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Delta, American follow United, drop ticket change fee for domestic travel

Delta, American follow United, drop ticket change fee for domestic travel
© Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Delta Air Lines and American Airlines will both eliminate change fees for domestic travel, they announced Monday, as the transportation industry fights to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.

Delta said the elimination of change fees is effective immediately and includes all tickets for travel within the U.S., including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, with the exception of Basic Economy tickets.

American said its elimination is also effective immediately, excludes Basic Economy tickets and includes all travel within the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. 

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The announcements follow a similar move from United Airlines on Sunday. United CEO Scott Kirby said in a video that getting rid of the $200 change tee was a “top request" from customers.

“We’ve said before that we need to approach flexibility differently than this industry has in the past, and today’s announcement builds on that promise to ensure we’re offering industry-leading flexibility, space and care to our customers,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a statement. 

Delta also extend its waiver on change fees, including for international flights and Basic Economy fares, through the end of the year and will extend its expiration on travel credits through December 2022 for tickets booked before mid-April. The airline is also blocking middle seats through Jan. 6 as a COVID-19 protection measure.

American is extending its waiver on change fees on all tickets through the end of the year as well.

“By eliminating change fees, giving customers an opportunity to get where they want to go faster with free same-day standby on earlier flights and providing access to upgrades and seats for all fare types, we’re giving customers the freedom to make their own choices when traveling with American,” Vasu Raja, American chief revenue officer, said in a statement.