Award Ticket Change, Cancellation, and Hold Policies for 25+ Airlines!

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Folks in the miles & points hobby are usually diligent about planning their travels.  But sometimes life happens and you have to change or cancel your plans.

In that case, what are the fees for changing an award ticket?  And do any airlines allow you to hold an award reservation while you firm up your plans?

To help y’all out, I made a chart that shows the award ticket fees and policies for over 25 domestic and international airlines!

Award Flight Change Fees

Tracking Down Award Ticket Fees Can Be Tricky, So We’ve Made an Easy Table Showing Award Ticket Change & Cancellation Fees for Over 25 Airlines!

Let’s take a look!

Award Flight Change Fees

Using miles & points for Big Travel with Small Money is one of my favorite things, next to eating.  But if you need to change or cancel your award ticket, the fees can add up fast.

The good news is, certain airlines charge less (or nothing at all!) for award ticket changes.  So it helps to choose wisely when deciding which miles or points to use.

Here’s a chart showing award flight change fees for popular US airlines:

AirlineDate Change FeeDestination Change FeeRefund / Redeposit FeeClose In Booking FeeExclusionsHold Policy
Alaska Airlines• 60+ days before departure: FREE

• Less than 60 days before departure: $125
• 60+ days before departure: FREE

• Less than 60 days before departure: $125
• 60+ days before departure: FREE

• Less than 60 days before departure: $125
NONEMVP Gold and Gold 75K members are exempt from award change and redeposit feesNo holds allowed
American Airlines• FREE as long as the origin and destination remain the same$150$150 for the 1st passenger and $25 for each additional passenger on the same reservationLess than 21 days before departure: $75• Executive Platinum members are exempt from all award ticket fees

• Gold and higher elites pay no close in booking fees
• Up to 5 days for flights 15 to 330 days before departure

• Up to 1 day for flights 1 to 14 days before departure

• Up to 2 hours before departure for flights within 1 day of departure
Delta$150$150$150, must be done 72+ hours before departureNONEPlatinum and Diamond elites are exempt from feesNo holds allowed
Frontier•8+ days before departure: FREE

•Less than 8 days before departure: $99
•8+ days before departure: FREE

•Less than 8 days before departure: $99
$75NONENONENo holds allowed
Hawaiian Airlines$50 OR $30 for inter-island flights$50 OR $30 for inter-island flights$150 OR $30 for inter-island flightsNONEPlatinum elites exempt from inter-island change feesNo holds allowed
JetBlue• 60+ days before departure: $70 for Blue, $60 for Blue Plus, and $0 for Blue Flex Fares

• Less than 60 days before departure: $70 to $120 depending on the cost of the ticket
• 60+ days before departure: $70 for Blue, $60 for Blue Plus, and $0 for Blue Flex Fares

• Less than 60 days before departure: $70 to $120 depending on the cost of the ticket
• 60+ days before departure: $70 for Blue, $60 for Blue Plus, and $0 for Blue Flex Fares

• Less than 60 days before departure: $70 to $120 depending on the cost of the ticket
NONEMosaic members exempt from all feesNo holds allowed
SouthwestNONENONENONENONEN/ANo holds allowed
Spirit$110$110$110• 21 to 179 before departure: $15

• 7 to 20 days before departure: $75

• 6 or fewer days before departure: $100
NONENo holds allowed
United Airlines• 61+ days before departure: $75 general members, $50 Silver elites, $25 Gold elites

• 60 days or less before departure: $125 general members, $100 Silver elites, $75 Gold elites, $50 Platinum elites
• 61+ days before departure: $75 general members, $50 Silver elites, $25 Gold elites

• 60 days or less before departure: $125 general members, $100 Silver elites, $75 Gold elites, $50 Platinum elites
• 61+ days before departure: $75 general members, $50 Silver elites, $25 Gold elites

• 60 days or less before departure: $125 general members, $100 Silver elites, $75 Gold elites, $50 Platinum elites
Less than 21 days before departure: $75 for general members, $50 for Silver elites, $25 for Gold elites• 1K and Global Services members exempt from fees

