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PSA: Airlines end flexible travel waivers

Many U.S. airlines have ended flexible travel waivers that allowed travelers to change or cancel flights at no cost during the coronavirus pandemic.

As travel The Points Guy explains:

In April, American Airlines became the first to retire its global travel waiver, and just one month later, three of its largest competitors are pulling the plug as well.

On May 1, Alaska, Delta and United all let their flexible travel waivers expire, restoring many of the most punitive restrictions to basic economy fares. Going forward, all newly purchased basic economy tickets on the aforementioned carriers will return to being non-changeable and non-refundable.

Tickets purchased before the travel waiver expired should still have the added flexibility.

Among U.S. airlines, JetBlue is the lone holdout, as its coronavirus travel waiver doesn’t expire until the end of May. Southwest also doesn’t charge change fees on any reservations — a policy that existed long before the pandemic.

As you plan travel for the upcoming months, make sure to review the terms and conditions of your fare class, and be prepared for inflexible itineraries if you book the cheapest tickets.

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