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All Voluntary Award Changes: date, time, routing, co-terminal, cost, cancel, etc.

All Voluntary Award Changes: date, time, routing, co-terminal, cost, cancel, etc.

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Old Jun 14, 18, 11:41 pm   -   Wikipost
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Voluntary Award Changes Questions
for carrier, co-terminal, date, destination, add / drop a segment, origin, routing, cancellation
AAnytime <-> MileSAAver and other changes

Please feel free to add to or correct the information herein.

NOTE: For involuntary award changes (caused by the operating carriers), see Involuntary Award Changes / What To Do (merged threads).

Ordinarily, one must call to request or make changes to award tickets.

Award changes, ordinary

NOTE: More extensive listing of terms and conditions are listed in oneworld and other airline Awards Rules, Information 2015 on

Award carrier, connection, date or routing changes: As long as origin and destination (but read on for exceptions such as first / last segment) remain the same, change / award redeposit fees are usually waived for awards under certain circumstances when date, connection, routing or carrier changes are made But:
Airline / carrier changes incur no change or redeposit fees as long as you do not try to change between all AA oneworld awards and non-oneworld partner airlines.

E.g. an AA award such as SEA-HNL-SYD using AS can not be changed to use JL without requiring award redeposit. An award using AA LAX-HKG can be changed to JL via NRT or CX Without redeposit ing miles.

If Maximum Permitted Miles (usually 125% of the most direct available routing) for an award is exceeded, two awards may be charged

or

MSC fare requirements: The most significant or prevailing carrier, usually the one with the transoceanic sector, must offer an unconstructed fare between desired origin and destination; if a fare would require "married segments", two awards may be required.
Award validity: Awards must be used within one year of original booking; for travel beyond that, the award miles will have to be redeposited and new awards secured.




Award miles reinstatement: Redeposit fees are waived for Executive Platinum members. See here for more information on award miles reinstatement.

"Upgrading" class of service by using miles requires redepositing the Old award and issuing a new one for the higher class if service. AA will waive the deposit fee on the redeposited award, and will not charge for this. (However, taxes may differ, such as going from the discounted U.K. Air Passenger Duty to the full APD if upgrading from Y / PE to J; if there are higher taxes and fees imposed by the new fare, the passenger is charged for those.)

Co-terminals: For award purposes, there are no co-terminals; changing co-terminal airports (MIA and FLL, PBI; JFK, LGA, EWR etc.) will incur a $150 change fee. See this thread for detail on award miles redeposit.

An award using AS, FJ, HA or TN to South Pacific (e.g. AKL, SYD) can not be changed to AA or QF without requiring award redeposit (or vice versa).

Dropping segments: Awards made on AA or / and "All Partner" carriers will allow changes mentioned above without requiring redeposit fees. Instances of dropping an origin segment can be allowed, or a final segment - as long as doing so does not change the destination zone (or sub-zone, in the case of intra-North America awards); changing the mileage (miles required) of the award claimed or the number of awards claimed.

Segments can be dropped as long as doing so does not change the destination zone (or sub-zone, in the case of intra-North America awards). If you are refused, refer agents to the in-house memo/advisory dated 02/03/11 entitled "Dropping OWFA segments." (guv1976)

As JonNYC posted:

This document was current as of December 2014:

For permitted changes and fees, see this post in the airline partner award thread.

See TravelingBetter.com here and illustrations here.

If the award is AA and oneworld, changes may be made as long as the main / governing /Most Significant carrier makes an unconstructed fare on the award routing and the governing fare's carrier is not changed to one not offering such a fare.

Close-in booking fee: Changes made to bring travel to under 21 days from award issue will incur close-in booking fees of $75.

Schedule changes: On international awards, schedule changes of two hours or longer, or those breaking connections by bringing them below MCT / minimum connection times, flight cancellations, generally may be cancelled and redeposited without fees, or engender greater flexibility in changes. With AA awards, it is possible award seating may be opened when there is none; with partners, AA can appeal to the Liaison to the partner to open seating in these cases (the partner airline may or may not grant the exception requested). Equipment change constitutes a schedule change and you will be able to get the fee waived pre this thread: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...solidated.html

Partner changes: If the award includes non-oneworld partners such as AS, EY, FJ or TN, or a oneworld carrier award is changed to include a non-oneworld carrier, significant fees will be incurred ($150).

"Upgrading" class of service by using miles requires redepositing the Old award and issuing a new one for the higher class if service. AA will waive the deposit fee on the redeposited award, and will not charge for this. (However, taxes may differ, such as going from the discounted U.K. Air Passenger Duty to the full APD if upgrading from Y / PE to J; if there are higher taxes abd fees imposed by the new fare, the passenger is charged for those.)



Changes that require different award type -

Changes to the itinerary which involve different AAdvantage award(s) than originally ticketed require a reinstatement of the original award ticket, payment of the applicable award reinstatement charge (see below), and a new award ticket issued (waived for AAdvantage Executive Platinum members using miles from their account).

