The Essentials

New Changes in Airline Fees

When it comes to air travel costs, you might say that for the past 20 years, America was the home of the brave and the land of the FEE.

Many airlines earned huge profits by charging us for everything short of breathing. But the cataclysmic dropoff in revenue during the pandemic forced a number of airlines to change their rules.

Late last year, United Airlines permanently eliminated those draconian ticket change fees on domestic flights and international flights originating in the United States. American Airlines followed suit.

Some airlines also eliminated fees, but beware of the dreaded asterisk.

Delta Air Lines jettisoned its ticket change fees, except on basic economy tickets which remain nonrefundable — if you don’t use the ticket on your scheduled flight, it becomes worthless.

And JetBlue will only let you rebook once with no fee. After that, you’re not only hit with fees, but you’ll also have to pay any difference in fares.

It may be a new year, but the old fine print is still with us, so always double check.