American One-Ups and Delta Partially Follows United in Eliminating Change Fees

by Zoe

One day after United “permanently” eliminated change fees on US, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands itineraries, both American and Delta have matched to some extent.

American One-Ups and Delta Partially Matches

Delta has eliminated the fees on US, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Island tickets while American has eliminated fees to the US, Canada, Mexico, and all of the Caribbean. Better yet, any fare savings on a changed American flight will be credited back to the traveler via a voucher! American is also making same-day standby free to all customers and improving and removing Basic Economy restrictions.

American Airlines – No Change Fees, Standby for Free, Vouchers for Fare Differences

  • No more change fees. Change fees for all domestic and short-haul international flying on Premium Cabin fares and most Main Cabin fares will be eliminated.
  • Fly standby for free. All customers will have the ability to fly standby on earlier flights for the same destination on the same day at no charge starting Oct. 1, 2020.
  • More to Basic Economy. Basic Economy fares include the ability to tailor your travel experience including upgrades, Preferred and Main Cabin Extra seats, priority boarding and same-day flight changes.
  • Same AAdvantage® benefits, no matter the fare. AAdvantage® elite members will be able to apply their current travel benefits on all tickets, including when purchasing a Basic Economy fare.

No more change fees

Effective immediately, American will eliminate all change fees for First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy and Main Cabin tickets for all domestic and short-haul international flying.

No change fee applies with the following locations and cabins:

You’re flying to… And you’re flying in…
  • Any of the 50 U.S. states
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Caribbean
  • Puerto Rico
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Main Cabin (except Basic Economy)
  • Premium Economy
  • Business Class
  • First Class

American will also allow customers to keep the full value of their original tickets if they change their travel plans prior to the scheduled travel. Although customers will have to pay the fare difference for a new flight, customers will not lose their ticket value if the new flight is less expensive. For example, if a customer paid $500 for their flight and change to a flight that costs $300, American will give the customer a $200 voucher to use for a future trip.

The new change fee policy applies to AAdvantage® award tickets as well.

Fly standby on the same day for free

Starting Oct. 1, 2020, all customers will have the ability to stand by on flights on the same day as their original departure for the same destination at no charge. This flexibility extends to domestic and international travel, regardless of the ticket purchased.

More to Basic Economy

American is enhancing Basic Economy fares, keeping the same competitive low price, but now allowing customers to purchase products to enhance their travel experience. Customers who purchase Basic Economy tickets on Oct. 1, 2020, and beyond will be able to purchase:

  • Upgrades
  • Priority boarding
  • Preferred/Main Cabin Extra seats
  • Same-day confirmed flight changes

As a reminder, American allows one personal item and one carry-on item for customers traveling on a Basic Economy ticket.

Same AAdvantage® benefits during your journey, no matter the fare

Later this fall, members who have achieved Elite status with the AAdvantage® program will receive the benefits they’re accustomed to no matter the ticket they purchase. In addition to enjoying Priority Access/Preferred Boarding, elite members who purchase a Basic Economy fare will now be able to access their:

  • Upgrade privileges.
  • Elite seat privileges, including access to Main Cabin Preferred and Main Cabin Extra seats.
  • Same-day confirmed flight change benefit.

Effective Jan. 1, 2021, Basic Economy tickets will no longer earn elite qualifying dollars, miles or segments toward future status.

Giving customers additional flexibility the rest of the year

In addition, American is also providing customers additional flexibility by extending its offer to waive change fees for customers booking tickets for any new travel purchased by Dec. 31, 2020. This offer applies to tickets that meet the following criteria.

  • Any First, Business, Premium Economy, Main Cabin, or Basic Economy ticket purchased on or before Dec. 31, 2020, for future travel will not incur change fees prior to travel. Customers must pay any fare difference, if applicable, and fare rules may apply depending on the ticket.
  • All AAdvantage® award tickets are included in this offer.
  • Customers are allowed to change their origin and destination cities as part of this offer.

Delta – No Change Fees

The elimination of change fees is effective immediately and includes tickets purchased for travel within the domestic U.S., Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands in Delta’s First Class, Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort+ and Main Cabin, with the exception of Basic Economy tickets.

Additionally, Delta will extend its waiver on change fees for newly purchased flights, including international flights and Basic Economy fares, through the end of the year and will extend its expiration on travel credits through December 2022 for tickets booked before April 17, 2020.

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1 comment

Mike August 31, 2020 - 6:59 pm

No change fees but what about cancelation fees?
If I cancel a $500 ticket, will I get a $500 voucher/funds for any future flighrts?


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