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There's Pent Up Demand for Travel, But Air Traffic Won't Normalize 'Immediately:' Analyst

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A slew of airlines have now dropped the fees to change flights. 

Alaska is just the latest airline to join.

The lead was set by United Airlines. Alaska previously charged $125 for changes to domestic and international tickets, and the change will apply to all tickets except Saver fares.

"COVID has taught us that flexibility in travel is key. As we evolve our approach to travel... it's important to give our guests flexibility when they book by eliminating change fees," said the company's Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Andrew Harrison, in a statement

On Aug. 30, United Airlines dropped its $200 domestic change fee permanently to cope with the low demand for air travel during the global pandemic. Both Delta Air Lines and American Airlines followed suit the next day, with American also dropping fees for international flights to and from Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

This comes as the airlines face financial pressure due to the falloff in travel during the coronavirus pandemic and also comes as many airlines are preparing for mass layoffs in October if they don't receive more aid from the government. 

U.S. airlines could cut close to 75,000 jobs this fall, The Wall Street Journal reported. Earlier this summer, Delta Air Lines said it would furlough 1,941 pilots unless it reaches a deal with their union on other cost reductions. 

The International Air Traffic Association has forecast a record $100 billion loss for the industry this year. Last week, American Airlines said it would cut 19,000 jobs as of Oct. 1, when protections tied to federal aid to U.S. carriers expire this fall.

Jeff Marks, senior portfolio analyst with Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS joined TheStreet to talk about the airlines.

You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.

Read more from Katherine Ross here.

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