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.