COVID-19, which you might be more familiar with as coronavirus, is causing a lot of disruption to the travel industry right now. In the wake of COVID-19’s unpredictable spread, the demand for travel insurance has spiked as travelers try to safeguard against unforeseen circumstances that might throw a wrench in their travel plans.
But even if you recently booked a trip and opted out of insurance, don’t fret. Numerous sectors of the industry, including airlines, cruise lines, and some hospitality companies, are adjusting their booking and cancellation policies to accommodate wary travelers. Here are the latest updates.
If you want to cancel or change a flight, or aren’t sure if you should book future travel
Several major airlines are waiving change and cancellation fees for recently booked flights, as well as offering flexible booking policies for upcoming travel. Most of these policies apply to both international and domestic flights, and not just those heading to restricted areas.
For example, if you booked with JetBlue between February 27 and March 11, you can cancel or change your flight for free, as long as it’s scheduled to depart before June 1. Other airlines like Air France, British Airways, and United Airlines are waiving change fees provided you rebook for a future date, usually within the next 12 months. The exact dates and specifications vary greatly by airline, so be sure to call the airline directly, or get the full scoop here.
MORE: Here’s the full breakdown of modified change/cancellation policies by airline
With these lenient policies in place, March is actually a surprisingly good time to book flights. You can book now with the confidence that if you need to cancel later, you’ll be able to do so without the usual red tape. Right now, for example, if you book a flight with Delta Airlines before March 31, you can change and rebook as late as February 25, 2021 without a fee.