Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has continued to spread throughout the globe since originating in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019. To date, the virus has infected over 7 million people in more than 100 countries and killed over 400,000. The reverberations of the rapid spread are being felt throughout the global economy with an outsized impact on the travel industry. As companies have begun to proactively limit business travel to many regions of the world, airlines have reduced and suspended service to impacted regions.
For official government travel advisories placed on impacted countries, visit the State Department's website.
Airline Loyalty Status for U.S Carriers
Delta Air Lines: On 4/5, Delta became the first U.S. airline to extend elite status for all members through 2021. All MQMs earned in 2020 will be rolled over to 2021 to qualify for 2022 Medallion Status.
United Airlines: United has extended elite status for all members through January 31, 2022. The carrier has also announced that it will lower the PQP threshold for earning Premier status in 2021.
American Airlines: American has extended AA Advantage elite status through January 31, 2022. AA has also also lowered its EQM, EQS, and EQD qualifying thresholds for 2020. American has yet to announce any adjustments for earning elite status in 2021.
Canceling bookings Made Through WhereTo
As always, any flight booked on a US carrier on WhereTo can be canceled without penalty within 24 hours of booking. To cancel a flight in WhereTo, you can either reach out to an agent via chat, phone, or email or by simply clicking the 'cancel' button on your reservation in 'My Trips.'
Flight waivers for US carriers
If you have booked travel or plan to book travel in the coming weeks, please see below for the latest developments from your carrier.
Alaska is waiving change and cancellation fees on all flights for travel booked between February 27th and March 31st for all travel through May 31, 2022.
Tickets must be changed or canceled prior to the departure of your original flight. Fare differences may apply. Visit alaskaair.com for further details.
If you purchased a nonrefundable First Class, main, or award ticket for travel that falls within one of Alaska's flexible travel policies, you may change without fee or, cancel your trip and deposit the funds into your My Account wallet or credit certificate via email.
American has issued a blanket waiver that lifts change fees for any flights booked between March 1 and March 31. For flights booked between March 1 and March 31, change fees will be waived so long as the change is made within 14 days of travel. The following location specific waivers remain in effect:
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines has issued a blanket waiver that lifts change fees for all itineraries booked between March 1 and June 30, 2020 to any destination. This waiver includes both domestic and international flights for travel between March 1, 2020 and February 25, 2021. Rebooked travel must begin no later than March 12, 2021. The following location-specific waivers remain in effect:
Italy: Travelers may be eligible for a one-time fee-free trip change or cancellation. The waiver covers travel on flights from February 25 through March 15. Altered travel must be booked by March 15 and must begin by April 3.
China and South Korea: Travelers may be eligible for a one-time fee-free trip change or cancellation. The waiver covers travel on flights from January 24 through April 30. Altered travel must be booked and begin by May 31.
Europe: Delta has waived change fees for customers traveling to, from, or through Europe and the United States through May 31.
If travelers choose to cancel their tickets, they may apply any unused value of that ticket toward the purchase of a new ticket for a period of one year from the original issue date.
JetBlue is waiving change and cancelation fees for all new bookings between March 6 and June 30. Customers who cancel their flights will be reimbursed via a JetBlue Travel Bank Credit, valid for one year from date of issuance
JetBlue is still waiving change and cancellation fees on flights booked between February 27 and March 11 for travel through June 1, 2020.
Southwest Airlines does not charge customers a fee to change or cancel their flight. When plans change, customers may apply the value of their original fare to a future flight – so long as the flight is cancelled at least 10 minutes prior to departure time. The funds are valid for future travel up to one year from the original purchase date and must be used by the individual whose name is on the original ticket.
In light of the extraordinary challenges faced by airlines and travelers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Southwest has extended the expiration dates of some travel funds:
Customers’ funds that have expired or will expire between March 1 - May 31, 2020, will now expire June 30, 2021
Any newly created travel fund because of a flight cancellation between March 1 - May 31, 2020, will have an expiration date of June 30, 2021
United Airlines is waiving change fees for flights booked between March 3 and June 30. Updated travel must take place within 12 months of the originally booked travel dates and a difference in fare will still apply. Any cancellations will be reimbursed via a travel credit for the original value of the ticket and will be valid for 12 months from the original ticket date. Additionally, the following location-specific waivers are also in effect:
Italy: Travelers may be eligible for a one-time fee-free trip change for travel to or from cities in northern Italy. The waiver covers flights booked by Feb. 26, for travel from Feb. 27 through April 30. Altered travel must completed within one year of the original ticket dates.
China (Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai): Travelers may be eligible for a one-time fee-free trip change or cancellation. The waiver covers flights booked by Feb. 12, for travel from Jan. 24 through April 30. Wholly rescheduled travel must completed within one year of the original ticket dates.
Hotel Waiver Information
Hyatt is waiving cancellation fees for stays through March 31 for guests residing in the Greater China region, South Korea, Japan and Italy with reservations at Hyatt hotels, and for guests with reservations at Hyatt hotels in those affected countries and regions.
World of Hyatt is also offering members residing in the Asia-Pacific region tier status and benefit extensions, and is working to evaluate tier status and benefit extensions for traveler who frequently visit this region.
Marriott is waiving cancellation fees for hotel stays through March 31 for guests traveling to or from the following locations:
Asia Pacific: Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, French Polynesia