HomeAirline LoyaltyAmerican Airlines Is Eliminating More Award Fees & Extending Mileage Expiration Dates

American Airlines Is Eliminating More Award Fees & Extending Mileage Expiration Dates

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American Airlines has just announced some good, positive changes to its AAdvantage program which will come into effect from tomorrow, 11 November 2020. Two fees are being eliminated and mileage expirations are being extended so, although for most people this year will almost certainly be remembered for the terrible toll that Covid-19 has taken, a small crumb of comfort may be that it’s also the year that has seen airlines roll back a swathe of fees that most of us have resented for years.

American Airlines Eliminates Award Ticketing Fees

Historically, American Airlines has attempted to charge any non Executive Platinum members a fee of up to $40 if they tried to book an award over the telephone but, in reality, this fee was rarely applied. Usually, there was either a good reason why the award couldn’t be booked online (in which case the fee was waived), or the person being charged would simply ask the agent to place the award on hold in their account and then book it online when they realized they were about to get charged for no good reason.

Nevertheless, American has now said that there will be no need for AAdvantage members to worry about being charged an award booing fee if they call up to book as the fee is being elimiated from tomorrow.

This can’t be classified as a “big win” for flyers but it’s nice to know that flyers won’t have to justify why the fee shouldn’t apply the next time they call in to book an award.

American Airlines Eliminates Award Redeposit Fees

Since June, American Airlines has had a new fee structure that it said would be applied to member wishing to redeposit awards and, although it elimiated fees for anyone changing their plans 60 days or more before travel, it also ensured that some members would be charged up to $150 for close-in redeposits.

a table with numbers and symbols
American’s redeposit fee structure in June 2020

As of 11 November 2020, this fee structure is history. Starting tomorrow, AAdvantage members of all statuses will be able to redeposit miles back into their accounts and make changes to their award bookings without being charged a fee regardless of when they choose to make the change (as long as the change is made before their scheduled departure!).

While the elimination of the phone fees was nice but no big deal, this is a hugely positive move for AAdvantage members and makes the process of booking awards when you’re struggling to finalize plans a lot less like a lottery. I’m delighted to see these fees elimiated as it makes it considerably less expensive when you suddenly find that you have to change your plans, but I really hope that a few selfish people don’t ruin this for everyone else by booking multiple awards on multiple dates (and taking away availability from other AAdvantage members) when they know full well that they’ll only need to use the awards on just one of those dates.

a plane on the runway

American Airlines Extends Mileage Expirations

American Airlines Aadvantage Miles are easy to keep alive as the smallest amount of activity in an account will reset the 18-month timer that ticks down to expiration. Still, these are hardly ordinary times so if you haven’t been able to do any of the things that would resent your AAdvantage expiration clock (buy miles, use the AAdvantage Dining program, use the AAdvantage shopping portal, etc..) you’ll probably be please to hear that American has paused all mileage expirations through 30 June 2021.

Bottom Line

it looks like November 2020 will be a good month for members of the American Airlines AAdvantage program. It’s a month in which flyers will get to say goodby to an unnecessary phone ticketing fee, a month in which they get to say goodbye to the truly annoying award redeposit fees that a lot us have had to pay down the years, and it’s a month in which the less active AAdvantage members amongst us will see their mileage expiration dates extended through June 2021.

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