Airline Miles, Hotel Points, News

Cancel / Change Policies for COVID-19 with US Airlines and Hotels (#coronavirus)

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They keep changing, so I’ll try to keep this up to date, but in each case I’ll link directly to the airline or hotel’s Coronavirus information page so you can double check the latest changes to policy.

Last updates:

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March 13: Marriott and Alaska updated

March 12: Updated Hilton and policies

March 9th: New Delta, United, AA, and Alaska policy (previously booked tickets) and updated Hyatt policy (offer for 10,000 points in lieu of refund on non-refundable rates).

March 5th – new JetBlue policy

Airline and Hotel Cancellation / Change Policies for COVID-19

The main thing to know is that, as it stands today, these policies are designed to get you to book new travel and are not designed to help you out on previously booked travel.

This page is current as of March 4th 2020.

What if you need to cancel and aren’t covered by a waiver policy?

If you do need to cancel a trip in the near term for Coronavirus and you don’t fall under stated cancellation policies, I recommend that you pick up the phone and plead your case.

While they don’t want to lose revenue, they also don’t want bad publicity or bad will over something like this.

Just remember the golden rules of calling:

1) Be nice. Always.

2) If the agent seems genuinely uninterested in helping or doesn’t seem experienced, say you have another call and then hang up and call again.

US Airlines: COVID-19 / Novel Coronavirus cancellation policies

Broken down airline by airline, with a link to the policy page.

American Airlines COVID-19 / Novel Coronavirus cancellation policy

Previously booked travel:

No change fee if you bought your ticket on or before March 10

If you’re traveling to / through / from:

All cities served by American

The change fee is waived if you:

  • Are traveling on an American Airlines flight
  • Bought your ticket by March 1, 2020
  • Are scheduled to travel March 10, 2020 – April 30, 2020
  • Can travel March 10, 2020 – December 31, 2020
  • Change your origin or destination city; difference in fare may apply
  • Rebook in the same cabin or pay the difference

Change your trip

If your trip is eligible, you can make a one-time change online. Here’s how:

  • Find your trip
  • If your trip is eligible, you’ll see the option to ‘change trip’ in the toolbar

Delay your trip

We’ll continue to waive change or cancellation fees if you:

  • Bought your ticket by March 1, 2020
  • Are scheduled to travel March 10, 2020 – April 30, 2020
  • Can travel March 10, 2020 – December 31, 2020 or within 1 year of date the ticket was issued
  • Wish to change your origin and destination cities

Changes must be:

Completed by December 31, 2020 or within 1 year of date the ticket was issued; difference in fare may apply

These changes can’t be made online – you must contact Reservations.

 

New travel: Book a new trip March 1 – March 16, 2020 and there is no change fee if your travel plans change. Changes must be made 14 days before your original departure date and other terms apply.

Additionally, there are a boatload of exceptions and waivers if you have previously booked travel to/from/through China, South Korea, or Hong Kong.  Generally you can change or even cancel for a full refund for any flights scheduled for earlier than April 24, 2020 for all of the above countries except Italy which seems to require a change rather than cancel (still, if you need to cancel, call them!).

Link to information page

 

Delta Air Lines COVID-19 / Novel Coronavirus cancellation policy

No Change Fees For All Tickets Purchased Between March 1-31, 2020


  • Affected Customers: All Tickets issued (domestic and international) between March 1, 2020 – March 31, 2020
  • Impacted Travel Date(s): March 1, 2020 – February 25, 2021
  • Ticket Can Be Changed One-Time To An Alternate Itinerary. Must Be Re-issued On/Before: February 28, 2021
  • Rebooked Travel Must Begin No Later Than: February 28, 2021

 

No Change Fees for All Delta Tickets Purchased on or before March 9, 2020


  • Affected Customers: All Tickets Issued on or before March 9, 2020
  • Impacted Travel Date(s): March 1, 2020 – April 30, 2020
  • New Ticket Must Be Re-issued On/Before: Dec 31, 2020
  • Rebooked Travel Must Begin No Later Than: Dec 31, 2020

Additionally, waived change fees beyond March as follows: 


  • Shanghai and Beijing, China – through April 30.
  • Seoul, South Korea – through April 30.
  • All locations in Italy, including Bologna, Milan, Rome, Turin and Venice – through April 30.

Link to information page

 

United Airlines COVID-19 / Novel Coronavirus cancellation policy

United matched Delta’s new retroactive ticket waiver policy, now allowing free changes on previously bought tickets with original travel dates of March 9th to April 30, 202o.

Tickets must be reissued by Dec. 20, 2020 and rebooked travel must commence within 12 months of the original ticket issue date. This is in addition to the flexible booking policies for new tickets.

When you book a new flight with United between March 3 and March 31, 2020, you can change it for free over the next 12 months.

