United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL - Free Report) has permanently scrapped change fees on all Economy- and Premium-class tickets for domestic travel with immediate effect. Additionally, all customers can fly standby for free on a flight departing the same day of their booked flight, with effect from Jan 1, 2021. To offer flexibility in ticket changes, the carrier is also extending the waiver for new tickets issued through Dec 31, 2020. This option is valid for all tickets issued after Mar 3, 2020, on both domestic and international travel.
The array of benefits provided to customers underscores the airline’s rigorous efforts to attract passengers as coronavirus continues to take a toll on air-travel demand. The only way to instill confidence among travelers is to enhance safety measures and offer flexibility to make changes to travel plans. Companies like Delta Air Lines (DAL - Free Report) and American Airlines (AAL - Free Report) have acted on this agenda by waiving change fees for travel through the end of this year. United Airlines went a notch higher by permanently eliminating change fees, something the airline said was highly requested by its customers. The removal of the $200 change fees for domestic flights should indeed provide an impetus to flyers. Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines (LUV - Free Report) never had a policy to charge for ticket changes.
While United Airlines and American Airlines carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), Delta and Southwest carry a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
As for safety measures, Alaska Air Group’s subsidiary Alaska Airlines recently revealed plans to make travel almost entirely touch-free. Some of the measures United Airlines is taking to ensure a safe journey for its passengers include enhanced aircraft sanitization, touch-less baggage check-ins and using filters to circulate air and remove up to 99.9% of airborne particles.
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