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Good news AAdvantage members! American Airlines just adjusted its award cancellation policy for the better. Now, members can cancel and refund award flights booked by June 30, 2020 without fees.
Fee Waivers on Award Tickets
Before today, American Airlines allowed free changes and cancellations for award reservations. However, this waiver was limited to flights ticketed by May 31, 2020 for travel through September 30, 2020. For awards ticketed on or after June 1, 2020, American Airlines would have waived change and reinstatement fees when the change was made at least 60 days before travel.
This left a gap for awards ticketed by May 31, 2020 for travel after September 30, 2020. That meant that if an AAdvantage member booked an award in late 2020 or early 2021—such as the incredible Flagship First Class deal we saw the other week—they weren't covered by either fee waiver.
Now, American Airlines has extended and simplified its policy:
- For award reservations made anytime before June 30, 2020, American Airlines will waive the award reinstatement or change fees. This is regardless of the date of travel.
- For awards ticketed on or after July 1, 2020, change and reinstatement fees will be waived for all members when the change is made at least 60 days before travel. After that, the change fee will depend on when the change is made and the elite status of the member:
Even better, you may be eligible for an automatic mileage refund if you need to cancel. There are several restrictions to this new policy, such as being limited to reservations with just one passenger. However, it should allow many members to get a refund without having to call American Airlines.
Fee Waivers for Cash Tickets
Today, May 31, 2020 is the last day that you can book cash tickets for any future date and get flexible changes. Under American Airlines' current policy, flights ticketed between March 1 and May 31, 2020 can be changed or canceled without change fees. The only requirement is that travel must be completed by December 31, 2021.
For flights booked in June 2020—or before March 1, 2020—travelers can rebook without change fees if the date of travel is before September 30, 2020. Policies can still change. But as it stands now, you won't get any change or cancellation flexibility on flights booked on or after June 1, 2020 for flights on or after October 1, 2020.
Earn 65,000 Bonus Miles
In case you missed it, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® is currently offering a 65,000-mile sign-up bonus, one of the best offers available for American miles.
In addition to the 65,000-mile bonus, this card earns 2 AAdvantage miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations. Plus, you'll get travel perks like a first checked bag free on domestic flights, preferred boarding and 25% savings on inflight purchases.
- Free checked bags for you and up to 4 companions on domestic itineraries
- Priority boarding to help you win the race for overhead bin space
- A 25% discount on inflight food, beverage, and Wi-Fi purchases
- Reduced Mileage Awards can save you 7,500 miles on roundtrip MileSAAver Awards
- Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on cable and satellite providers
- Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent at gas stations
- Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on select telecommunications merchants
- Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on car rentals
- Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
- Earn 1X mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases
While travel is starting to pick up, there are a lot of travelers that are still heeding CDC guidelines to stay home. So, it's encouraging to see American Airlines extend its flexible change and cancellation policy for award tickets. This lets us book award flights without having to worry about cancellation fees if we can't end up traveling.
Also, it's good that travelers previously stuck in the “gap” between the previous policies can now change or cancel awards booked beyond September 30, 2020.
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