Updated: More Airlines Extend Hawaii Travel Waivers Through 2021

Updated with changes as of 11am, 5/9/20. See new waivers added by American and United. Interesting signs of the times, as airlines have begun to posture for your future trips to Hawaii. While these offers are not overly broad and generous “yet” for many of us, there is definitely a pro-consumer trend afoot that is just getting started. Sadly, this portends travel being slower to rebound than the airlines would like.

The offers below are related to both fee waivers on changes, and to extending premium status and companion certificates to airlines’ most loyal customers. Even if you don’t think these apply to you, they are definitely noteworthy.

Airlines flying to Hawaii are recognizing that in light of the current unknowns in relation to both health and finances, they will need to help people who wish to move Hawaii vacations into a time period further afield, that is through 2021. We expect to be hearing a lot more about this in the days ahead and believe even more flexibility is on the horizon when changing Hawaii vacations from 2020 until 2021.

It is for these reasons that we continue to suggest waiting on changing vacation plans if you have the flexibility to do so. Two suggested reads about that are DOT: Hawaii Airlines – Refunds Mandatory – But Read This First and DOT Responds to Beat of Hawaii on Cancellations + How to Negotiate.

1. Alaska will be extending elite status through December 31, 2021. Also, if you have an Alaska companion certificate due to expire in 2020, it will be valid for travel through November 26, 2021 when purchased by December 31, 2020. Thus far, in terms of their fee waivers, if you have travel scheduled through May, Alaska indicates new travel must be completed by February 28, 2021.

2. American Airlines has updated their waivers. “American has extended its offer to waive change fees for customers who have summer travel through Sept. 30, 2020. The offer is available for any of American’s fares, and customers will have until Dec. 31, 2021, for future travel.”

2. Hawaiian is now offering an extension of ticket validity through December 31, 2021, under certain circumstances. See their website for the details of travel booked through May. Tickets must be changed by December 31, 2020 or one year from the original ticket purchase date (whichever is later), and, “If the ticket expiration date occurs prior to December 31, 2020, a one-time exchange (without charge) can be applied to extend the ticket validity another 12 months,” through December 31, 2021.

3. Delta is extending ticket validity and change fee waivers. “Tickets normally expire one year after purchase, but we’re providing waived change fees and greater flexibility to travel through May 31, 2022.” Delta is also extending elite status through January 31, 2022. There are no flight requirements in 2020 to keep your status.

4. Southwest has extended validity of customers’ funds set to expire by June 30, 2020 or those for flights from March 1 through June 30 until June 30, 2021.

4. United has just updated their fee waivers.  “customers now have until April 30 to make changes to, or cancel, any travel they have booked through the end of the year without fees. This is in addition to existing waivers already in place which allow customers to change or cancel plans for travel through May 31. United is also extending premier status through January 31, 2022. That is an additional full year. They have also cut the premier qualification requirements in half.

We expect to see this trend continue. Any comments? Mahalo.

53 thoughts on “Updated: More Airlines Extend Hawaii Travel Waivers Through 2021”

  1. Hello-
    Like others who had plans to vacation in Hawaii (& celebrate our anniversary), this robbed us of such happiness. Now I’m left feeling robbed again. All I ask for is a refund on a trip that is no longer possible and some economic relief. My husband and I were to stay in Hawaii May 23-31 but because of this, Hawaii has extended its “stay at home” order until the end of May, and travelers are required to quar antine for 14 days anyways. Can someone please issue us a refund on what is obviously a ruined anniversary & vacation to boot & perhaps show us sone empathy 🙁

    Thank you

    1. Hi Sabrina.

      Have you contacted the airline or other providers and/or your credit card company for help?


      1. Yes- BECU said to talk with Visa, Visa said to call BECU. I contacted Hawaiian Air and they offered credit on the flight as long as I fly this year… and since thats unlikely I wont get a flight but they keep my money 🙁 Not cool. I really feel I should get a full refund & book my vacation “package” when the world has decided our travel fate, whenever that may be. It seems only fair since who knows when travel will be deemed safe again. Hawaiian should be doing right by their customers.

  2. Hawaii Air Update – I just texted back and forth with Hawaii Air. We have two round trip, nonstop HA tickets to / from LAX to Lihue (flights HA63 and HA64) on May 9 and May 23. I was told our flights are still “on schedule”. We have already cancelled our hotel reservations at the Sheraton Kauai (Poipu) and Princeville Westin (both are closed). I guess we just have to wait until Hawaii Air decides to cancel our flights. Can you find anything out? Aloha.

    1. Hi Tom.

      Concur you’ll have to wait unfortunately. This is an industry-wide issue in which many billions in refunds are being held up, that has been written about extensively. Thank you for your comments over the past year.


  3. Hi, we have purchased tickets through Expedia TD to travel between islands from KOA to OGG for April 24 2020.These tickets were cancelled with Expedia but they tell me my credit is only good until the end of Dec 2020. Is there anyway we can get that credit for longer please. We so want to come to Hawaii just not sure when travel will be possible.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Patricia.

      It would be up to Expedia since they are your vendor. Not sure, but somewhat doubtful unfortunately.


      1. Expedia tells me that it’s up to the airlines themselves. Other airlines are giving at least a year from the time of the booking.


        1. Hi Patricia.

          It is definitely tricky with OTA reservations. Sorry to hear you’re having this problem.


  4. Hello,

    Any input from you would be very welcome. I am supposed to fly to Hawaii in HA June first. And am getting very nervous. I would like to schedule for June 2021 and am not asking HA for a refund but a waiver. I have spoken to them via chat/text and a call and they will not budge on extending their waiver one day. Do you have any insights as to if travel will even be allowed in June? Thank you for your response.

    1. Hi Jennifer.

      We do not have insight but we sense that early in May we will know more. Since HA isn’t dealing with June yet, it isn’t surprising that they aren’t offering flexibility. That could change, so stand by for more.


      1. Aloha! We are following the situation in Hawaii thru a variety of digital sources, however Beat of Hawaii is our go-to for travel information. The latest update on our travels plans is American dropping our DFW-HNL flight with their lastest schedule changes on 4/5. I was able to connect rather easily with reservations, had our tickets canceled, and submitted for refund. They utilized the full seven day processing period they said it may take. I received email confirmation this morning the refund has been processed, approved, and going back to my credit card. We are still hopeful that June might be possible thou we would just spend the month on Oahu, with no island hopping. Mahalo for all fact gathering!

        1. Hi Al.

          Thanks for the nice words and the update! Glad things worked out to your satisfaction.


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