US airlines are waiving fees and canceling flights as coronavirus spreads

As fears about the coronavirus outbreak grow, more people are reassessing their travel plans, both domestic and abroad. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Global air travel is expected to decline for the first time since 2009.

US-based airlines are extending waivers and reducing flight capacity to Europe after President Donald Trump announced a sweeping travel suspension on March 11. Two days later, American, Delta, and United Airlines said they will start capping fares on several US-bound flights for Americans rushing to fly home in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

“We are placing caps on our fares for all cabins on flights from Europe to the US that are affected by the government-imposed travel restrictions,” an American Airlines spokesperson told CNBC.

Several carriers also announced cuts in service to domestic routes, as airlines are buckling down to reduce overhead costs. American, Alaska, Delta, and United are expanding and waiving some change and cancellation ticket fees for both domestic and international flights as people reassess their travel plans. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of these waivers, but most airlines are now allowing travelers who booked international and domestic flights to make changes without charge.

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