• Platinum elites exempt from fees for changes made 61+ days before departure
No holds allowed
Virgin America$100$100$100NONEElevate Gold members exempt from feesNo holds allowed

And here are the fees for popular international airlines:

AirlineDate Change FeeDestination Change FeeRefund / Redeposit FeeClose In Booking FeeExclusionsHold Policy
AeroMexico$26$26$26NONE N/ANo holds allowed
Air Canada$90 CAD (~$67)$90 CAD (~$67)$90 CAD (~$67)NONEN/ANo holds allowed
Air France / KLM45 Euros (~$49) but no changes to promo awards45 Euros (~$49) but no changes to promo awards45 Euros (~$49) but no changes to promo awardsNONEFree changes for Flex Awards48 hour holds
AlitaliaNONE55 Euros (~$60) or 5,000 miles• 55 Euros (~$60) or 5,000 miles

• Free for flights to or from the US if canceled within 24 hours of booking
NONEN/A14 days for awards on Alitalia, partner awards at booking agent's discretion
ANANONENONE3,000 milesNONEN/ANo holds allowed
Avianca / TACA$150$150$50$25 ticketing fee for all award ticketsN/ANo holds allowed
British Airways$55$55$55 or the taxes from your ticket, whichever is lessNONEN/ANo holds allowed
Cathay Pacific$25 or 1,000 miles$100 or 10,000 miles$120 or 12,000 milesNONEN/ANo holds allowed
El Al$60$50 to $125 depending on when the change is made and flight origin and destination$60 to $150 depending on when the change is made and flight origin and destinationNONEN/ANo holds allowed
Emirates$25$25$75NONEN/ANo holds allowed
Etihad1st change free, all other changes AED 100 (~$27)Not allowed2,000 milesNONEN/A24 hour holds EXCEPT for partner awards
Iberia• 25 Euros (if fees paid in Euros), otherwise $40

• $40 (if fees paid in USD)
• 25 Euros (if fees paid in Euros), otherwise $40

• $40 (if fees paid in USD)
• 25 Euros (if fees paid in Euros), otherwise $40

• $40 (if fees paid in USD)
NONEN/ANo holds allowed
Japan Airlines (JAL)NONE but changes must be made 4+ days before departure online or 1+ days before departure over the phoneNot allowed3,100 miles or 3,100 Yen (~$29), must be made 15+ minutes before departureNONEN/ANo holds allowed
Korean AirNONENONENONE unless done 1+ years after the ticket was issued, then 10,000 milesNONEN/A5 days for partner awards

1+ months for Korean Air flights or up to a few days before departure
Lufthansa50 Euro (~$55)Not allowed50 Euro (~$55)NONEN/AUp to 5 days for Lufthansa flights and partner airlines including Swiss, Austrain, Brussels, Croatia Airlines, Asiana, Ethiopain, and Jet Airways
Singapore Air• FREE for Singapore Air flights

• $20 for partner flights

• $75 within 24 hours of departure
• $12 for Singapore Air flights online

• $20 for Singapore Air flights by phone, $20 for partner flights

• $75 within 24 hours of departure
$30, must be done at least 24 hours before departureNONEN/A3 days, though there's no official policy
Virgin Atlantic$50, must be done at least 24 hours before departure$50, must be done at least 24 hours before deparutre$50, must be done at least 24 hours before deparutreNONEN/A24 hour holds allowed

Looking for More Details?

Check out our Award Booking Guides under the “Resources” tab on the main page, where you’ll find information about airline award booking rules, routes, partners, and how to get the most value for your miles.

We have special series dedicated to earning & using miles with popular airlines like American AirlinesBritish AirwaysUnited Airlines, and more!

Award Flight Change Fees

The Miles & Points Game Can Be Tricky! Did You Know You’ll Pay Fewer Miles Using Air Canada Aeroplan Miles to Fly United Airlines to Europe Than You Would Using United Airlines Miles?

Also, consider reading these posts for even more tips & tricks:

And these posts for airline-specific information:

Bottom Line

To make it easier for folks to track down award ticket change & cancellation policies and fees, I made a handy chart that shows the fees for 25+ US and international airlines, including popular airlines like Delta, United Airlines, Southwest, British Airways, and Emirates.

