American Airlines Extends Award Change and Cancellation Fee Waiver

AwardWallet receives compensation from advertising partners for links on the blog. Terms Apply to the offers listed on this page. The opinions expressed here are our own and have not been reviewed, provided, or approved by any bank advertiser. Here's our complete list of Advertisers.

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.

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
Annual Fee$99, waived for first 12 months
Welcome Offer Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
The AA Business Card is a great card to hold for any business owner that travels at least a few times per year with American Airlines. Get a free checked bag on domestic itineraries, priority boarding and a 25% discount on in-flight purchases. Even better, this card gives you access to Reduced Mileage Awards, which can save you up to 30% on the miles required for domestic awards. With these perks, it's easy to justify the annual fee of $99, waived for first 12 months.
  • 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

Final Thoughts

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.

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

**You may receive 5 bonus AAdvantage miles for leaving a comment (Details/FAQ)

Comments

  • question about INTERNATIONAL AWARD bookings…..

    YOU STATED that for American Air…….. FF 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.

    Does this WAIVE RULE APPLY to BOTH US domestic and INTERNATIONAL award tickets booked before Sept. 8th? I see nothing on the Amer Air website that excludes international award tickets.
    Thanks. Richard

  • I think we are needing more flexibility. Covid 19 all around the world and country restrictions are a big issue . We don’t really know when will be safe to travel again for leisure porpoise. Plus many countries are forcing a 14 days quarantine

  • the details of the waiver state the ticket can be changed multiple times (saleslink.aa.com) and with no fare difference if only date/time changes. Has anyone changed multiple times or changed to a different date without being charged the fare difference?

  • Well done. Thank you AA! in my opinion the best miles program on market.

  • These changes are positive, but i wish they weren’t temporary.

  • Very good news.
    I hope to remember to book for some destination using AAdvantage miles.
    I would buy cash ticket for almost immediate departures.

  • This is tempting me to make a speculative booking way out into 2021. I wonder what proportion of such trips are taking advantage (no pun intended) of the flexibility and making changes/cancellations.

  • K.Antahades says:

    Will AA extend miles expiration as well?

  • This is really good news I just had to cancel my August 1 trip. The event went on however I felt unsafe in going. It’s just one less thing I have to worry about it as far as fees. I wish other Businesses would adopt this policy. Everything is so uncertain right now.

  • If AA can be free to extend my miles would be best, the UA was not expire for them miles.

  • It’s truly Awesome. BTW it’s a good way to extend your miles expire time. Haha, before it’s very hard to call my miles back except you call AA service center.

  • Customer focus, I hope this move remains after pandemic.

  • Oh! That would be great. I had asked AA a couple of months ago if there was a chance of mile expiry being extended since we could not fly to the US from the UK but they said no it would not. So glad they have changed their mind.

  • Thank you AA for making it so flexible to book the tickets in these uncertain times

  • This is good news! I wonder why not extend this policy until the end of the year?

  • That’s great news! Now if only they would extend the expiration dates on points since we can’t use the points during this pandemic.

    • Good news! They are! After originally letting miles start expiring on July 1, AA backtracked and has paused mileage expiration through 12/31/2020.

  • Better late than never is the slogan I am thinking of here.

  • It is good that they are allowing flexibility because otherwise, very few people would book in these uncertain times. However, it’s always important to check the cash price of the tickets first. There might be some very inexpensive tickets and it might be worth buying the ticket cash and using points for the rental car or something like that.

  • For the most part, travel companies have got the extensions right. Some have been more reluctant and difficult than others, but again, they largely have done decent.

  • I’m hoping they’ll extend this to the end of the year given the uncertainty of the times. I’ll be more apt to book if I know change fees are waived.

  • Juan Ignacio says:

    The vast majority of airlines have had very empathetic attitudes when it comes to reroute flights and refunds … the big question is, after the pandemic will they follow the same way?

  • Great news. Gives me more confidence in booking a ticket. Hopefully the US will open up soon for UK travellers.

  • This is what needed to be done. My belief is that many still will face issues. The date is still far too early. Another extension, until at least next year, will be warrented.

  • Given the current state of the pandemic this is good news, although there is no seeing the end anytime soon, and a real vaccine might come out not before Spring 2021. We miss traveling!

  • Cool. That’ll save me a $100. I’m holding an award ticket to South Africa on Qatar and they haven’t canceled the flight yet even though the country is closed to travelers, especially US residents. Thanks for the update!

  • Thank you AA for making life easier for us.
    Now to wait for normality to be able to fly.

  • it’s a good measure, but September 8 is too early. they should maintain conditions throughout 2020.

