Rigid flexibility is the key to air travel

By November 19, 2020Holidays

Book a holiday trip to somewhere awesome only to get shut down by travel restrictions? Yeah, 2020 has been a tough year and our airline friends understand. It seems like for every travel restriction there is an equal and opposite restriction. 

Confusing and a little frustrating, right?

Thankfully, many airlines have made adjustments and eased penalties to help passengers adjust travel plans. 

Here is a quick rundown of those benefits from carriers serving SUN:

  • Delta
    • Delta SkyMiles American Express card members will see the following benefits extended through the end of next year, Dec. 13, 2021:
      • $100 credits earned by Delta SkyMiles Gold Cardmembers
      • Unused Companion Certificates by Delta SkyMiles Platinum and Reserve Cardmembers
      • Unused Delta Sky Club guest passes by Delta SkyMiles Reserve Cardmembers
    • Delta Sky Club memberships activated as of March 1, 2020, will be re-extended through June 30, 2021.
    • Delta has also made a few changes to make your travel more flexible:
      • $150 redeposit fees to cancel an award ticket and $150 reissue fees to change an award ticket have been eliminated for all SkyMiles members. This includes travel on all tickets except for Basic Economy fares.
      • Changes and cancellations made 72 hours before a departure will no longer result in the loss of miles on domestic award tickets, excluding Basic Economy fares.
      • Change fees have been waived on all tickets purchased by March 2020 through the end of the year.
      • Change fees have been waived permanently on all travel within the U.S. (including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands). This includes travel on all tickets except for Basic Economy fares.
    • You can see a full list of Delta’s extended benefits here.
  • United
    • Status for Premier members has been extended through January 2022.
    • Requirements for Premier membership have been reduced by 50% through 2021. It now takes half as many premier qualifying points (PQP) to upgrade your Premier member status.
    • PlusPoints upgrades have been extended, and Skip Waitlist upgrades have been expanded:
      • Any PlusPoints due to expire before Jan. 31, 2021, have been extended 180 days.
      • Skip Waitlist has been expanded in long-haul international regions for the remainder of 2020 and 2021. Visit United’s upgrades page for information on how to find Skip Waitlist upgrades.
    • United Explorer Cards and United Club Cards now earn more PQP.
    • Redeposit fees will be waived on award tickets if you cancel them 30 days or more before your departure.
    • The expirations of subscriptions purchased through United have been extended for six months. This includes:
      • United Club
      • Economy Plus
      • United Wi-Fi
      • Checked Bags
    • Electronic travel certificates are now valid for two years from the date issued; with an additional 11 months to travel from the day a flight was purchased.
    • You can see a full list of United’s extended benefits here.
  • Alaska
    • Alaska is permanently eliminating change fees.
      • Change or cancellation fees will be waived for all flights through Dec. 31, 2020. Differences in flight cost may apply.
      • Starting Jan. 1, 2021, change fees will be eliminated on Main Cabin and First Class fares. Differences in flight cost may apply.
      • Savers fares can be canceled for future travel credit. Saver fares purchased in 2021 cannot be changed or canceled.
    • Extending your Mileage Plan.
      • Mileage Plan statuses have been extended through Dec. 31, 2021.
      • Elite-qualifying miles earned Jan.–April 2020 will be rolled over to 2021.
      • Alaska is extending the current 50% bonus offer to earn elite-qualifyingmiles with no registration, June 1–Dec. 31, 2020.
    • As of April 1, 2020, active Lounge memberships will be extended by six months.
    • Companion certificates for Alaska Airlines Visa cardholders set to expire in 2020 have been extended to Dec. 31, 2020, for purchase and to Nov. 26, 2021, for travel.
    • You can see a full list of Alaska’s extended benefits here.