Delta, United Permanently Eliminate International Change Fees

In August, United kicked off the no-change fee trend when it nixed change fees on all its domestic flights.

Delta plane
Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Delta Air Lines and United Airlines announced that they'll be permanently eliminating change fees for flights across the globe on Wednesday.

Delta will waive its $200 international change fee for any flight originating in the U.S., or between the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean going forward, including for codeshare flights, according to their announcement. Basic economy fares, however, are excluded.

The new policy comes months after the airline eliminated change fees for most ticket categories on flights within U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“No year has better demonstrated the value of flexibility than this one,” Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian said in a statement. “Our approach has always been to put people first, which is why we’re extending our current change fee waiver and making lasting changes to our practices, so customers have the trust and confidence they need long after the pandemic ends.”

Delta will still charge $75 for same-day standby, but the airline has extended its COVID-19 waiver, removing change fees for all domestic and international tickets purchased through March 30, 2021.

In a statement shared with Travel + Leisure, United Airlines announced that they will also be eliminating change fees for international flights going forward. For domestic flights, change fees will be eliminated until March 31, 2021. The decision was made, "recognizing that flexibility is more important to our customers than ever," the airline wrote.

In August, United kicked off the no-change fee trend when it nixed change fees on all its domestic flights. Several airlines followed in the days after.

Last month, American Airlines took it a step further, becoming the first U.S. carrier to do away with change fees for all long-haul international flights from North or South America for all ticket fares except basic economy. The airline has also eliminated the fee for domestic same-day standby.

“We are committed to making travel easier for our customers who fly on American,” American’s Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Raja said in a statement. “By eliminating change fees, we’re giving customers more flexibility no matter when or where they plan to travel.”

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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