Changes to your outbound travel date, resulting in a departure within 21 days -

Close-in booking fee: A $75 USD award processing charge will apply for a confirmed change to the date on an AAdvantage MileSAAver and AAnytime award ticket if the change results in a new outbound travel date that is within 21 days of the original booking date (waived for AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum and Gold members using miles from their account).

Contact AAdvantage Reservations to change your itinerary, pay the applicable charge and have your ticket reissued prior to travel.

Canceling Awards / Reinstating Award Tickets
(Waived for AAdvantage Executive Platinum members using miles from their account)

Award class changes: MileSAAver to AAnytime changes generally incur no fees; conversely, AAnytime to MileSAAver awards generally will.

Award cabin class "upgrades" (e.g. Y to J): If the change made is an increase of miles to another cabin class, fees are not normally charged (but some government required fees such as UK Air Passenger Duty, airport passenger facility fees, etc. may change).

Redepositing awards incurs a fee of $150 other than for Executive Platinum members redepositing to their accounts. If two or more awards are being redeposited to the same account at the same time, the fees are $150 for the first award, $25 for every award thereafter. Note the awards do not have to share the same PNR, though some less knowledgeable agents will insist so.

Note: given a 120 hr / 5 day hold is offered, there is no right to “Free” cancellation (without redeposit) within 24 hours of securing the award. OTOH, mere date changes to a year from Booking are free of charge in most instances.

Please see: State of the award reinstatement fee (Nov 2015 - clarifying)

FAQ: Cancel award ticket / cancellation (time frame, taxes, etc.) (merged threads)

Link to archive of older posts on this topic




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Old Oct 7, 14, 3:36 am
  #1  
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All Voluntary Award Changes: date, time, routing, co-terminal, cost, cancel, etc.

What happens? Is Milesaaver different form AAnytime?
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Old Oct 7, 14, 6:47 am
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If you don't show for a flight, all remaining flights on that reservation will be cancelled.
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Old Oct 7, 14, 6:53 am
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Originally Posted by JPG3392 View Post
If you don't show for a flight, all remaining flights on that reservation will be cancelled.
But do you lose the value of the miles?
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Old Oct 7, 14, 6:58 am
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No-Show on Award Ticket?

Yes. Not sure about the taxes and fees.
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Old Oct 7, 14, 9:04 am
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Originally Posted by sts603 View Post
But do you lose the value of the miles?
No you don't lose the miles. You can pay to redeposit or use for same origin/destination at a later day up to one year from original ticket issue.

Originally Posted by tkelvin69 View Post
Yes. Not sure about the taxes and fees.
Award tickets do not carry endorsement of "TICKET HAS NO VALUE UNLESS PASSENGER CANCELS TICKETED FLIGHT
RESERVATIONS PRIOR TO TICKETED DEPARTURE TIME"

They do carry "AFTER TRAVEL HAS BEGUN - MILEAGE MAY NOT BE REINSTATED" but that is if you partially use a part of the award. So if you flew LGA-ORD as part of LGA-ORD-LHR and decided not to fly ORD-LHR, no miles.

Last edited by seawolf; Oct 7, 14 at 9:09 am
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Old Dec 9, 14, 6:33 am
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Change Fees on AA Award Tickets

The disclosure language at the AA website says:

A $150 USD charge or additional miles will apply for a change to an eligible origin or destination on a MileSAAver or AAnytime award, (waived for AAdvantage Executive Platinum members using miles from their account).

It turns out that "eligible origin or destination" includes any and all intermediate points on a multi-segment trip.

I discovered this recently when-- after a schedule change-- I attempted to change the flights for an upcoming trip from Boston to Berlin that my wife and I are taking next year using AAdvantage mies. We are currently booked BOS-LGA/JFK-TXL. For my wife (who is not EXP and uses her own miles) to rebook BOS-JFK-TXL, she will have to pay a $150 change fee.

(I specifically asked no fewer than three separate EXP agents whether this would mean a change fee was applicable if -- for example -- a non-Executive Platinum flyer changed an award itinerary from BOS-ORD-LAX to BOS-DFW-LAX. Everytime the answers was "yes, the fee would apply".)

While I think the rule is annoying, I am actually more disturbed that the disclosure is not transparent. To me "origin" and "destination" simply do not describe the intermediate transfer points on a multi-segment itinerary issued from a single award. But I am wrong.

Am I just late to the party? Do most AA frequent flyers understand that that is what AA means by "eligible origin or destination"?

Last edited by Rover75; Dec 9, 14 at 6:53 am
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Old Dec 9, 14, 7:14 am
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One is usually able to change an AAdvantage award routing w/o a fee - as long as the origin/destination remain the same.


