How can I cancel my flight during corona virus outbreak?
Most Airlines charge up to $300 fees when travelers change or cancel flights, but many are waiving the cancellation fees in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Strategies to Get a Refund on a Non-Refundable Airfare. Priceline Trip Cancellation
Presently No restrictions have been placed on domestic travel, but health experts are urging people to think twice before boarding a flight.
“Crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase your risk of exposure to COVID-19, if there are other travelers with COVID-19” the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned
Airlines don’t make it easy for you to cancel a flight. Fully refundable flight tickets are often double or triple the price of regular economy fares, and sometimes even refundable tickets will have a cancellation fee.
Always read the fine print when booking your flight ticket, as cancellation policies can vary widely by airline and the fare class you’ve booked. Canceling a flight can be a very frustrating and expensive experience.
The vast majority of domestic and international airlines require you to pay to cancel or change flights even when you have paid for your ticket. Unfortunately, each airline has its own rules, making it very confusing.
Very few flyers buy Refundable tickets, it’s the business travelers whose schedules change more often require them as a risk mitigation; they also pay a premium for these first class tickets.
“If you’re concerned about the corona virus, your options for a flight ticket cancellation or refund may be limited, but as the situation continues to develop, airline refund policies are likely to change as the virus moves closer toward pandemic status.”
Airlines & tourism are bracing for a major slowdown as countries struggle to contain outbreaks and travel restrictions and airline cancellations reach new places.
If you’re simply canceling a trip because you’re worried about the corona virus, odds are you won’t be able to get a refund
The only travel insurance that can get you a refund in that scenario is when you pay extra for a ‘cancel for any reason‘ plan”
Cancel for any reason : Trip Insurance
“Cancel For Any Reason” Travel Insurance is an optional benefit that usually comes with an additional charge.
So, if you buy a airline ticket and can’t take the flight, how do you cancel it?
Free Cancellation within 24 hours of Booking
U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations state’s that if you buy a ticket for a flight to or from the United States, then you are entitled to a full refund on non-refundable tickets within 24 hours of booking as long as your flight is at least 7 days away, with no cancellation fee.
The airline need not be a US-based carrier; it simply has to be flying you to or from the US.
24-hour rule is only applicable when you book directly through the airline, but most online travel agency such as Priceline, have similar 24-hour cancellation policies.
Some top airlines like Delta, American Airlines, United and travel agencies have even more generous policies than what is required by DOT law.
Airlines Travel Waiver
Some airlines have issued travel waiver to certain countries like China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Italy.
Passengers who choose to cancel their flights won’t get a refund; instead, they can apply the value of their flight ticket to a new flight within a year.
Some airlines is offering you flexibility with your booking, and allow you to change your flight within a certain amount of time at no additional cost.
No change fees waiver policy now applies to many airlines!
COVID-19 Flight Waivers and Refund Policies by Airline
American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Southwest, JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Frontier, Spirit, Sun Country, Allegiant, International Carriers
How to get a refund on a economy ticket
Basic economy fares typically cannot be changed or canceled at all after the 24-hour grace period.
Special Circumstances Waiver
Under some special circumstances, you can get change and cancellation fees waived by most airlines.
If you experience the death of an immediate family member or your travel companion or have jury duty, you might qualify for the fee waiver.
Airline Schedule Changes
Use Airline schedule changes to your advantage. If your departure or arrival time is changed, you might be eligible for a free change or cancellation.
Which Credit Cards Have Trip Cancellation Insurance?
Credit Cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card have trip cancellation insurance that can help you recoup the cost of airline ticket if you or a family member become ill.
This insurance covers death, illness, bad weather, jury duty, and more.