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Many U.S.-based airlines, including Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, have relaxed airfare change and cancellation rules across the board and have made it easy to make changes to an already-issued ticket.
You can update your travel dates and even a destination, but how flexible are the new rules? Is there a limit to the kinds of changes you can make? Can you transfer Alaska Airlines tickets to another person? Can one request a name change on an existing booking?
» Learn more: The best airline credit cards right now
What is Alaska’s cancellation policy?
You can get a full refund back to your credit card if you cancel an Alaska Airlines ticket within 24 hours of making a reservation. Otherwise, the ticket is nonrefundable and is attached to the original ticket holder.
If you cancel an Alaska ticket outside of the 24-hour cancellation policy, the original ticket holder will receive a travel credit valid for one year even if someone else paid for their ticket.
Remember to book a flight directly with an airline so that you can make any necessary changes with the carrier later.
Can you transfer an Alaska Airlines ticket to another person?
According to Alaska’s cancellation policy, the answer is no. Alaska tickets are nonrefundable and nontransferable.
However, there’s one instance in which you can transfer an Alaska ticket to another person, and it’s when the ticket is part of a group purchase of 10 passengers or more. In that case, unlimited name changes are allowed up to three days before departure. If you’re within three days of your trip, passenger substitutions are allowed for a fee.
So, Alaska Airlines does allow ticket transfers to someone else, but only on group reservations of at least 10 people.
» Learn more: Your complete guide to the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
How to make a name correction on an Alaska ticket
Say you booked a ticket and are excited to make further travel plans only to notice that you made a typo in your name, inverted first and last names, or accidentally let autofill add a last name to a middle name field. Now you’ve got a problem — the name on your ticket doesn't match the name on your ID. Keep calm and carry on: It’s possible to correct the mistake.
If you notice the error in the first 24 hours, call Alaska at 800-252-7522 and ask to make a name correction. Because you’re within a risk-free cancellation period, these changes can be made at no cost. You can also request a name change online.
However, if the 24-hour mark has passed and your ticket name is incorrect, you can still make a change, but now it’ll cost $125.
Minor name changes are allowed to fix obvious mistakes, such as Dan to Daniel, Lopes to Lopez or reversal of the order of first and last names. If possible, keep your changes to no more than three letters. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to change other traveler information, such as gender or birth date because the identity of the traveler must remain the same.
What U.S. airlines allow name changes on an individual ticket?
Frontier allows name changes for a fee of $75 plus a fare difference. The new passenger must keep the same itinerary and travel date. If the new traveler wants to change departure or arrival dates or cities, then a name change fee and a flight change fee both apply.
Southwest has made it possible to transfer a flight credit to another person when booking Wanna Get Away Plus, Anytime and Business Select fare types. If you’re unable to travel, cancel your flight and transfer the flight credit value to another Rapid Rewards program member at no cost. The other person can use it for any flight they want within 12 months of the original purchase. The fare difference applies.
The bottom line
Alaska doesn’t allow ticket transfers unless it’s part of a group reservation made for at least 10 passengers traveling on the same record locator. Otherwise, make sure you spell the passenger names correctly and look over the ticket details as soon as you receive a confirmation email so that you can make changes within 24 hours.
Photo courtesy of Alaska Airlines.
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