Why it pays to book standard economy, post-COVID.

Update, August 2, 2021: Good news for Delta Airlines travelers. The company announced it would bring back its no change fee policy for its basic economy tickets through the end of the year, in light of recent developments around COVID variants.

You may have heard the news, but several major airlines recently announced that they ended the extension of their “no change fees” policies to basic economy customers on May 1, 2021. This change impacts customers who are considering booking basic economy tickets. Since roughly last summer, basic economy flights could be changed or rebooked without incurring a fee (saving these travelers around $200). Those changes could be made as late as the close of check-in.

But not anymore. Now, as travel returns and demand increases, players like American, Alaska, JetBlue and United have all ended their relief programs for basic economy passengers.

The good news is, that several of these airlines made their “no change fees” policies permanent for their other cabin classes. For travelers looking at United and American, they offer “no change fees” to anyone booking standard economy and above. Which may be all the reason you need to pay a little bit more for your flight, if it gives you the added benefit of flexibility. Luckily, we can help you make that decision. When you search for flights, we’ll show you what fare classes are available, allowing you to compare and decide if the price difference is worth the extra perks.

What if I already booked a basic economy flight?

As long as you booked your flight before May 1, you should still be able to enjoy the no change fees. This return to normal only impacts new bookings. But, just to be sure, definitely check your ticket confirmation and details on the airline’s site directly. It’s been a wild year, so it’s always best to double check.

Related
COVID-19 and hotels

What to know about COVID-19 and hotels

As you consider current and future travel plans, stay up-to-date on hotel providers’ change and cancellation policies.
KAYAK
What to know about COVID-19 and airlines

What to know about COVID-19 and airlines

As you consider current and future travel plans, stay up-to-date on flight providers’ change and cancellation policies.
KAYAK
COVID-19 and rental cars

What to know about COVID-19 and rental cars

As you consider current and future travel plans, stay up-to-date on rental car providers’ change and cancellation policies.
KAYAK
KAYAK News See all
Moonrise over Arizona Canyons

The Weekly Newsletter: October 28, 2021 edition

We might need a little something sweet. Much like the moon last week, this week’s newsletter is full… of stories....
KAYAK
The Weekly Newsletter: October 22, 2021 Edition

The Weekly Newsletter: October 22, 2021 Edition

Spooky things are in full swing. What’s scarier than getting stuck at security when your flight has started boarding? Finding...
KAYAK