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Award Change, Cancellation, and Hold Policies for 25+ Airlines

Award Change, Cancellation, and Hold Policies for 25+ Airlines

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Using miles to redeem for flights can save you a lot of money, but if your plans change, fees to cancel or switch flights can really add up.

The good news is that depending on the airline, you may be able to make some changes, such as date changes, at no additional cost. In some cases, airline change or cancellation fees are quite low, so they might not impact you very much.

It’s always a good idea to keep a stash of transferable points on hand like Chase Ultimate Rewards® or American Express Membership Rewards®, so you can take advantage of opportunities like more generous change policies with some programs.

In this post:

U.S. airline award change/cancellation fees

International airline award change/cancellation fees

For example, with American Airlines flights, you can avoid $150 in refund fees by using British Airways Avios to book flights, which is useful if the number of Avios for an award is the same or lower than what you would pay with American AAdvantage®.

U.S. airlines tend to charge the highest award fees and have the least generous hold policies, but for most, you can generally refund an award ticket that include a U.S. origin or destination within 24 hours of ticketing with no penalty, in the spirit of the government’s 24-hour refund policy for tickets.

Below is a roundup of award change fees for awards booked through all U.S. airlines and some of the most popular international transfer partners of the transferable point currencies American Express Membership Rewards®, Chase Ultimate Rewards® and Citi ThankYou® Points.

U.S. airline award change/cancellation fees

Alaska MileagePlan

  • Date change fee: Free up to 24 hours prior to departure, $125 otherwise
  • Destination change fee: Free up to 24 hours prior to departure, $125 otherwise
  • Refund/redeposit fee: Free up to 24 hours prior to departure, $125 otherwise
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Waivers: MVP Gold and MVP Gold 75K members are exempt from award change and redeposit fees
  • Hold policy: None allowed

American AAdvantage

  • Date change fee: $75 if the new date is less than 21 days of the originally booked date, otherwise $150 for the first passenger and $25 for each additional passenger on the same record.
  • Destination change fee: $150
  • Refund/redeposit fee: $150 for the first passenger and $25 for each additional passenger on the same record
  • Close in booking fee: $75
  • Waivers: Executive Platinum members are exempt from all award fees, Gold members and higher are exempt from close in booking fees
  • Hold policy: Up to five days for flights that are 15-331 days before departure, up to one day for flights that are 1-14 days before departure, up to two hours before departure for flights that are within one day of departure.

Delta SkyMiles®

  • Date change fee: $150
  • Destination change fee: $150
  • Refund/redeposit fee: $150 – must be done at least 72 hours before departure of first flight
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Waivers: Platinum and Diamond members are exempt from award fees
  • Hold policy: None allowed.

Frontier Miles

  • Date change fee: None 90 days or more before departure; $49 for 89 to 14 days before departure; $119 for 13 days or less up to the day of the flight. If you’re getting a different flight on the same day, you can get a Same Day Confirmed alternative flight option for a flat fee of $119.
  • Destination change fee: None 90 days or more before departure; $49 for 89 to 14 days before departure; $119 for 13 days or less up to the day of the flight.
  • Refund/redeposit fee: $75
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Waivers: Those who purchased the Works℠ get 100% refundability.
  • Hold policy: None allowed.

Hawaiian Airlines HawaiiMiles

  • Date change fee: $150 for international; $50 for flights between Hawaii and North America; $30 for inter-island flights
  • Destination change fee: $150 for international; $50 for flights between Hawaii and North America; ($30 for inter-island flights)
  • Refund/redeposit fee: $150 for international; $50 for flights between Hawaii and North America; ($30 for inter-island flights)
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Waivers: No inter-island change fees for Pulani Platinum members
  • Hold policy: None allowed

JetBlue True Blue

  • Date change fee: Change fees for Blue and Blue Plus are $200 per-person fee for fares $200 or more + difference in fare; $150 per-person fee for fares $150-$199.99 + difference in fare; $100 per-person fee for fares $100-$149.99 + difference in fare; $75 per-person fee for fares under $100 + difference in fare. For Blue Flex Fares, there is no charge. A same-day change fee of $75 may apply, depending on your fare
  • Destination change fee: Same as above
  • Refund/redeposit fee: Same as above
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Waivers: Mosaic members are exempt from all change fees
  • Hold policy: None allowed

Southwest Rapid Rewards

  • Date change fee: None
  • Destination change fee: None
  • Refund/redeposit fee: None
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Waivers: N/A
  • Hold policy: None allowed, but no fees or penalties to make changes or cancellations

Spirit Free Spirit

  • Date change fee: Web modification or cancellation is $90; changes or cancellations by calling customer service is $100
  • Destination change fee: Same as above
  • Refund/redeposit fee: $110
  • Close in booking fee: $15–$75 for bookings less than 181 days out
  • Waivers: None
  • Hold policy: None allowed

United MileagePlus

  • Date change fee: 61 or more days prior to travel – $75 for general members, $50 for Premier Silver members, $25 for Premier Gold members, no fee for Premier Platinum or Premier 1K members. Less than 60 days prior to travel – $125 for general members, $100 for Premier Silver members, $75 for Premier Gold members, $50 for Premier Platinum members, no fee for Premier 1K members.
  • Destination change fee: Same as above
  • Refund/redeposit fee: Same as above
  • Close in booking fee: $75 for general members, $50 for Silver members, $25 for Gold members
  • Waivers: No award fees for Premier Platinum, Premier 1K members
  • Hold policy: United’s FareLock service allows you to hold reservations for select flights for either three or seven days. However, you will incur a nonrefundable fee for this service.
    International airline award change/cancellation fees

