It was a huge problem long before the coronavirus crisis. The problem is airlines charging excessive cancellation or rebooking fees for travelers needing to change or cancel their flights.
It turned into one of the largest sources of revenue for airlines. And passengers had little recourse. Now, in the wake of countries and airlines shutting down, it is still a problem.
Airlines first refused to waive fees unless you had purchased your tickets within four days of the national emergency. With public outcry, many airlines have changed their refund and rebooking policies at least three times.
If you are still holding an airline ticket and need to change it or cancel it, there’s every likelihood that the airlines will relax the restrictions once again.
My advice is to wait until the very last minute to change or cancel, when the airline policies might actually allow you to rebook without penalty, or cancel and get a full refund.