There’s no doubt the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the aviation industry, and now it seems that those effects aren’t only here for the short term, but for the long run. On Monday, United Airlines announced that it would be removing change fees permanently for most of its flights, including those for Standard Economy and Premium Cabin passengers. The fee was waived only temporarily at first to promote more air travel, but the policy change is now here to stay.
“When we hear from customers about where we can improve, getting rid of this fee is often the top request,” said United CEO Scott Kirby. “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.”
Following the move, both of United’s top competitors Delta Air Lines and American Airlines also announced similar policies to drop most change fees for good. “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,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said. American’s chief revenue officer Vasu Raja also commented: “American is offering more flexibility and ease than ever before, should travel plans change.”
In other travel-related news, tourism in Japan has decreased 99.9 percent for four consecutive months.