International airline award change/cancellation fees

AeroMexico Club Premier

  • Date change fee: 1,070MXN for domestic, 1,930MXN for international
  • Destination change fee: 1,070MXN for domestic, 1,930MXN for international
  • Refund/redeposit fee: 1,930MXN for domestic, 2,900MXN for international
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Hold policy: None allowed

Air Canada Aeroplan

  • Date change fee: $100; $75 for Aeroplan diamond status members
  • Destination change fee: Same as above
  • Refund/redeposit fee: $125 via aeroplan.com, $150 via Aeroplan Contact Centre; for Aeroplan diamond status members, it’s $30 online, $100 via Contact Centre.
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Waivers: Free for Altitude Super Elite
  • Hold policy: None allowed

Air France/KLM Flying Blue

  • Date change fee: 45 EUR (No changes to promo awards)
  • Destination change fee: 45 EUR (No changes to promo awards)
  • Refund/redeposit fee: 45 EUR (No redeposits of promo awards – may be possible in cases of medical emergency, but no guarantees)
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Waivers: Free changes allowed for Flex Awards
  • Hold policy: None allowed

Alitalia Mille Miglia

  • Date change fee: None
  • Destination change fee: 55 EUR or 5,000 miles
  • Refund/redeposit fee: 55 EUR or 5,000 miles
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Hold policy: Alitalia-only awards can be held for up to 14 days, partner award holds are agent dependent. For partner flights, per Department of Transportation, you may cancel within 24 hours of booking for no penalty if flights touch the U.S. See details at Alitalia.com.

ANA Mileage Club

  • Date change fee: None
  • Destination change fee: Not allowed (you need to cancel and redeposit instead)
  • Refund/cancellation fee: 3,000 miles
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Hold policy: None allowed

Asia Miles

  • Date change fee: $25 or 1,000 miles when using online self-service; $50 or 5,000 miles using other service channels
  • Destination change fee: $100 or 10,000 miles
  • Refund/cancellation fee: $120 or 12,000 miles
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Hold policy: None allowed

British Airways Avios

  • Date change fee: Fees vary based on region of departure
  • Destination change fee: Fees vary based on region of departure
  • Refund/cancellation fee: Fees vary based on region of departure
  • Waiver: No charge for Gold members
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Hold policy: None allowed

El Al Matmid

  • Date change fee: $120 for Lite flights; $70 for Classic flights
  • Destination change fee: $120 for Lite flights; $70 for Classic flights
  • Refund/cancellation fee: $170 for Classic flights
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Hold policy: None allowed

Emirates Skywards

  • Date change fee: $25 for Saver reward ticket; Flex Plus or Flex reward tickets have no charge
  • Destination change fee: $25 for Saver reward ticket; Flex Plus or Flex reward tickets have no charge
  • Refund/cancellation fee: $50 for First Class Flex tickets; $75 for Saver reward ticket
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Hold policy: None allowed

Etihad Guest

  • Date change fee: First date change is free of charge, all subsequent date changes cost AED 100
  • Destination change fee: Not permitted, must refund ticket and rebook
  • Refund/cancellation fee: A refund fee of 10% of the miles required for the redemption ticket will apply.
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Hold policy: 24 hour holds are permitted

Iberia Plus Avios

  • Date change fee: 25 EUR
  • Destination change fee: 25 EUR
  • Refund/cancellation fee: 25 EUR
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Hold policy: None allowed

Japan Mileage Bank

  • Date change fee: Not permitted, must cancel and rebook ticket
  • Destination change fee: Not permitted, must cancel and rebook ticket
  • Refund/cancellation fee: 3,100 miles or 3,100 Yen
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Hold policy: None allowed

Korean SkyPass

  • Date change fee: 30,000 KRW(about $30 USD) for international, none for domestic Korea
  • Destination change fee: 30,000 KRW )(about $30 USD)
  • Refund/cancellation fee: 3,000 mile charge, or 10,000 miles for refunds more than one year after the ticket was issued for international
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Hold policy: None

LifeMiles Avianca/TACA

  • Date change fee: $150
  • Destination change fee: $150
  • Refund/cancellation fee: $50
  • Close in booking fee: $25 ticketing fee at all times
  • Hold policy: None allowed

Lufthansa Miles & More

  • Date change fee: 50 EUR
  • Destination change fee: Not possible, must cancel and rebook
  • Refund/cancellation fee: 50 EUR
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Hold policy: Up to 5-day holds allowed for Lufthansa Group Airlines and select partners (Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, Brussels, Croatia Airlines, Asiana, Ethiopian and Jet Airways)

Singapore KrisFlyer

  • Date change fee: $25 for Saver members, none for Advantage members
  • Destination change fee: $25 for all members on Singapore flights; $50 for all partner airlines
  • Refund/cancellation fee: $75 for Saver members; $50 for Advantage members
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Hold policy: None allowed

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

  • Date change fee: $50 at least 24 hours before departure
  • Destination change fee: $50 at least 24 hours before departure
  • Refund/cancellation fee: $50 at least 24 hours before departure
  • Close in booking fee: None
  • Hold policy: 72 hour holds are permitted

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