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Everything you need to know about flexible travel

We know that travel is especially difficult, if not impossible, 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.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, few things have felt certain – least of all travel. When the time does come for that post-lockdown trip, restrictions may still change so quickly that you’ll want to book with peace of mind that your plans can too. Flexible travel has become essential – from flexible flight tickets, to making sure that your hotel and car bookings allow for last-minute changes, or even cancellations.

So here’s the good news. With Skyscanner’s new flexible travel features, travellers who are interested in booking future trips can do so confidently in a few clicks. Read on to find out how.

Jump to…
Flexible flight tickets
Hotels with free cancellation
Flexible car hire

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 with another condition that makes it easier for you to change your 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 tickets option, you’ll see which airlines have loosened their booking terms. The filter will only display airlines that offer flexible tickets, or hotels or car hire with free cancellation. And if you’d like to review all of the fine print, we also link directly to the airline’s booking policy.

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?

Here are five major airlines that have expanded their change fees and cancellation policies.

Airline Airline Policy
easyJetIf your flight is cancelled due to coronavirus you can choose to switch your booking online or on the easyJet app, claim a voucher for your booking or opt for a refund.
RyanairIf your flight gets cancelled due to coronavirus you will be given the option to request a travel voucher or rebook for a future date. If you want a refund, fill in their refund application form, but those who choose not to fly due to FCDO rules will not be eligible for a refund.
Norwegian AirlinesIf your flight is cancelled you will receive confirmation via SMS and email. You can request a refund of your unused ticket, or opt for flight credit and get an extra 20% towards a future trip. Change fees still apply if you want to change a flight.
TUITUI has cancelled all holidays until mid-February. Customers due to travel then can amend to another holiday with an incentive, receiving an ATOL-protected refund credit note with incentive, or cancel and receive a full refund.
British AirlinesIf your flight has been cancelled you will be contacted by the airline and offered a refund, but you can change your flight online on the airline’s ‘Book with Confidence’ pages.

Finding flexible flights with Skyscanner

Whether you’re on desktop or mobile app, Skyscanner makes it easy to find flexible airline tickets. Simply tick the Flexible tickets only box (or, in the app, toggle the switch) for COVID-19 peace of mind in a single instant.

(Please note that we haven’t quite got round to adding this feature to mobile web yet).

Screenshot for flexible flight search

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, and decide if it’s still OK to go later.

Flexible and free cancellation for 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 rental car bookings 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.

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 flights or 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 COVID-19, having this kind of peace of mind is nothing short of priceless.

Cool! So… can I travel now?

Keep an eye on the Skyscanner travel restrictions map for updates on which countries are deemed travel-safe. If you’re eyeing a few destinations in particular, you can also sign up to receive email updates when restrictions change, or they reopen to UK travellers.

Got a destination in mind?

Why not get your trip started with a quick search and look out for the best flexible deals?

Flexible travel FAQs

Which airlines have flexible flight tickets?

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, most popular airlines (including easyJet, Ryanair and British Airlines) have expanded their flight change policies to increase flexibility.

What is a flexible flight ticket?

Generally speaking, a flexible flight 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?

Travel might not be possible right now, but it’s a great time to get inspired for a post-lockdown trip. Here are some awesome Skyscanner articles to keep your wanderlust alive: