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AA award $75 expedite / close-in processing fee (master thd)

AA award $75 expedite / close-in processing fee (master thd)

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Old Aug 17, 17, 2:28 pm   -   Wikipost
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AA: $75 Expedite Ticketing Fee for awards ticketed within 21 days of travel
(Does not apply to AAdvantage elite status holders)

American Airlines charges a $75 "expedite (ticketing) fee" for awards that are less than 21 days from booking (waived for AAdvantage elite members using miles from their own account - but it may vary for awards for others; some report being charged, others not).

There used to be a workaround "loophole"- book for over 21 days out, then change to a closer date. This loophole was closed February 16, 2012, and there is no known way of avoiding this fee for those required to pay it.

AAdvantage Award Processing Charges
Ticketing less than 21 days prior to departure $75
(Waived for AAdvantage Executive Platinum®, AAdvantage Platinum® and
AAdvantage Gold® (and Platinum Pro, Concierge Key EP) members using miles from their account)
Waivers for ticketing and airport purchase fees, less than 21 day from purchase travel and redeposit fee do not normally extend to those using their miles to purchase awards for non-status flyers (though this seems to vary, according to members' experiences)..

See aa.com awards booking page (as of 22 Mar 2016)here.

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Old Feb 17, 12, 11:42 pm
  #1  
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AA award $75 expedite / close-in processing fee (master thd)

American informed me that for non-elite members making any change to an ticketed award less than 21 days will result in 75 fee. This came in effect on Feb 16.

We had booked an award travel using my partmer's (non-elite) account and when we wanted to leave earler to new york (stop over) on the way to brazil they informed me of the new charges. Since this change was recent AND I had asked the agent at the time of booking if we could change the ticket (no change destination pairs) they waived the fee.

But again American is not finding new ways to raise revenue. Yes I am an elite member but the sands are changing fast within American and now strategy is to find ways of new revenue.

I am tempted to find ways of not flying AA and see if there will be any status match for top elite members.

Last edited by JDiver; Jul 2, 14 at 10:15 am Reason: move mod note to create wikipost
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Old Feb 17, 12, 11:42 pm
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AA: $75 for <21 days ticketed award travel (close change loophole closed)

American informed me that for non-elite members making any change to an ticketed award less than 21 days will result in 75 fee. This came in effect on Feb 16.

We had booked an award travel using my partmer's (non-elite) account and when we wanted to leave earler to new york (stop over) on the way to brazil they informed me of the new charges. Since this change was recent AND I had asked the agent at the time of booking if we could change the ticket (no change destination pairs) they waived the fee.

But again American is not finding new ways to raise revenue. Yes I am an elite member but the sands are changing fast within American and now strategy is to find ways of new revenue.

I am tempted to find ways of not flying AA and see if there will be any status match for top elite members.
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Old Feb 17, 12, 11:50 pm
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Originally Posted by CanadaAAguy View Post
I am tempted to find ways of not flying AA and see if there will be any status match for top elite members.
Good luck!

FYI, I believe Delta and United charge similar fees.
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Old Feb 18, 12, 12:00 am
  #4  
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There is a fee for booking less than 21 days out, so it makes sense to have a fee for changes within that same time period.
There is a way to avoid it. Use miles from the EXP account or fly Southwest.
Of course, on Southwest, closer to travel date, you will probably have to endure an increase in the number of points required.

I don't see how you getting a status match on UA, for example, for affect awards from the non elite's account.
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Old Feb 18, 12, 12:18 am
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Originally Posted by Science Goy View Post
FYI, I believe Delta and United charge similar fees.
Delta - $150 (all changes)
United - $75 for changes <21 days out. For other change fees, see the complicated chart.
US Airways - $75
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Old Feb 18, 12, 12:46 am
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It has been pretty well known here that this change was coming. Posted here December 16, info originally from TB. There has been a loophole that if you wanted to book within 21 days but not pay the fee, you could book for more than 21 days out, then change the dates for free to be inside 21 days. This just closes that loophole. Of course, it also catches anybody who booked well before 21 days and wants to change dates. Blame your fellow FT members for pointing out the loophole to anybody who asked. FT members have abused this for a long time, now it is no more.

Last edited by gemac; Feb 18, 12 at 3:20 pm
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Old Feb 18, 12, 1:34 am
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This is just a move to close the loophole for those who booked a trip outside the 21 days window and then changed the travel dates to within 21 days window to avoid the close in fee. And as germac points out, such loophole is being advertised on FT for so long that it finally brings the closure.

