Positive and Negative Changes of American Airlines New Award Tickets Change & Cancellation Fees

Advertiser Disclosure: We love living points life by using points and miles to elevate travel experiences. In the interest of being transparent with you, we may be compensated from an approved credit card's application, or from some of the products and services recommended on this site. This only happens when you click on our affiliate links. We also earn commissions from purchases made through Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Thank you for your support and especially for reading this blog! Please see our Advertiser Disclosure for more details!

American Airlines
has always been one of my favorite miles program to use for award bookings
because of their more understanding award change and cancellation fees policy
compared to other US mileage programs out there. While the policy lasted for
quite a long time, American Airlines now decided to make some changes to their
award fees policy. 
Depending on how you look at it, the change can be good and bad, but overall I
feel that the new policy is not too awfully bad to accept. 
Table of Contents  [show/hide]
    Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card
    Earn 70,000 Bonus Miiles + Alaska's Famous Companion Fare!

    American Airlines Old Award Change and Cancellation Fees

    American Airlines doesn’t charge for award tickets change fee as long as the
    origin and destination remain the same. You can change date, time, connecting
    city, airlines, etc. at no cost. You can make unlimited changes and it does
    not even matter if it was 6 months, 2 months or several hours before
    However, with the exception of AA Executive Platinum members, any cancellation
    for miles reinstatement including any changes made to the origin and
    destination, award type such as downgrading from higher class to lower class
    cabin would result in a fee of $150 for the first passenger on the itinerary
    and $25 for each additional passenger. 

    New American Airlines Award Change and Cancellation Fees

    American Airlines is making changes to award change and cancellation fees
    policy based on your elite status and ticket’s booking time period before
    flight’s departure time. See below:
    Elite Status Change made 60 days or more before travel At least 7 days, but fewer than 60 days before travel Fewer than 7 days before travel
    Executive Platinum  $0 $0 $0
    Platinum Pro $0 $50 $75
    Platinum $0 $75 $100
    Gold $0 $100 $125
    Regular member $0 $125 $150

    Depending on how you look at the new American Airlines award fees policy,
    there are positive and negative things behind it. 

    American Airlines Positive New Award Fees

    • Free Change: You can change award tickets at no cost 60 days
      before travel. It does not matter what types of change you want to make.
      Whereas before, you would be charged if you change origin &
      destination after 24 hours and after the award ticket is confirmed. 
    • Free Cancellation: You can cancel award tickets and redeposit
      miles into your account at no cost as long as your request is made 60 days
      before departure. Before, after 24 hours you cannot cancel without a fee
      after the award ticket is confirmed. 
    • Web Special Awards: AA has been rolling out web special awards
      that offer significant discount on award miles tickets. Those tickets are
      not changeable or cancellable, but with the new policy, those tickets can
      be changed or cancelled free of charge as long as the request to change or
      cancel is made 60 days before travel. 
    • Reduced Award Fee: If you are flying alone most of the time and
      have no status with American Airlines, the change and cancellation fee is
      reduced from $150 to $125. If you have elite status, the fee is reduced
    • Free Class Upgrade: Upgrading using more miles to a higher class
      cabin on the same award flight continue to not have any fees even within
      the 60 days window. This is the same as the old policy.
    • Free 24 Hours: Cancellations of the original ticket purchased
      2 or more days before departure will continue to have up to 24 hours for a
      full ticket refund including mileage reinstatement.

    American Airlines Negative New Award Fees

    • Multiple Passengers: Family travelers are going to pay a lot of
      fees to change or cancel an award ticket within 60 days of departure. If
      you do not have elite status, the change or cancellation fee is $125 per
      passenger. Whereas before, the first passenger pays $150 and each
      additional passenger on the same itinerary only pays $25. 
    • Award Change Fee: If you settle for an award ticket that may have
      insane connecting time or have bad departure and arriving time, you can no
      longer make changes free of charge even if you keep the origin and
      destination the same. Any changes within 60 days before travel will incur
    • Award Cancellation Fee: If you cancel an award ticket within 60
      days before travel and have miles redeposited, you will be charged for a mileage reinstatement fee per passenger on the itinerary. The mileage reinstatement fee is the same as award change fee. 
    • Upgrade Award: If you use miles to upgrade a cash ticket, any
      cancellation that results in miles reinstatement will incur a fee of $150
      per account for the first ticket and $25 for each additional ticket on the
      same itinerary. You also forfeit any non-refundable co-payment used to

    When New AA AAdvantage Award Fees Policy Takes Place

    American Airlines new award fees change applies to any award reservation that is made on or
    after July 1, 2020.

    My Two Cents

    I personally feel that the new American Airlines award fees policy is not
    awfully bad and it is still fair compared to other US mileage programs out
    there. I appreciate that now we can make any changes and even request
    cancellation to have miles redeposited at no cost 60 days before travel. On
    the other hand, everyone’s traveling situation is very different. The new policy is
    going to hurt those that travel with multiple passengers the most as the new change fee is charged per passenger and based on elite status. But all in all,
    I can only think of more positive things to talk about AA award fees change than
    negative ones. 

    See Also:

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *