Need to change air travel plans due to COVID-19? What you need to know plus links to major airlines

The global Coronavirus pandemic has affected the way we live, including air travel.

As a result of the fast-spreading virus, also known as COVID-19, changing company travel policies and cancelled events and conferences, many airlines have waived their ticket change and cancelation fees for customers. Such policies differ from airline to airline, so make sure you check. (If an airline cancels your flight, you are eligible for a cash refund.)

Here are direct links to the COVID-19 policies for major U.S. airlines:

  • Southwest Airlines (Southwest’s usual policy is to never charge a fee to change or cancel a flight within at least 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time.)

Here are direct links to the COVID-19 policies of several international airlines:

  • EasyJet (It’s free to change or cancel a flight online, but customers will be charged 5 pounds, or slightly over $6, to do so by phone.)
  • Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Swiss, Brussels Airlines, Air Dolomiti)

In addition, travel companies, including AirBnB, Hotels.com, Orbitz and TripAdvisor, also have instituted flexible policies with no change or cancellation fees.

If you have questions about upcoming domestic or international flights, visit your airline’s website or the site through which you bought your ticket. Airlines and travel companies have posted information and instructions on their websites.

You can call your airline, but you may have to wait hours to speak to someone. In fact, today some airlines, such as British Airways, Delta and Lufthansa Group, are asking travelers no scheduled to travel within the next 72 hours to wait and contact them closer to their travel date so the airline can focus on “customers with immediate travel needs” and those affected by travel restrictions from Europe to the United States.

For the latest health information about COVID-19, got to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.