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Following the recent removal of change and redeposit fees on award tickets, American Airlines has now expanded the previous policy of no change fees on revenue tickets to any of the 50 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Now, if you are originating in North or South America, there will be no change fees for long-haul First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy and Main Cabin (except Basic Economy) tickets.
This is in addition to the previous policy for North America.
If you want to change into a higher priced flight, you’ll still pay the fare difference. If the flight is less expensive, you’ll have a credit for the difference.
If you cancel, you’ll retain the full value of the original ticket.
As with so many recent changes, the airlines realize that, right now anyway, they need you to book tickets. Making things less restrictive will absolutely encourage more ticket buying – which they need to stay afloat. But it really doesn’t matter if the reason for dropping the fees is selfless or selfish – it’s good for consumers.
Don’t be surprised if many of these fee-reductions find there way back a few years from now, though…
I still recommend using AAdvantage miles over cash if possible, though. That’s because when you cancel the award flight, you get your miles and taxes back free and clear.
With a cash flight, you still need to actually want to rebook – or AA just holds your money like an interest free loan.
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New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.