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Wake Up and Save: Travel experts advise booking tickets well ahead of time in 2021

The airlines were hit hard by the pandemic and many companies made major changes in policies in 2020. Those policies can help you out as you plan 2021 travel.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Airlines were shaken up by the pandemic with CNBC reporting billions of dollars of losses for 2020.

As the world begins to stabilize, we are all looking ahead to traveling, even thinking about traveling to those locations with travel restrictions in place currently with hopes those will subside by the end of the year. 

It turns out if a good price pops up now, you might want to take it. You could get the price and a peace of mind.

MarketWatch says you could save by buying tickets now. Hopper, a ticket app, is expecting the cost of plane tickets to begin to rise 6% every month starting in March. They expect prices to skyrocket for the main travel season: summer.

What happens if you can’t take off when planned? Many airlines have changed their policies due to the uncertainty. 

You can buy now at a great price and if something changes your plans, you can often change or cancel with no fees. Every airline policy is different so you will want to check before you check out. 

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It might be better to purchase plane tickets from the airline websites directly and not through a third-party. That’s because 3rd party websites have their own policies customers have to abide by.

If you need help booking the best price, use an app like Hopper to track prices and trips. They’ll let you know if now is the best time to buy or if they think the price will get better.

If that is your biggest fear is cancellations or changes, consider using a local travel agent. There is usually no extra cost to you and they can keep track of any changes in travel restrictions.

It's also a way to support a local business that was affected by the pandemic.

Check out the current company policies for some of the major airlines: 

American Airlines: 

  • No change fees for all domestic, short-haul international and select long-haul international flying on Premium Cabin, Premium Economy and Main Cabin fares. More information here.

JetBlue

  • No change or cancel fees starting 4/1/21 for most fares. All fares booked through 3/31/21 will have no change or cancel fees. More information here.

Delta

  • No change fees or Award redeposit fees for all flights booked between March 2020 and March 30, 2021. More information here.

Southwest

  • No fees to change or cancel flights. More information here.

United

  • United is permanently getting rid of change fees for most Economy and premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S. including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. No change fees for other international travel originating in the U.S.
  • For all other destinations, change fees are waived through March 31, 2021. More information here.

RELATED: Carnival cancels cruises through the end of May 2021