American and Delta followed the example of the United, stating that they will not refund fees for changes in domestic tariffs, except for the basic economy class tariffs.
Announcements made a few minutes apart on Monday afternoon followed a similar United announcement made the day before.
American, however, goes beyond its Big Three competitors, also announcing the long-term elimination of transfer fees for flights to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, all three carriers were charged $200 for any changes to the route, unless passengers paid a change ticket premium. The airlines suspended these fees at the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, but until now the suspension had been planned as a temporary one.
Getting rid of the fees may cost the airlines a lot. According to the Bureau of Transport Statistics, in 2019, the main U.S. carriers have earned 2.84 billion dollars in fees. For change and cancellation of flights. Delta brought 830 million dollars, American – 819 million dollars, and United – 625 million dollars.
Before the pandemic
Before the pandemic, Southwest was the only major carrier in the United States that did not charge for change.
Under the policy announced by the United on Sunday, passengers who make changes will receive a one-year voucher. If the voucher is used at a fare that is cheaper than the original fare. The buyer will lose the difference in value.
On Monday, American said that its policy will be more customer-friendly. Pilots who buy a less expensive flight after connecting will keep the balance as a credit for a future trip.
Company Delta did not specify what will be its policy on the vouchers.
American also said that from October 1, it will waive its reservation fee of $75 the same day.
In addition, later in the fall, the carrier will offer upgrade privileges and access to preferred seats in the main cabin and additional seats in the main cabin for the first time to AAdvantage Elite members traveling with Basic Economy Class tickets.
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