COVID-19 has put the future of several industries, including tourism and aviation, in a quandary. While many countries have resorted to the establishment of travel corridors as a way of resuming international travel and reviving the plummeted economy, experts predict that the road to recovery for these sectors is a very long and challenging one. In these circumstances, various airlines are revising their policies (besides implementing customer-friendly initiatives and safety measures) to provide more flexibility to their customers and thus encourage travelers to fly with them.
One such policy amendment was announced by United and American Airlines last week, according to which these two major US airlines will eliminate the change fee for long-haul international flights.
United Airlines, one of the major US airlines to have come up with the temporary waiver of change fee earlier this year (in view of the uncertainty of the COVID situation), has decided to permanently eliminate this change fee for most economy and premium cabin flight tickets when the travel is within the U.S., or between the U.S. and Mexico or the Caribbean.
American Airlines, which already canceled change fees on most domestic and short-haul international flights, has now scrapped change fees for long-haul international flights as well. But there’s a caveat: this change fee waiver is applicable if the passenger books first class, business class, premium economy, or main cabin tickets (except Basic Economy tickets) for international travel originating in North or South America.
Vasu Raja, American’s Chief Revenue Officer, said, “We are committed to making travel easier for our customers who fly on American. By eliminating change fees, we’re giving customers more flexibility no matter when or where they plan to travel.”
American Airlines has also permanently waived the service charge when a ticket is booked through reservations.