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United Airlines and Delta will eliminate change fees on tickets. Here’s what that means

United Airlines wants to boost ticket sales. So here’s what it plans to do

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TUI X3 2312 Duesseldorf-Mallorca flight passengers arrive at Son Sant Joan airport in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Monday, June 15, 2020.

TUI X3 2312 Duesseldorf-Mallorca flight passengers arrive at Son Sant Joan airport in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Monday, June 15, 2020.

AP

Can you change your flight on United Airlines or Delta Airlines for free? Yes, now that the company has made it a permanent policy.

United has decided to permanently end change fees for tickets for American travelers.

  • The move will give passengers more flexibility when deciding whether to travel during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The standard fee to change flights was $200.

Chief Executive Scott Kirby said passengers requested the move so United made the change.

Change is inevitable these days — but it’s how we respond to it that matters most. When we hear from customers about where we can improve, getting rid of this fee is often the top request. Following previous tough times, airlines made difficult decisions to survive, sometimes at the expense of customer service. United Airlines won’t be following that same playbook as we come out of this crisis. Instead, we’re taking a completely different approach — and looking at new ways to serve our customers better.

The company also announced that “any United customer can fly standby for free on a flight departing the day of their travel regardless of the type of ticket or class of service” beginning on Jan. 1, 2021.

Delta agreed to change its fee policy on Monday afternoon, too, per USA Today.

We’ve said before that we need to approach flexibility differently than this industry has in the past, and today’s announcement builds on that promise to ensure we’re offering industry-leading flexibility, space and care to our customers. We want our customers to book and travel with peace of mind, knowing that we’ll continue evaluating our policies to maintain the high standard of flexibility they expect, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a statement, according to USA Today.