As we come to the end of a very weird and daunting year for travel, some people have decided to make the trip to visit family, while others are still not sure if they can safely make the journey.
If you’re still trying to make a decision for either Christmas or New Years, here are a few things to know.
Airline Cancellation and Change Policies are Better than Ever
The pandemic ushered in an era of unprecedented airline ticket flexibility. And now, even during the holidays – a time when it’s historically most difficult to change tickets – the airlines have continued to offer much more relaxed booking policies. Passengers can pretty much across the board make a change or cancel their flight outright and use the credit for future travel with next to no hassle. Getting your money back outright is likely a non-starter.
Alaska Air decided to permanently eliminate change fees on all but its lowest fares. All of the domestic carriers have eliminated change fees through December 31, 2020. Most airlines do require you to use your rebooked ticket by a specific date, but it looks like most of the airlines are allowing rebooking through 2021, and some of them have extended the validity into 2022.
Liberal Hotel Cancellation Policies
Most hotel chains will allow cancellation or changes within 24 hours of arrival without penalty. Further, if an airline should cancel or change your flight, the hotels are required to issue you a refund. Getting your money back outright may not be an option unless you have tested positive for COVID-19 or if there is a travel ban in place that affects your ability to check in.
The Price is Definitely Right
Airfare prices continue to trend much lower than projected. The average domestic ticket is still about $150 less than projected. You can read more about holiday flights in our Annual Report.