JetBlue lifts its change and cancellation fees because of coronavirus in a US first
JetBlue Airways makes a surprise move as it became the first U.S carrier to cut its change and cancellation fees for travelers who will modify their flights due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
This unusual measure of this low-cost carrier could pressure other airline companies to follow and made the necessary changes. This approach comes during the steep drop in airline stocks as the majority of the investors fret over the spread of the novel coronavirus to the United States which is also known as COVID-19, following the statements and warnings from health officials.
The airline shares have indeed suffered more than the broader market’s rout. The NYSE Arca Airline Index which is in-charge of tracking almost 16 airlines in the United States, Latin America as well as the budget European airlines – Ryanair, released a statement that for this week, they are down from then 15%, which is labeled as their biggest weekly drop since 2009.
Unlike its other competitors that fly to China, JetBlue offers services in the United States, the Caribbean and some parts of Latin America. To give you an idea, there are more than 81,000 coronavirus cases as per the reports.
According to Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue Airways’ President and Chief Operating Officer, to date, the authorities have not issued any travel restrictions to the locations where JetBlue Airways fly but still, they want to give their passengers some peace of mind that they are willing and ready to support each of them should the situation turns around.
The waiving and suspension of change and cancelation fees may reach up to $200 as per JetBlue. This would apply for new bookings which are made through March 11 and for those flights that would end June 1.
This new policy was created and designed to give customers enough confidence that they will not be charged any fees for either changes or cancelations due to the evolving novel coronavirus concerns.
Several airlines around the globe have already canceled hundreds of thousands of flights because of the novel coronavirus. The majority of them are flights heading to China. Some of the biggest airline companies also made a decision and suspended their services not only to mainland China but also to Hong Kong. United Airlines, Delta Airlines, and American Airlines also lifted change fees for their flights to South Korea.