Hawaiian Airlines permanently eliminates change fees

On the heels of United, American, Delta, and Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines has decided to match and permanently eliminate change fees on all non-Basic Economy fares within their route network.  The nice aspect of Hawaiian's new policy is that like Alaska Air, it covers all routes that they fly to.  Hawaiian has a much more extensive international network than Alaska Air as they have long-haul flights to Asia and Oceania as well as a slew of inter-island and flights to the contiguous U.S.

Change your Hawaiian Airlines flight to Osaka, Japan without a fee

What's unclear at this point is if you'll be able to retain the fare difference if your changed flight is cheaper, and if Hawaiian will offer same-day standby like the other carriers have.  As it stands, AA and Alaska Air allow you to keep the fare difference, United does not, and Delta and Hawaiian haven't made it clear.  I would expect the latter two carriers to clarify their policies, though I don't see them being rushed into making formal announcements yet as change fees and fare difference retention are still valid on all bookings period (including Basic Economy) through December 31, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic travel waiver.

Quick thoughts

It's actually no surprise to see Hawaiian as being one of the last U.S. carriers to permanently eliminate change fees, knowing their reputation for subpar policies towards their customers.  Hawaiian has teetered on the edge of being an LCC (low cost carrier) while attempting to excel in categories such as lieflat seats in business class and complimentary meals in economy class.  They were obviously forced into this decision as they would be one of the lone U.S. non-LCCs to not permanently eliminate change fees.  Nonetheless, this matching move is beneficial to travelers, especially those residing or frequently traveling to the Hawaiian Islands.

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