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Delta, American follow United in dropping U.S. change fees

Aug. 31, 2020 4:22 PM ETDelta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL), AAL, UALDAL, UAL, AALBy: Carl Surran, SA News Editor9 Comments
  • Delta Air Lines (DAL -3.6%) and American Airlines (AAL -4%) says they are permanently ending domestic change fees, in reaction to this weekend's move by rival United Airlines (UAL -3.6%).
  • Delta says the elimination of change fees includes tickets purchased for travel within the U.S., Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands, while American's change also covers flights to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
  • The new policies do not cover any of the three airlines' basic economy tickets.
  • The fees represented 2%-3% of total revenues for each of the three airlines in 2019, though analysts say the overall financial impact going forward will be limited as focus remains on generating bookings.
  • Airline shares fell broadly in today's trade, and Vertical Research analyst Robert Stallard said presciently that United's move could end up as the U.S. airline equivalent of crossing the Rubicon.

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