Following are the current 2019 cancellation and fare hold rules for each US airline offering flights to Hawaii. Keep these in mind before you buy your flights to Hawaii, just in case, and you might save yourself up to $200 in airline change fees or more.
1. Airlines are required by law to provide a complete refund on tickets within 24 hours of purchase, for any reason. That applies to all reservations made seven days or more prior to the flight’s scheduled departure time. Otherwise, there is only one airline that is completely without change fees, and that is Southwest Airlines.
2. Keep in mind that every airline will assess charges for differences in fares, when applicable. That means that if you snagged Cheap Flights to Hawaii one day, and try to change them when fares are higher, you could stand to pay a substantial difference in price. Again, that’s true regardless of which airline you are flying.
3. All airlines do offer refundable tickets. That having been said, the prices of those are so stratospheric that it may not even be worth mentioning.
4. Before you buy basic economy, know what you’re getting. Read our guide to basic economy to Hawaii.
5. Sometimes you just need to cancel, due to work, health or other issues. See how we saved over $600 using travel insurance.
Alaska Airlines: With basic economy, there are no changes allowed. With regular economy, unless you have status with Alaska, you will be charged $125 per person, per change, in addition to any difference in fare. If the change is for another flight on the same day, the fee is $50, instead of $125.
American Airlines: With basic economy, there are no changes allowed. With regular economy, a change fee of $200 ($75 for same day) applies in addition to any difference in fare. American also offers a 3, 5, 7 day extended hold for a non-refundable fee.
Delta Airlines: With basic economy, there are no changes allowed. With regular economy, a $200 change fee and any difference is airfare applies.
Hawaiian Airlines: Trans-Pacific, a $200 per person change fee applies, in addition to any difference in fare. Within Hawaii, a $30 change fee, in addition to fare difference applies. A 3 and 7 day fare hold is available for an additional, non-refundable fee. Hawaiian is poised to introduce Main Cabin Basic economy later this year, which will likely offer no changes.
Southwest Airlines: Southwest charges no change fees. You can change flights as frequently as you’d like, and you will only be charged the current available price for the new ticket. If the price drops from what you previously paid, you’ll receive a credit. Should you need to cancel your flight, you will receive 100% of the price paid as a credit towards future travel. Travel credits expire one year from booking date.
United Airlines: With basic economy, there are no changes allowed. A $200 per person change fee ($75 for same day), in addition to any difference in fare applies. Also 3 and 7 day fare lock for a non-refundable fee is available.
Have you used the free 24 hour cancellation or the extended hold options or gotten stuck with the up to $200 change fees?