Airbnb says it is laying off 25% of its workforce as it confronts a steep decline in global travel due to the new coronavirus pandemic. It’s a serious setback for the 12-year-old home-sharing company. (May 6)
The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on travel this year, and even with effective vaccines on the horizon, travelers may want to change or cancel their plans on relatively short notice.
Airlines, Amtrak, hotels have generally speaking relaxed their change and cancellation policies to accommodate those last-minute changes due to COVID-19.
They have every incentive to do that: Travel is down sharply from a year ago as the country is in the midst of a surge in COVID-19 cases, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that Americans not travel for Thanksgiving.
Most hotel reservations can be changed or canceled within 24 hours of arrival with no fee. Generally, travelers will have a year to use any credit they receive from a ticket they change or cancel.In the event that airlines cancel or change flights, they are required to issue refunds.
Most Amtrak fares can be changed or canceled without penalty.
Change and cancellation policies at Airbnb properties depend on the length of the stay and are up to the discretion of the owner. Vrbo allows you to search for properties that allow you to cancel your stay as close as 14 days from check-in.
Still, anyone who’s flying, taking a train or staying in a hotel or vacation rental should know what change and cancellation policies apply to them.
A treat on my Delta flight: two empty seats. The airline is blocking middle seats through March 30. (Photo: Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY)
Airline cancellation, change policies
Alaska Airlines is permanently eliminating change fees on all flights except its lowest fares. Saver fares booked through Dec. 31 can be canceled, but not changed. Saver fares booked in 2021 cannot be canceled or changed. Credit certificates for canceled flights are good for 12 months from the issue date of the original ticket.
Allegiant is waiving change and cancellation fees through Dec. 31. A voucher will be issued for canceled travel or fare differences. The vouchers are good for two years from the date of the initial reservation.
American Airlines is dropping change and cancellation fees on domestic and short-haul international tickets. For existing travel through Dec. 31, the fee waiver also applies to basic economy fares and AAdvantage award tickets. Rebooked travel must be completed through Dec. 31, 2021. The fee elimination will be extended to long-haul international flights originating in North and South America for tickets on or after Nov. 19, excluding basic economy fares.
Airlines ditch change fees: Delta, American, United, Hawaiian, Alaska drop change fees on US flights
Delta Air Lines is permanently waiving change fees and award redeposit fees for travel within the United States starting in 2021, with the exception of basic economy. Through Dec. 31, change fees have