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Need more flexible travel options? Here’s all you need to know

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.

Few things have felt certain in 2020, and one of the least of all is travel. And with travel restrictions always changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, finding flexible flights has become essential. It’s also more important than ever to make sure that your hotel bookings and car rentals 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. We’ll go into detail below about how you can easily book flexible travel using these new tools for your next trip is as easy as a few clicks.

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 rentals 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.

Airline Flexible Policy
Air CanadaTickets booked with Air Canada
are allowed a one-time change for
free for tickets booked until December 31, 2020.
Air TransatAir Transat is waiving all change
fees on new flights booked by
December 31, 2020. The changes
are a one-time policy.
WestJetAccording to WestJet’s website,
travellers who book a flight before December 31, 2020 will be able to change or cancel (one-time policy) without a fee. Changes must be made 24 hours before departure.
Delta Air LinesDelta Air Lines allows its customers to change, and, if necessary, refund all trips booked through the end of 2020. Additionally, Delta has extended the validity of all tickets until the end of 2022.
United AirlinesOn their website, United states that the carrier will permanently eliminate change fees, presumably even after the pandemic is over. Note that you will need to pay any fare difference.
Some flexible travel options available with top airlines

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.

flight search page on skyscanner, tool for booking flexible tickets only for more flexible travel options
Finding flexible flights with Skyscanner

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.

free cancellation booking option with skyscanner's hotel search for booking flexible travel
Flexible travel booking: free cancellation on hotels

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 car rentals 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.

free cancellation button for flexible travel on skyscanner's car rental booking site
Book flexible travel: Car rental deals with free cancellation

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 travel options for flights, hotels, or car rental deals, or you 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

Which airlines have flexible flight tickets?

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, most Canadian airlines (including Air Canada, WestJet, and Air Transat) offer partially or fully flexible travel booking options.

What is a flexible airline ticket?

In simple terms, a flexible airline 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.

Can I buy a plane ticket without a set date?

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 travelling right now, it’s a great time to get — and stay — inspired. Here are some inspiring Skyscanner articles to keep your wanderlust alive: