Delta Air Lines and American Airlines have announced to scrap domestic change fees. The decision comes close on the heels of rival United Airlines dropping the fees. The decision is seen as a push by the airlines to woo travelers back. Both Delta Air Lines and American Airlines are among the major airlines of the United States. Delta in a statement said that the decision to scrap change fees is effective immediately. It covers travel within the America, US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The elimination of change fees, however, will not apply to Delta passengers with basic economy tickets. The domestic flight change in the United States also includes flights to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
American Airlines said that the decision on change fees, free same-day standby, access to upgrades, and other services will provide them freedom in making choices as per the need. American’s standby flight benefits will come into effect from October 1. While Delta has its headquarters based in Atlanta, American Airlines is headquartered in Texas. American Airlines holds the distinction of being the largest airline in the work by fleet size. Both airlines have not confirmed whether the decisions will be permanent. Contrary to this, United Airlines said that it has permanently scrapped the change fees for domestic travels.
The change in key policies by Delta, American, and United is aimed at giving passengers more flexibility to travel during the pandemic. United Airlines was the first to drop fees to change domestic flights. The company said that Covid-19 had a historic impact on the financial health of airlines. The companies are now taking a different approach to minimize the loss. According to the data shared by the Department of Transportation, Delta made USD 830 million from change and ticket cancellation fees last year. The American Airlines collected USD 819 last year. The United Airlines collected USD 625 million from passengers. Overall, the airlines made more than USD 2.8 billion in related fees last year.