The close in fee is charged by virtually all US legacy airlines at $75 or more. You can, of course, choose to use BA miles which do not have close in fee but charge a hefty fuel surcharge on award tickets.
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Old Feb 18, 12, 3:51 am
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I can't figure out when and why AA charges some ticketing fees. Last week, the internet was down and I wanted to cash miles for my kids and grandkids to go to Europe this summer. Had to pay Anytime rates. Even though I'm EXP and my kids and grandkids have the same last name, they socked me $25 per ticket. If it helps them stay alive, I guess OK. I felt captive to something I couldn't change, though. I don't think they should charge fees if their website isn't working. Now if they so much as change a flight I guess they'll sock another $75 per ticket.
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Old Feb 18, 12, 4:36 am
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Originally Posted by FullFare View Post
I can't figure out when and why AA charges some ticketing fees. Last week, the internet was down and I wanted to cash miles for my kids and grandkids to go to Europe this summer. Had to pay Anytime rates. Even though I'm EXP and my kids and grandkids have the same last name, they socked me $25 per ticket. If it helps them stay alive, I guess OK. I felt captive to something I couldn't change, though. I don't think they should charge fees if their website isn't working. Now if they so much as change a flight I guess they'll sock another $75 per ticket.
If you are on the reservation, there would have been no $25 fee.
Aanytime or not, the phone fee applies
Since only AAnytime was available, you might have saved money just waiting to get access to the website, instead of booking by phone.
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Old Feb 18, 12, 5:32 am
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Originally Posted by FullFare View Post
I can't figure out when and why AA charges some ticketing fees.
Well, the "why" is easy enough. They're going through bankruptcy and need to raise every cent they can. Personally, I'm happy to pay some fees if it will assist in AA's survival. AAdvantage is a great program; international awards are very cheap; and OW has some very good members.
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Old Feb 18, 12, 5:39 am
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Originally Posted by gemac View Post
Blame your fellow FT members for pointing out the loophole to anybody who asked. FT members have abused this for a long time, now it is no more.
That's very harsh. The entire purpose of this forum is to exchange information. And FYI, AA is not so stupid as to have learned about this loophole only after people posted about it here.

Last edited by dstan; Feb 20, 12 at 7:40 pm Reason: unnecessary personal comment redacted by moderator
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Old Feb 18, 12, 6:22 am
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Originally Posted by Austinrunner View Post
That's very harsh. The entire purpose of this forum is to exchange information. And FYI, AA is not so stupid as to have learned about this loophole only after people posted about it here.
Admittedly, there are cases where things have hit the blogosphere (consider FDs) and attracted massive amounts of attention. These problems have been quickly remedied. Similar policy loopholes might not be worth fixing, unless enough people start abusing them.

To the OP: Unless you're a CO Platinum (future UA Platinum) or UA 1K, you'll pay a change fee. (I'm less familiar with DL, but honestly, Skypesos?)

Last edited by dstan; Feb 20, 12 at 7:40 pm Reason: removed redacted material from quote
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Old Feb 18, 12, 7:35 am
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Originally Posted by Happy View Post
This is just a move to close the loophole for those who booked a trip outside the 21 days window and then changed the travel dates to within 21 days window to avoid the close in fee. And as germac points out, such loophole is being advertised on FT for so long that it finally brings the closure.

The close in fee is charged by virtually all US legacy airlines at $75 or more. You can, of course, choose to use BA miles which do not have close in fee but charge a hefty fuel surcharge on award tickets.
What was posted sounded like more than just closing a loophole, as a change fee implementation on mileage tickets also probably will generate a lot more money for AA from customers who never took advantage of the loophole you mentioned and/or were unaware if it.

If this just closes that loophole while not (yet?) further restricting free changes, then that would be AA leaving money on the table given what AA's US competitors do in the main. How nice of AA.

Last edited by GUWonder; Feb 18, 12 at 5:13 pm
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Old Feb 18, 12, 9:06 am
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Originally Posted by CanadaAAguy View Post
American informed me that for non-elite members making any change to an ticketed award less than 21 days will result in 75 fee. This came in effect on Feb 16.

We had booked an award travel using my partmer's (non-elite) account and when we wanted to leave earler to new york (stop over) on the way to brazil they informed me of the new charges. Since this change was recent AND I had asked the agent at the time of booking if we could change the ticket (no change destination pairs) they waived the fee.

But again American is not finding new ways to raise revenue. Yes I am an elite member but the sands are changing fast within American and now strategy is to find ways of new revenue.

I am tempted to find ways of not flying AA and see if there will be any status match for top elite members.
These fees are pretty standard.
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Old Feb 18, 12, 9:07 am
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Now wait a second.

The loophole allowed you to bypass the fee when the new travel date was within 21 days of the ticketing date.

The new rule here, as described (we haven't seen the formal language), would charge the fee when the new travel date was within 21 days of the change date.

That's a big difference. I'll bet it's pretty common for someone to book an award months in advance, then decide at the last minute to leave a day early or return a day later; probably much more common than the loophole-evaders.
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