American Airlines Has Extended Its Change Fee Waiver

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Most airlines around the world are in the process of shuttering their networks and doing what they can (legally or otherwise) to ride out the storm around them. One tactic being employed is the one where airlines entice people into booking future travel (so they can take in more life-saving cash) by promising not to charge any additional fees if customers wish to change their flights at a later date or if they choose to cancel and accept a travel voucher in return.

American is one such airline.

Up until now, American Airlines has been waiving change fees for bookings made through 31 March 2020 (today) but with no sign that anything around us is getting any better soon the airline has now extended that booking period by a month.

Here’s American’s change fee waiver policy (link):

One fee-free flight change can be made to all bookings that comply with these conditions:

  • The booking is made between March 1, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. CT and April 30, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CT.
  • Cancellation and rebooking takes place before the first flight of the itinerary departs.
  • All rebooked travel starts within 1 year of the original ticket being issued.
  • Change fees are only waived on published non-refundable tickets.
  • AAdvantage award tickets are excluded from this waiver.
  • Customers are responsible for any difference in ticket price when they rebook.
  • To be eligible for the waiver, the issued ticket must be issued by American Airlines. American tickets have a 13-digit number that begins with ’001.’ (Tickets issued by other airlines will begin with a different carrier code and are subject to change policy of that airline.)

Customers with bookings made through American Airlines Vacations are also covered by this waiver policy but any increases in hotel costs or car rental costs will have to be paid by the customer.

Key Things To Know

  • The change fee waiver applies to all routes (international and domestic)
  • The change fee waiver applies for travel taking place through to the end of the current booking period (currently February 2021)
  • All fares are included in this waiver including Basic Economy fares
  • This change fee waiver does not entitle customers a refund

Bookings Made Before 1 March 2020

If you have a booking that was made before 1 March 2020 a change fee waiver is available if your travel is due to take place on/before 31 May 2020.

Important: Rescheduled travel must be completed on/before 31 December or 12 months from the original ticket date (whichever is earlier).

Bottom Line

American’s change fee waiver extension now covers bookings made in the upcoming month but as this is a tactic to persuade people to feel comfortable booking future travel (and because things aren’t going to get better any time soon) it’s almost guaranteed that this waiver period will be extended again (probably at the end of April).

Bearing in mind that this American Airlines change fee waiver only entitles customers to a free flight change or a travel voucher for a future date (in a limited time frame) and not a full refund, this isn’t a policy that gives anyone license to book fares indiscriminately – I strongly advise thinking long and hard before booking any travel that you’re not 100% certain you’re going to want to take.