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Canceling an award trip is not something that anybody enjoys doing, especially when the process is challenging and complicated. With so many people forced to cancel flights recently, this has led to a lot of frustrating decisions and long hold times. Thankfully, American Airlines seems to have recognized this and has recently made the process of canceling (some) award trips much simpler.
Automatic Mileage Reinstatement
American Airlines recently announced that it would waive change and redeposit fees for certain award reservations in response to COVID-19. As expected, this was welcome news for a lot of people. However, getting your AA miles redeposited has always required a phone call. That's true even for top-tier elites that never have to pay an award redeposit fee.
On Friday afternoon, to simplify the process, AA updated its award travel cancelation policy to include automatic mileage reinstatement for certain cancelations. Simply put: once you've canceled your trip online, AA will redeposit your miles automatically—eliminating the need to call the AAdvantage reservations line.
For your booking to qualify, it must meet these requirements:
- The reservation must be ticketed on or before May 31, 2020 for travel through September 30, 2020.
- The reservation must be for a single passenger.
- The traveler and the AAdvantage member whose miles were redeemed are the same.
- Travel is on American Airlines flights only.
- The ticket was purchased directly with American Airlines in the U.S. or via its U.S. website.
- Travel for any portion of the trip has not begun.
- No changes have been made to the trip since the ticket was issued.
The good news is even better for American Airlines Executive Platinum elites. Top-tier elites will continue to get automatic mileage reinstatement even outside the dates listed above. For all other members and for trips that don't meet the above criteria, members will still have to call AAdvantage.
Requiring a phone call to change or cancel an award reservation isn't unique to AAdvantage. But, as anyone who has recently called any kind of customer service can attest, hold times are hitting record lengths. Reduced hours and services have also made it harder and harder to reach an actual person. Eliminating the need call in the first place is an elegant solution.
After awarding 10x miles for donations to the Red Cross, extending elite status, and offering some incredible deals through web specials, this is yet another positive—if a little unexpected—development from American Airlines.
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