United Airlines Permanently Eliminates Ticket Change Fees For Most US Flight Customers
United Airlines Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: UAL) CEO Scott Kirby announced on Sunday that the company is permanently removing ticket change fees for the majority of its customers for flights within the United States.
What happened: Chicago-based airline customers with “Economy”, “Economy Plus”, “United First”, “United Business” and “United Premium Plus” will no longer be charged the $ 200 ticket change fee, for flights within the country, including mainland United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands, starting in January of next year.
United customers, including Basic Economy ticket holders and international travelers, can already change flights free of charge until the end of the year, as part of a program announced earlier, according to the United States. company.
“When we hear from customers telling us where we can improve, waiving fees is often the number one request,” Kirby said in a video statement. “That is why we are using this moment to become the first traditional American airline to eliminate these fees permanently.”
“United is the only US airline that will allow all customers free same-day travel,” added Kirby.
Why is this important: The move comes at a time when the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has rocked the industry, with demand for air travel dropping dramatically.
United said on Thursday they would be putting 2,850 pilots on leave between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30 of this year, their biggest such reduction in history, according to Reuters.
Rival Southwest Airlines Company. (NYSE: LUV) also does not charge a ticket change fee, while Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL) and American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) waived the fees until the end of the year.
Price action: United shares closed approximately 3.1% higher at $ 37.34 on Friday and were largely unchanged in the after-hours session. Shares of the airline are down 57.6% year-to-date.
Photo courtesy of United Airlines Holdings Inc.
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