We know that travel is especially difficult right now. But alongside the latest COVID-19 travel advice and updates, we want to continue to
inspire you with new travel content so that when the world opens its doors again, you’ll be ready.
In 2020, few things have felt certain, least of all travel. Because restrictions are always changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, finding flexible flights has become essential, as well as making sure that your hotel and car bookings allow for last-minute changes and even cancellations when possible.
The good news: with Skyscanner’s new features, travellers who are interested in booking future travel can do so with confidence. In ways we’ll explain below, finding flexible travel options is as easy as a few clicks. 2020 can, as it turns out, be smooth sailing (or flying, as the case may be).
What is a flexible flight ticket?
Generally speaking, a flexible flight ticket is one that allows for changes or cancellations without a fee, with a smaller-than-usual fee, or another condition that makes it easier for the traveller to change their plans. Many airlines have agreed to eliminate change fees altogether in response to the uncertainty the pandemic has created.
When searching with Skyscanner’s “Flexible Ticket” option, this feature shows which airlines have changed their booking terms. The filter will only display airlines that offer flexible tickets, or hotels and car hire with free cancellation. And if you like to dot your i’s and cross your t’s, we also link directly to the airline’s booking policy so you can review all of the fine print.
While Skyscanner will always do its best to show you the most up-to-date prices and policies, it’s important to check the terms and conditions of your specific ticket at the time of booking to ensure you’re fully briefed on the details of its change policy.
Which airlines are offering flexible flight tickets?
There are several airlines offering flexible flights through the end of this year and beyond. Here are five airlines that have expanded their change fees and cancellation policies.
|easyJet||If your flight is cancelled due to coronavirus you can choose to switch your booking to any flight until 2021, online or on the easyJet app, or claim a voucher for your booking valid until summer 2021. The airline has waived all change fees up to 14 days before departure if you want to change your travel plans.|
|Ryanair||Ryanair has dropped its flight change fees for travel in October and November, valid for new bookings until 21 March 2021. You will still pay the fare difference. If your flight gets cancelled due to coronavirus you will be given the option to request a travel voucher. If you want a refund, fill in their refund application form, but those who choose not to fly due to FCDO rules will not be eligible for a refund.|
|Norwegian Airlines||If your flight is cancelled you will receive confirmation via SMS and email. You can request a refund of your unused ticket, or opt for flight credit and get an extra 20% towards a future trip. Change fees still apply if you want to change a flight.|
|TUI||If your holiday is affected you can claim refund credit or fill in the refund request form. If you have a holiday booked to a destination not approved by the FCDO, you can change your booking for free. If you’re not able to travel within 14 days of your departure date due to local lockdowns, you can choose a different holiday. If the new holiday is cheaper, you’ll be refunded the difference. And if it’s more expensive, you’ll need to pay the new balance.|
|British Airlines||If your flight has been cancelled you can claim a voucher to the value of your booking online, valid until 30 April 2022, or call customer services to discuss refund options. You can change the dates and destination of your booking for free until at least 31 August 2021, although you will need to pay any difference in fare.|
Finding flexible flights with Skyscanner
Whether you peruse our website on your desktop or mobile app, Skyscanner makes it easy to find flexible airline tickets,though please note that this feature is not yet available on mobile web. Simply tick the “Flexible tickets only” box (or, in the app, toggle the switch) for COVID-19 peace of mind in a single instant.
How to find hotels with free cancellation on Skyscanner
If you’re booking flexible flights, you’re also going to want to have the option to change or cancel your accommodation booking as well. That way, you can book flexible travel for your whole trip now, and decide if it’s still OK to go later.
Using Skyscanner to find flexible hotel stays is slightly different than doing so for flexible flights. Specifically, once you have completed your hotel search, navigate down the sidebar (or, in the app, tap “Sort & Filters” at the bottom of the results) and tick or toggle the “Free cancellation” option.
Booking cars with free cancellation on Skyscanner
Similar to flights and hotels, Skyscanner also makes it easy to find flexible rental car bookings that you can cancel for free or for a small fee, up to 48 hours in advance.
On the website, complete your search as usual and then tick the “Free cancellation” box in the left-hand sidebar, underneath the “Cancellation policy” heading.
In the app, simply tap the “Filter” button before completing your search, and tick the “Free Cancellation” box to make sure your results are flexible from the get-go.
Whether you’re on the hunt for flexible flights or want to enjoy some peace of mind when booking hotels and cars, Skyscanner allows you to book with confidence. Both on our website and in our award-winning mobile app, it only takes a second to fine-tune your search results so all you’ll see are flexible travel options. With the added travel stress brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, having this kind of peace of mind is nothing short of priceless.
Where can I go right now, anyway?
Travel restrictions are sweeping and ever-changing. Check the Skyscanner travel restrictions map to know where you can go and, importantly, to avoid any unexpected frustration at the airport. If you’re eyeing a few destinations in particular, you can also sign up to receive email updates when they reopen.
FAQ About flexible travel
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, most popular airlines (including easyJet, Ryanair and British Airlines) have expanded their flight change policies to increase flexibility.
Generally speaking, a flexible flight ticket is one that allows you to make changes without incurring a fee. Note that you will still need to pay for any fare differences; tickets that are free to change may not be free to refund outright.
You need to set a date when you book most flights. However, if you buy a flexible ticket, you can move the flight date and time until the ticket’s validity period (which is usually, but not always, one year from the date of purchase) ends.
Want to read more?
Whether or not you feel comfortable traveling right now, it’s a great time to get inspired. Here are some awesome Skyscanner articles to keep your wanderlust alive:
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