Multiple US airlines ditch change fees on domestic flights, bring back flying standby


Posted on: August 31st, 2020 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/YacobchukOlenaBY: AMANDA MAILE and MINA KAJI, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — Multiple U.S. airlines are getting rid of change fees in an effort to entice passengers to purchase tickets.

This comes as travel remains stunted amid the coronavirus pandemic.

United Airlines announced Sunday it will “permanently” get rid of change fees on all standard Economy and Premium cabin tickets for travel within the United States.

“Change is inevitable these days — but it’s how we respond to it that matters most. When we hear from customers about where we can improve, getting rid of fees is often the top request,” United CEO Scott Kirby said in a video to customers.

Delta Air Lines and American Airlines also announced policy changes Monday.

Delta said it is eliminating change fees on all tickets purchased for travel within the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands — with the exception of Basic Economy Tickets. American said it will do away with change fees for all domestic and short-haul international flights on Premium Cabin fares and most Main Cabin fares.

“We want our customers to book and travel with peace of mind, knowing that we’ll continue evaluating our policies to maintain the high standard of flexibility they expect,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a press release.

Southwest Airlines does not charge change fees — a policy the carrier has had in place for years.

In addition to axing change fees, some carriers say they will also allow customers to fly standby for free.

Starting next year, United said it will allow its customers to fly standby on the same day of travel without a fee. American will do the same beginning in October.

ABC News Transportation correspondent Gio Benitez contributed to this report

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