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UPDATE: The booking window for receiving unrestricted waived change and cancellation fees on award reservations ended July 1, 2020. However, on July 29, 2020, American Airlines retroactively extended this fee waiver for flights ticketed through September 8, 2020. Then, on August 13, 2020, American Airlines extended this flexibility to awards ticketed by September 30, 2020 for travel through December 31, 2020. This post has been updated to reflect these changes.
American Airlines just adjusted its award cancellation policy for the better. Now, members can cancel and refund award flights booked by September 8, 2020 without fees. This flexibility has also been extended for award bookings made through September 30, 2020 for travel through December 31, 2020.
Fee Waivers on AAdvantage Award Tickets
Here's American Airlines' extended policy:
- For award reservations made anytime before September 8, 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 September 9, 2020 for travel by December 31, 2020, American Airlines will waive the award reinstatement or change fees.
- For awards ticketed on or after September 9, 2020 for travel in 2021, 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 were initially several restrictions to this new policy. But now, most members should be able to get a refund without having to call American Airlines.
Fee Waivers for Cash Tickets
Travelers can book flights now through September 30, 2020 to get flexible changes anytime before departure. Under American Airlines' current policy, flights ticketed by September 30, 2020 can be changed or canceled without change fees. The only requirement is that travel must be completed by December 31, 2021.
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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