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United, Delta and American Airlines will no longer charge change fees

Plus: Delta is installing hand sanitizers on board.

By
Anna Ben Yehuda
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Today's travel news is super exciting: the three major airlines in the United States have officially announced that they will be getting rid of change fees. United was the first company to make the decision public. Delta and American Airlines rapidly followed suit.

Although a burden to fliers across the country, the charges—which can run up to $200 per person per flight—have been a huge source of revenue for each airline. According to the the US Department of Transportation, "Delta collected $830 million in ticket cancellation and change fees last year, American $819 million and United $625 million."

Back in March, at the beginning of the pandemic, all three airlines announced they'd temporarily wave change fees. The move is now permanent, applying to standard economy and premium cabin tickets on United flights within the United States. 

Delta's decision is also "effective immediately and includes tickets purchased for travel within the domestic U.S., Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands" across all cabins except for the Basic Economy section, according to an official press release.

American Airlines, on the other hand, will no longer burden travelers with change fees on domestic and short-haul international flights on Premium cabin fares and most Main cabin ones.

Interestingly enough, low-cost Southwest Airlines never actually charged change fees on any tickets.

In other non-fees-related news: Delta officially became the first airline to install on-board hand sanitizing stations. Fliers can expect up to five Purell dispensers per flight (depending on the size of the plane you're in) near bathrooms and boarding doors. We're living in a new world indeed.

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