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Major US Carriers Waive Fare Differences for Returning International Travelers

American, Delta and United are allowing no-charge changes for US-bound customers looking to beat the Jan. 26 start of CDC testing requirements

by Business Traveler

January 15, 2021

In response to new CDC rules requiring COVID-19 tests for US-bound international travelers, American Airlines, Delta and United have announced waivers on any difference in fares, so customers who are seeking to return to the US immediately can change to any other flight without paying any additional fare.

The new testing mandate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention go into effect on Jan. 26. It requires all international travelers to the US, including citizens, show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of departure.

All three carriers have issued a temporary fare difference waiver for travel from all international destinations to the US. The American and Delta policy is for tickets purchased on or before Jan. 12 for travel through Feb. 9. It allows customers to change to any other flight before the new testing requirement goes into effect.

United’s waiver includes international tickets originally purchased on or before Jan. 12, for scheduled travel to the US through Feb. 15.

There are no additional costs for changing the tickets as all three carriers, along with every other major US airline, had already dropped change fees, including on most international tickets, last year.

So far, no other airlines have announced fare differential waivers for inbound US travelers.,,