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Chart: changes to same day flight changes

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Chart: changes to same day flight changes

If you arrive at the airport earlier than you expected, or your meeting runs late, you may need to travel on an earlier or later flight than you originally purchased. It used to be that airlines would let you go standby on a different flight on the same day as your original flight, without charging a fee. But on most airlines, Airfarewatchdog.com has learned, that perk has gone the way of free food and pillows. Here are the latest rules for same day confirmed and same day standby flight changes, and as you can see, all airlines have slightly different policies. And nor surprisingly, these fees have gone up on some airlines since we last checked. United and American increased their fee from $50 to $75, and JetBlue from $40 to $50. Frontier, however, actually lowered its fee for same day changes.

 

Airline

Fee for same day (non-confirmed) stand by

Fee for same day confirmed change

How to make change

Restrictions

Exceptions

Airtran

$0

$25 per segment

At airport only

None

No charge for fully refundable fares.

Alaska Not available $25 within 6 hours of departure only; otherwise, fee plus difference between current fare and fare originally paid Airport kiosk and online None No charge for fully refundable fares or MVP Gold Mileage Plan members and their companions in the same reservation.

American

Not available

$50 $75

By phone or at airport within 12 hours of departure

Only for flights to/from the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean

No charge for fully refundable fares (whether revenue or AAnytime frequent flyer awards); elite passengers can standby for no charge, but they cannot same day confirm without the fee.

Delta

Not available

$50

Within 3 hours of scheduled departure time

U.S./Canada only

No charge for fully refundable fares or Delta Diamond, Platinum or Gold Medallions

Frontier

Available for free to Summit frequent flyers and those on Classic and Classic Plus fares

$25-50 depending on fare type

At airport only

None stated

“Summit” frequent flyers and those booking Classic and Classic Plus fares pay nothing

JetBlue

$0 but only for flight immediately prior

$40 $50

Same day change by phone or at airport beginning at midnight (in the time zone of departing flight) of same calendar day as original flight; standby starting 24 hours before original flight

Same day change not available for routes with just one flight/day

No charge for refundable fares

Southwest

Not applicable

Not applicable

At airport or by phone

There is no fee for a change, but you must pay any fare difference between original fare and last minute “walk up” fare

No charge for passengers booking Business Select or Anytime fares

United

$50 $75

$75

Confirmed change at airport or by phone; standby at airport only

U.S. and Canada for standby; United-only flights for same day confirmed whether domestic or international

No charge for fully refundable fares, for Global Services or MileagePlus Premier 1K, Premier Platinum, or Premier Gold flyers

US Airways

$0 but only if there is not an open seat on an earlier flight

$75

At airport only

U.S., Canada, Caribbean

Waived for all US Airways Preferred frequent flyers and travelers on refundable fares

Virgin America $0 but only if there is an available seat on an earlier flight that day $25-$50 depending on length of flight At airport only. None Fully refundable fares can be changed without a fee.

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