With many people flying again, travelers are booking flights in advance to secure the best prices and departure times. Unfortunately, booking in advance can mean a last-minute scheduling conflict, including delays and surprise weather cancelations. Flying on an airline that doesn’t charge change fees can help you avoid additional travel costs should the unexpected occur.
Domestic Airline Change Fees
You are less likely to pay change fees for domestic flights within the United States if it’s not a same-day change. Passengers with elite airline status are more likely to get free same-day changes.
All passengers will pay the price difference if the new fare costs more than the original booking.
Generally, basic economy fares are non-changeable.
Alaska charges up to $50 for same-day confirmed changes but waives this fee for MVP Gold and 75K members.
The airline stopped charging fees for Main and First Class fares on May 1, 2021.
Same-day flight changes in the main cabin cost $75 for domestic, Canada or Caribbean service with American Airlines and up to $150 for select transatlantic routes. Business and first-class itineraries don’t incur these charges.
Voluntary changes before the departure day are waived for flights originating within North America or South America and most originating outside the Americas.
However, the fee can be up to $750 for non-qualifying international flights.
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines doesn’t charge change fees for domestic or international itineraries. However, a same-day confirmed incurs $75 to $500. Same-day changes are complimentary for Gold, Platinum and Diamond Medallion members.
Blue Basic fares from JetBlue are subject to a change fee. The fee is $100 for travel within the United States, Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. Then, the charge increases to $200 for travel outside these four regions.
JetBlue waives the standard change fee on other fare classes.
A same-day change fee of $75 can apply to fares except for Mosaic members and Blue Extra fares.
While Southwest Airlines no longer holds the distinction of being one of the only airlines without change fees, they still don’t charge a same-day confirmed fee like most competitors.
United Airlines is permanently waiving change fees for most economy and premium flights within these travel corridors:
- Within the U.S.
- Between the U.S. and Mexico or the Caribbean
- International flights originating in the United States
A same-day change fee applies but varies by route. Same-day changes are complimentary for MileagePlus Premier members.
You can avoid the dreadful change fee by booking a domestic airline’s standard economy or premium itinerary. Additionally, avoid same-day changes as this adjustment is only free for elite status members. Unfortunately, international carriers still charge change fees even when you seek to switch up your flight times well in advance.
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