Master Chart Of US Airlines’ Change Fee Waivers

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United shocked the airline industry when they announced they would permanently eliminate change fees on domestic flights.

Of course given that United sold lifetime Club Membershipslifetime Silver Wings Memberships, and awarded lifetime million miler benefits which they didn’t honor as promised, I’ll take “permanently” with a huge grain of salt. The change will last as long as they want it to last, and not a day longer.

But part of the strategy is to get more people to buy up from basic economy fares to standard economy fares, as basic economy fares are excluded from the free changes. If that’s successful then the change may indeed stick around.

Of course Southwest never charges change fees, never expires refunds the residual value when switching to a less expensive flight, and they don’t sell basic economy fares. Even with the competition eliminating some fees, Southwest is still a step ahead of everyone else.

Southwest credits also no longer expire, while most other airlines expire after 12 months.

At any rate, each of the airlines’ policies have many nuances, so I’ve collected them in the chart below for comparison sake. Of course these are all subject to change, but this is how things stand now.

Ticket typeAlaskaAmericanDeltaHawaiianJetBlueUnited
Paid basic economy worldwideChanges not allowed, carry-on bags are free.Changes not allowed, carry-on bags are free.
Upgrades and elite seating allowed.
Changes cost $99 within North and Central America, $199 elsewhere. Carry-on bags are free.Changes not allowed, carry-on bags are free.Changes cost $100 within North and Central America, $200 elsewhere.
Overhead carry-on bag not allowed unless you have Mosaic status.
Changes cost $99 within North and Central America, $199 elsewhere. Overhead carry-on bag not allowed unless you have elite status or ticket paid with your United card.
Award tickets in basic economy worldwideAirline doesn't sell basic economy awards.Airline doesn't sell basic economy awards.Basic economy award tickets are not changeable.Airline doesn't sell basic economy awards.Airline doesn't sell basic economy awards.Airline doesn't sell basic economy awards.
Paid tickets in the USNo change fees. Airfare will be converted to Travel Wallet funds for use by anyone within 12 monthsNo change fees.
Flight credit issued to traveler for residual value when making a change to a less expensive flight.
No change fees.
Flight credit issued to traveler for residual value when making a change to a less expensive flight.
No change fees.
You will lose residual value when making a change to a less expensive flight.
No change fees. Airfare will be converted to Travel Bank funds for use by anyone within 12 monthsNo change fees.
Flight credit issued to traveler for residual value when making a change to a less expensive flight.
Award tickets in the USNo change or redeposit fees, taxes will be refunded.No change or redeposit fees, taxes will be refunded.No change or redeposit fees, taxes will be refunded.No change or redeposit fees, taxes will be refunded.No change or redeposit fees, but taxes will be converted to Travel Bank funds instead of refunded.No change fees. Redeposit fees waived if cancelled 30+ days before departure. Taxes will be refunded.
Paid tickets to CanadaNo change fees. Airfare will be converted to Travel Wallet funds for use by anyone within 12 monthsNo change fees.
Flight credit issued to traveler for residual value when making a change to a less expensive flight.
No change fees.
Flight credit issued to traveler for residual value when making a change to a less expensive flight.
Hawaiian doesn't fly to Canada.No change or redeposit fees, but taxes will be converted to Travel Bank funds instead of refunded.No change fees.
Flight credit issued to traveler for residual value when making a change to a less expensive flight.
Award tickets to CanadaNo change or redeposit fees, taxes will be refunded.No change or redeposit fees, taxes will be refunded.No change or redeposit fees, taxes will be refunded.Hawaiian doesn't fly to Canada.No change or redeposit fees, but taxes will be converted to Travel Bank funds instead of refunded.No change fees if travel originates in the USA.
Redeposit fees waived if travel originates in the USA and if cancelled 30+ days before departure. Taxes will be refunded.
Paid tickets to Mexico or CaribbeanNo change fees. Airfare will be converted to Travel Wallet funds for use by anyone within 12 monthsNo change fees.
Flight credit issued to traveler for residual value when making a change to a less expensive flight.
No change fees.
Flight credit issued to traveler for residual value when making a change to a less expensive flight.
Hawaiian doesn't fly to Mexico or the Caribbean.No change fees. Airfare will be converted to Travel Bank funds for use within 12 monthsNo change fees.
Flight credit issued to traveler for residual value when making a change to a less expensive flight.
Award tickets to Mexico or CaribbeanNo change or redeposit fees, taxes will be refunded.No change or redeposit fees, taxes will be refunded.No change or redeposit fees, taxes will be refunded.Hawaiian doesn't fly to Mexico or the Caribbean.No change or redeposit fees, but taxes will be converted to Travel Bank funds instead of refunded.No change fees if travel originates in the USA.
Redeposit fees waived if travel originates in the USA and if cancelled 30+ days before departure. Taxes will be refunded.
Paid tickets elsewhere in the worldNo change fees. Airfare will be converted to Travel Wallet funds for use by anyone within 12 monthsNo change fees if travel originates in North or South America.
Flight credit issued to traveler for residual value when making a change to a less expensive flight.
No change fees if travel originates in North America.
Flight credit issued to traveler for residual value when making a change to a less expensive flight.
No change fees.
You will lose residual value when making a change to a less expensive flight.
No change fees. Airfare will be converted to Travel Bank funds for use within 12 monthsNo change fees if travel originates in the USA.
Redeposit fees waived if travel originates in the USA and if cancelled 30+ days before departure. Taxes will be refunded.
Award tickets elsewhere in the worldNo change or redeposit fees, taxes will be refunded.No change or redeposit fees, taxes will be refunded.No change or redeposit fees if travel originates in North America, taxes will be refunded.No change or redeposit fees, taxes will be refunded.No change or redeposit fees, but taxes will be converted to Travel Bank funds instead of refunded.No change fees if travel originates in the USA.
Redeposit fees waived if travel originates in the USA and if cancelled 30+ days before departure. Taxes will be refunded.
Standby Fees WorldwideRegular standby fees apply.No fees on paid, basic economy, and award tickets.No fees on paid and award tickets if seats aren't available on desired flight. If seat opens after waitlisting then the change is free. Not valid in basic economy or if confirmed $75 seats are available.Regular standby fees apply.Regular standby fees apply.No fees on paid, basic economy, and award tickets.

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8 Comments On "Master Chart Of US Airlines’ Change Fee Waivers"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

Hvaces42

Now if only we could get AC to match. They just reinstituted their award ticket change fee structure .

Shia

Never knew that you can cancel a paid ticket and get a full refund on united to anywhere in the world just like an award.

Would the workaround that works on awards redeposit less then 30 days , work on Paid tickets as well ?

Actually by redeposit on a paid ticket you mean to get a refund or a credit voucher?

Baruch

What’s the fees for united award tickets if it doesn’t originate from the usa?
Thanks
Baruch

bjd

Is there a workaround to take advantage of a United fare drop on a ticket booked by a TA?

Mo2

Is Delta US Basic Economy Award tickets in the US the same as worldwide?

Flame

nicely done. sw column would be great too.

renter

Hey Dan thanks for the post! I booked jet blue domestic and had wanted to cancel/change and they didn’t want to give me a travel bank credit is there anything to do?

Eliraps

Request to please make a list of some non US airlines. Virgin, British, AC, Elal, Air France etc

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