible.
Alternatively, if you choose to cancel your booking, you can get CashPoints as a refund instead of cash or a voucher. However, if you want to change your booking, Norwegian’s current advice is to login to My Travels to find out more information. Changes to bookings may incur a cost depending on the type of ticket and when the booking was made.
You can visit Norwegian’s dedicated coronavirus page here.
For new flights booked until the end of September, Ryanair is giving passengers the right to change the date of travel with no fees. The new travel must, however, take place by 31 December 2020.
You can visit Ryanair’s dedicated coronavirus page here.
For tickets purchased between on or before 4 March, changes can be made without a fee on flights (excluding domestic flights in Norway) scheduled before 17 August, as long as it’s done seven days before departure. You can choose a new date up to 16 August 2021.
If you booked your ticket between 5 March and 30 June, you have until 30 November to change your booking without a fee to any date and time before 1 August 2021. Fare difference fees may be applicable. You may still pay the fare difference if the new ticket is more expensive.
The destination cannot be changed on any booking.
You can visit SAS’ dedicated coronavirus page here.
If you have a ticket originally issued for travel from 1 March 2020 up to and including 30 November 2020, you can rebook travel through 30 September 2022 but potential fare difference charges may apply. If you have a ticket issued between 1 March and 30 September 2020 for original travel dates between 1 December 2020 and 30 April 2021, you can rebook until 30 September 2022.
You can visit Virgin Atlantic’s dedicated coronavirus page here.
Featured photo by Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images.
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