Alaska’s Squirrelly Gambit To Make Up Lost Ticket Sales Due To Coronavirus

Update: Alaska has updated the language on their site, it was apparently a mistake for them to say that change fees would only be suspended until March 11 (that if you bought a ticket during the eligible timeframe, the fee waiver would not be available come March 12).

Tickets Purchased Between
February 27, 2020 – March 12, 2020

Original Travel Dates
February 27, 2020 – June 1, 2020

New Travel Dates
February 27, 2020 – December 31, 2020

Exception Policy
Tickets must be changed or canceled prior to the departure of your original flight.

JetBlue announced they would suspend ccancellation fees on new tickets purchased through March 11 for travel completed by June 1.

  • New purchases only, this doesn’t apply to previous purchases
  • No refunds, they’re just not charging a fee to change travel dates into the future. Customers get a credit.

Alaska is making a similiar – albeit less generous – move. They are also suspending fees on new ticket purchases made made March 11, but they are only suspending fees until March 11. That is, if you buy a new ticket but decide on March 12 not to travel then fees apply. And oh by the way this policy is meant “to support you through coronavirus uncertainty>”

If you book a flight prior to March 12, and then decide by that date to change or cancel your trip, you’ll receive full travel credit to fly with us later on – up to one year from the issuance of the credit. Fare differences may apply. Visit for further details, where flyers can also use our self-service tool to manage their travel.

This is entirely about selling new tickets, not doing anything for existing customers who had already purchased theirs on the airline. And it’s only giving people peace of mind through March 11, after which are they suggesting this is all supposed to be over? Alaska Airlines must have better experts than the World Health Organization which still has uncertainty but is at a decisive point. For his part, the Prime Minister of Japan says the first few weeks of March will be critical, which is why Japan has closed schools until early April.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. After March 11 they’ll no doubt either issue broader waivers, or will not if the virus doesn’t spread like mad.

  2. I’m in Japan now. It’s very controversial that they closed schools. A lot of people think it’s ludicrous. Apparently the education minister wasn’t even consulted. So citing that as the authority is silly.

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