  • Boris Shkolnik says:

    This is very good deal for Flights ticketed and can be changed or canceled without change fees.
    I received Voucher for 1 year when I returned my ticket.

  • Does it apply to one world partner airlines using aa miles on “Fee Waivers on Award Tickets”? or it only applies to american airline flights?

  • I wonder if they’ll keep extending it. Also would they consider refunding tickets? What if we get to the 1 year mark and this is still going on?

    Also we were supposed to take a flight in March for spring break, but we cancelled it proactively. I found out that they actually cancelled our return leg. I wonder if I left the flight open would we have received a refund? The only thing is we wouldn’t have flown the outbound flight.

  • mmortal03 says:

    It’ll be interesting to see if they extend it again, past July 1st, given the upswing in cases in many states. Fortunately, AwardWallet is keeping tabs on all of this.

  • The policy for automatic refund applies only to itineraries with one passenger and the person on the AA account travelling. However, does the no reinstatement fee apply to ALL tickets canceled at least 60 days in advance, you just have to request the miles to be reinstated otherwise?

    • JT Genter says:

      That’s correct. Historically, all AAdvantage members needed to call AA to request that miles were reinstated after cancelling an award. Now AA is trying to save us some time by automating some of these refunds. I’m not quite sure why they can’t automatically refund the miles in the case where there are multiple passengers, but that’s not included (yet). So, yes, there is no fee if you cancel or change 60 days out (for awards ticketed starting July 1), but you will need to call to request a refund of the miles.

  • es una muy buena noticia. AA pone como prioridad el foco en el cliente!!

  • AA was really helpful with us, as we had flights booked from Australia to Singapore, Cathay first class to NY and then on to SFO, Chicago to Geneva in business class and then back in Etihad apartments, but for January. Australia won’t be open so AA let us cancel with full refund of taxes and points without charge. Very kind indeed

  • Vikram Upadhyay says:

    Wow, what a wonderful news! I’ve been an American Airlines customer for over 7 years now, and always appreciated their customer-focused offers. Thanks a lot 🙂

  • R FRIEDMAN says:

    These changes in policies help the airlines win PR points with consumers. The cost of the changes are out wayed by the good will they generate.

  • It is nice to see this change but it will be short-lived. Once the travel activity goes back and people travel more, I guess they will be back to where they were before February 2020. Let’s see how long these good rules last.

    • For some time going forward, the customer should be in the driver’s seat to a degree with airlines, simply because the carriers are in for a long struggle against reduced demand.

  • D Anderson says:

    The airlines have been decent and humane in many little ways, like this. I’m interested to see the long-term effects of this pandemic on airlines. Do policies stay more flexible, or revert to the previous state?

  • la verdad es necesario que todos los vuelo se puedan reeprogramar para 2021 ,no se sabe como seguira esto y que pasara si las aerolineas vuelan pero los lugares de destino te exijan cuarentena

  • It’s nice that they extended this. Even better would be to hold miles expiration given that people are not able to travel the full of spring and potentially even in the fall…

  • How many more extensions will we eventually need? It is depressing!!!

    • Feels even more drawn out when they do one month at a time. Almost want them to do 3 months at a time so we don’t hear about it so often.

  • Carlos9424 says:

    Todas las aerolineas deberian pensar en hacerlo

  • Florencia says:

    They are good benefits, but insufficient to decide to buy a ticket in this uncertain context.

  • all airlines should be doing this!

  • I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to cancel my trip this summer with my daughter, but the convention just announced that they’re rescheduling for next summer and now I have to switch all my reservations over to next summer. It’s one less thing to worry about knowing that I won’t have to get slammed with fees, and that feels good. Thanks for keeping on top of these updates; it’s easier to find the information I need here as opposed to the carrier/hotel/car rental websites.

  • Nobody will book with AA without an extension of fee waivers with all the uncertainty now.

  • Jennifer says:

    This is a good thing that they have extended this. This is the only way that they can get people to book during this uncertain time.

  • MASSIMILIANA ROSSI says:

    Great info and updates! I found very useful knowing that for award reservations made anytime before June 30th 2020 American Airlines will waive the award reinstatement or change fees, regardless of the date of travel. Thanks!!

  • AA has made an excellent decision; the borders are still closed and the quarantine measures around the world are insane!

  • This is a good deal. Has AA extended the expiration date for travel vouchers? I got one in November 2019, planned to use it in September 2020, but the CVD19 thing may limit my plans. Any help?

    • JT Genter says:

      I thought that I saw something about those being extended… but I can’t find anything now. I’d recommend calling AA to see if you can get a clear answer on that.