And for more details about airline award booking rules and how to get the most value for your miles, check out our Award Booking Guides under the “Resources” tab on the main page.  Along with posts about topics like how to save $75 on United Airlines’ close-in ticketing fee and the best time to book Southwest award tickets.

The more you know! 🙂

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14 responses to “Award Ticket Change, Cancellation, and Hold Policies for 25+ Airlines!

  1. All-Purpose Guru

    Um, just to let you know, US law mandates that a 24 hour hold (or the ability to cancel without penalty within 24 hours of booking) must be provided. (14 CFR 259.5(b)(4), 76 Fed. Reg. 23110, 23166, Apr. 25, 2011)

    American used to allow this BEFORE the law went into effect; the media had a field day when they removed this option from their website early in 2016. What really happened at that point was they went from allowing a 24 hour hold without payment to a 24 hour no-penalty cancellation policy like most other airlines.

    In reality the only difference is whether or not they ask for a credit card during that 24 hour window.

    • That’s correct, but only for paid flights. I don’t believe there is currently a requirement for airlines to provide holds on award flights.

    • I tried canceling a Hawaiian airlines flight within the 24 hour window and was told because my flight was within the 7 days of departure that their policy doesn’t apply. I suspect its too prevent inter island travel that would block a seat as sometimes they sell out. I ranted enough and demanded to talk to a supervisor and was able to cancel the flight without penalty. Not sure if they have the right to do this or not?

  2. Your post is NOT mobile friendly. I cannot see the entire table on my screen (Samsung S7). Do you expect all your readers still use desktop and laptops, like in 1980’s?

    • I hear you completely and I’m not happy with the way we display the site in mobile. We’re working on a re-design and expect to have a fully responsive site. But it won’t be ready for ~6 months. Thanks for sharing your frustration.

  3. Actually AA doesn’t charge a date change fee, other than the close in fee when of $75 when the new date is within 21 days of the *ticketing* date, not of the original flight date.

    • My wife’s experience just last week for an AA award ticket change (< 21 days from departure) was no change fee if the reward miles are the same. If reward miles are higher, AA wanted $150 to re-deposit the miles into her account and then she would have to re-book at the new miles rate.

  4. Your AA date change info isn’t worded properly as Kevin mentioned and it seems that you copied the AeroMexico refund fee from Air Canada (they wouldn’t really charge it in CAD, would they?). This is an amazing resource though, thank you for compiling it all!

  5. Gerardo Fernandez

    For 50 Euros, Lufthansa allowed me to change the date of my May 2017 outbound flight from Helsinki to LAX, but not the destination. Should I have asked for a refund and paid a redeposit fee, also for 50 Euros, then re-booked my flight from Stockholm?

  6. Great info! Thank you. Knowing cancellation fees is very helpful. On a related note, Costco’s Citi bank card has trip cancellation insurance that covers you, including if a pet gets sick. Do other cards do that or pre-existing conditions? or a post that goes into the various trip cancellation insurances that cards offer?

  7. Please include info on fees/proceedure when the award ticketing carrier is not the flight carrier. As in Alaska flight ticketed by BA.

  8. Just a little note on AA, per my recent experience. Booked RT IAD-DFW-NRT back in March before devaluation in First. Got an email that changes had been made in July, which was now putting me in business class on their upgraded 777. Called and told them I am fine with being in new business, but I wanted the mileage difference refunded and they insisted I was still in First. No matter how many facts I gave the agent, she insisted I was still in First. Finally, they said I would have to call the AAdvantage line to get any miles, but would only refund at current award rates. Then in September I get another change email. They changed me to IAD-LAX-NRT in First. I called and said I wanted to be on my original schedule. She looked it up and, guess what, said there was no award availability on my original flight. I explained what AA did, but she wouldn’t switch me back. Then they change my return flight to NRT-LAX-CLT-IAD arriving a day later. I called and after over and hour, got them to at least change me to LAX-IAD direct. After all that, I had to cancel the trip, but luckily they waived the redeposit fee due to all the changes they made on me. AA had been such a hassle to deal with. I have over 400k miles in my account that I need to burn, but they are such a pain to deal with.