Home TRIP IDEAS Airlines’ Refund Processing Times in the Event of COVID-19 Pandemic

Airlines’ Refund Processing Times in the Event of COVID-19 Pandemic


Travel has significantly changed since the Coronavirus pandemic hit the entire planet. In the event of the current situation, travelers seek to get flight cancellation refunds or change their travel dates. If you are one of the people who is exploring ways to get money back from the travel company or the airline as soon as possible, here’s more info on the topic that will eventually clear the whole situation.

By the way, if you still don’t know if you are eligible for a flight refund or want to refresh your memory on whether your air carrier is handing over flight cancellation compensations and what are the conditions to get one, check out our latest article “Will My Airline Tickets Get Refunded Due to COVID-19?”. And now, let’s move on to how long it will take the airline to compensate their customers for canceled air travel.

Air Canada

Depending on what type of ticket you purchased (refundable or non-refundable), the refund you may get will be subject to different conditions. Check the airline website for detailed information. You will find the necessary info in the Customer support category under the Refund Services section.

Speaking of refund processing time, Air Canada claims to be able to fulfill this request within 6-8 weeks. Customers also can track the status of their refunds on the same website.

Alaska Airlines

You should always check with Alaska Airlines’ policy on ticket refunds, because not every ticket is refundable. Nonetheless, all the refundable tickets get compensated within 20 business days if you paid for it with cash, and 7 business days if you used a credit card for the purchase. Remark: It should take between 14 and 21 business days for the credit card company to put the money back on your account.

American Airlines

AA will refund for your unused ticket if your ticket is refundable. It will take up to 7 business days to get your flight refund on your credit card and up to 20 business days to reimburse your cash. Please note that the credit card company is able to get the money on your account within 1-2 billing cycles.

Delta Air Lines

With Delta Air Lines, it absolutely depends on how lucky you are whether or not you are going to get your flight cancellation compensation fast. Still, the mentioned refund processing time by the air carrier is 7 business days, although, in the current situation, the air company has extended the period to 30 business days and is insisting the clients to expect a longer time to process refunds due to a high work volume.

Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines’ refund policy and guidelines are unclear as no info has been found on their website. The same applies to the current situation with coronavirus. Also, a remark has to be done: the airline seems not to be waiving their cancellation fees. So, if you are not in a hurry to pay up to $119 for ticket cancellation, then hold on and watch the situation roll on.

Hawaiian Airlines

As stated on the air carrier’s website, it should take up to 7 business days to process a refund if the customer purchased the ticket with a credit card. If he paid for the ticket with cash, he should get the money back within 20 business days. Several claims on the web suggested that Hawaiian Airlines are processing the request in a timely manner, so there shouldn’t be any problems with getting a refund.

JetBlue Airlines

It should not take too long for JetBlue to process and emit a refund if you used a credit card to pay for the airline tickets. But for the rest payment methods (cash and check), it may take up to 20 business days until you get the compensation for the canceled flight.

Spirit Airlines

You wouldn’t believe it, but Spirit’s customers who have already got their refunds to claim that the air carrier is handing over compensation for canceled flights due to coronavirus in just one business day! Taking into account the fact that there is no info about refunds and processing times on their website, and that it is encouraging customers to exchange their tickets for vouchers, it is clear that there is a low demand for flight refunds.

Southwest Airlines

On Southwest’s website, it is stated that it should take about 7 business days to process the refund and around 10 business days for the bank to put money on your account. You should also be capable of seeing the refund on your statement within 1-2 billing cycles.

United Airlines

If you are looking to get a refund fast, it is not going to happen with United Airlines. Not that it is a certain thing (it may depend on the situation), but because the airline itself claims that it may take up to 21 business days to process the refund request.

Speaking of other travel booking services like OTAs, these may take even more to process the refund request. This may be caused by high work volumes and the process itself. Keep in mind that the third-party company has to talk to the airline in order to get a refund inquiry for you. Eventually, the whole process gets more complex in this situation.

One more thing we have to address is how to really get refunded for your failed air travel? Here’s what you may follow:

  • Be patient as the travel industry is barely coping with the coronavirus situation.
  • In this unprecedented event, customer service centers are also facing difficulties in dealing with the situation. Hence, expect long wait and response times.
  • Don’t hurry to cancel your trip if it is happening really soon. In some cases it is even better to wait for the airline to cancel the flight altogether, and therefore, to increase your chances of getting a full refund.
  • It may be considerate of you to be more flexible in this event.



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