For existing flights through the end of April to/from China, South Korea, and Hong Kong, you can get a refund depending on when you booked the flight (varying February cutoff dates).

Link to information page

 

Alaska Airlines COVID-19 / Novel Coronavirus cancellation policy

Existing tickets:

No change and cancellation fees for travel through April 30, 2020.

If you purchased a Saver fare for travel through April 30, 2020, you may:

  1. Cancel your trip and deposit the funds into your My Account wallet.

If you purchased a nonrefundable First Class, main, or award ticket for travel through March 31, 2020, you may:

  1. Change without fee. New travel must be completed by February 28, 2021. A fare difference may apply to your new itinerary.
  2. Cancel your trip and deposit the funds into My Account wallet.

 

New Tickets: 

If you purchase a Saver fare between February 27, 2020 and March 12, 2020 for travel through June 30, 2020, you may:

  1. Make a one-time change with no change fee. New travel must be completed by December 31, 2020. A fare difference may apply to your new itinerary.
  2. Cancel your trip and deposit the funds into My Account wallet.

Link to information page

 

Southwest Airlines COVID-19 / Novel Coronavirus cancellation policy

None needed as you can always cancel at any time and use the flight credit later. Cancel up to 10 minutes before departure.

 

JetBlue COVID-19 / Novel Coronavirus cancellation policy

Applies to bookings made 3/6-3/31 for travel through 9/8/20 across all fares (Blue, Blue Basic, Blue Plus, Blue Extra and Mint) and all JetBlue destinations. If you need to cancel your travel plans, we’ll credit the full amount as a JetBlue travel credit that’s valid for one year. Fare differences may apply for changes.

Link to information page

 

Spirit COVID-19 / Novel Coronavirus cancellation policy

None.

Frontier COVID-19 / Novel Coronavirus cancellation policy

None.

 

US Hotel Chains: COVID-19 / Novel Coronavirus cancellation policies

Broken down hotel chain by hotel chain, with a link to the policy page.

Marriott COVID-19 / Novel Coronavirus cancellation policy (March 13, 2020)

  • For guests with existing reservations for any future arrival date, including reservations with pre-paid rates that are typically more restrictive, we will allow full changes or cancellation without a charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival,* as long as the change or cancellation is made by April 30, 2020. Please note that any changes to existing reservations will be subject to availability and any rate differences.
  • For guests making new reservations for any future arrival date, including reservations with pre-paid rates, between today and April 30, 2020, we will allow the reservation to be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival date.* Please note that changes to the reservation will be subject to availability and any rate differences.

Hyatt COVID-19 / Novel Coronavirus cancellation policy

Hyatt is waiving cancellation fees for stays through March 31, 2020, for the following:

  • Guests residing in Greater China, South Korea, Japan and Italy with reservations at Hyatt hotels globally.
  • Guests with reservations at Hyatt hotels in Greater China, South Korea, Japan and Italy.

They are also extending elite status and club upgrade passes for an additional year for members residing in Asia Pacific region. This is automatic.

Updated March 9th: Hyatt will let you take 10,000 World of Hyatt pints in lieu of a refund on non-refundable rates booked prior to March 9th. Details on that specific offer are outlined by Traveling For Miles.

Link to Hyatt’s coronavirus information page

 

Hilton COVID-19 / Novel Coronavirus cancellation policy

Given these unique circumstances we are making additional adjustments to our individual booking policies to give you extra peace of mind:

  • Government Restrictions. In regions affected by government-issued travel restrictions, we will continue to waive change fees or offer full refunds. Please click here for the latest information on our travel waivers.
  • Existing Reservations. All reservations – even those described as “non-cancellable” (“Advanced Purchase”) – that are scheduled for arrival before April 30, 2020, can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival.
  • New Reservations. Any reservation you make – even those described as “non-cancellable” (“Advanced Purchase”) – that are booked between today and April 30, 2020, for any future arrival date, can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival.

Link to information page

 

IHG COVID-19 / Novel Coronavirus cancellation policy

We know that flexibility is what our guests are looking for right now. So, we are waiving cancellation fees for existing and new bookings at all IHG hotels globally for stays between March 9, 2020 and April 30, 2020.

This is in addition to existing cancellation policy measures we have in place, summarized below.

For any stay prior to March 9, 2020, existing measures mean that you will be able to change or cancel a valid booking reservation without financial penalty, if you are travelling to or from:

  • Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and the Taiwan region for any stay between January 23, 2020 and March 9, 2020.
  • Italy and South Korea for any stay between February 28, 2020 and March 9, 2020.

For bookings made through a travel agent or online booking platform (e.g. Booking.com, Expedia) please contact them directly – we have advised these companies of our cancellation policy and you should refer to their terms and conditions.

Link to information page

 

Have you had to change or cancel a trip because of coronavirus? Were you able to get an exception beyond stated policy?

Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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