However, your wife's ticket is a bit more complicated - b/c it includes a partner award (JFK-TXL is on AB, correct?) - and thus the rule you quote is for Milesaaver & Anytime AAdvantage awards are not applicable.

This doesn't explain why the agents said that the BOS-LAX examples you cited would incur a charge.
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Old Dec 9, 14, 7:34 am
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Originally Posted by bdemaria View Post
One is usually able to change an AAdvantage award routing w/o a fee - as long as the origin/destination remain the same.

However, your wife's ticket is a bit more complicated - b/c it includes a partner award (JFK-TXL is on AB, correct?) - and thus the rule you quote is for Milesaaver & Anytime AAdvantage awards are not applicable.
The language that I included came from this page here:

http://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/re...servations.jsp

While you're right that rule that I cited specifically mentions Milesaaver & Anytime AAdvantage awards, it is on a page that covers all award travel (including partner award travel-- yes, we are on AB from JFK to TXL) and there is no other reference on that page to any other applicable change fee that would apply to the change I am describing.

Moreover, it has always been the case in my experience that the availability of seats on the domestic connecting portions of partner awards is determined by Milesaaver availability. I am not sure if this is spelled out anywhere explicitly, but I think it is pretty widely understood.

(There is a whole separate question of whether a change from LGA to JFK should even be counted as a change in origin or destination. Apparently the answer is that it should, but this is inconsistent with the fact that when using the AA website to search for award travel, it returns flights into LGA even when specifically searching for flights into JFK.)

Originally Posted by bdemaria View Post
This doesn't explain why the agents said that the BOS-LAX examples you cited would incur a charge.
I agree. A couple of other observations. I always raised the question about the applicability of a change fee for a change in routing for a BOS-LAX itinerary in the context of arguing that my wife shouldn't be subject to the change fee on her itinerary from BOS to TXL. So maybe that had an effect on the answers I received.

Also, I raised a real world example of my changing an LAX-BOS award ticket to LAX-MIA-BOS before I became Executive Platinum. I was not charged a change fee. When I asked if the agent had been correct to not charge me a change fee, the person I was speaking with on the Executive Platinum desk was unable to give me a yes or no answer. (This was different from the example of changing a connection in ORD to DFW since the revised itinerary here did not change the origins or destinations of any segment in the original itinerary but only added one new origin and one new destination at MIA.)

If nothing else, this reinforces my primary concern that the rules governing the applicability of change fees are not clearly stated.

Last edited by Rover75; Dec 9, 14 at 8:14 am
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Old Dec 9, 14, 8:21 am
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Unless there has been a relatively recent super secrete rule change, even the partner award reasoning doesn't quite add up. I've done something similar with BA for the TATL segment, with the O/D for the entire outbound leg remained the same, though the intermediate segments changed.
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Old Dec 9, 14, 8:38 am
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The more I think about this I have a theory as to what is happening here:

My guess is that the only thing that matters in determining whether or not an award ticket can be changed without a fee is what the computer tells the agent when she/he tries to make the actual change.

Is this possible?

The printed rules regarding change fees don't specifically cover partner awards, even though they clearly apply (at least in some circumstances).

If my hunch is correct it would explain what I was told about a change fee applying to BOS-ORD-LAX change to BOS-DFW-LAX-- it would mean that without an actual reservation in hand, the reservations agents were forced to make it up without actually knowing the correct answer.

If this hunch is correct then it is quite likely that there is no way to know the precise circumstances under which a change fee will be levied until you are already locked into a reservation.
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Old Dec 9, 14, 8:42 am
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Originally Posted by AndyAA View Post
Unless there has been a relatively recent super secrete rule change, even the partner award reasoning doesn't quite add up. I've done something similar with BA for the TATL segment, with the O/D for the entire outbound leg remained the same, though the intermediate segments changed.
What was the before/after of your award change? Might be explained by one of the applicable (non-punished) rules.

As far as the overall subject, it comes up a lot and -does- create a lot of confusion; it's definitely not well-detailed on AA.com, and, often, not well explained by AAgents, etc.

Can't say this is the only area where that the case, but, yes, they could do a much better job by at -least- publishing some of the internal information that explains about 80% of the questions we see come up.
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Old Dec 9, 14, 8:45 am
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Originally Posted by Rover75 View Post
T...If this hunch is correct then it is quite likely that there is no way to know the precise circumstances under which a change fee will be levied until you are already locked into a reservation.
I wouldn't agree with that, per se. The majority of charges for changes-- even the vast majority-- *can* be anticipated/understood (yes, with a GREAT deal of knowledge and experience (or input of others with same)) by knowing all the rules.

But, unfortunately, that includes unpublished rules as well-- but we know those.

Agents definitely do misquote/misunderstand the rules in some cases.
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Old Dec 9, 14, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by bdemaria View Post
One is usually able to change an AAdvantage award routing w/o a fee - as long as the origin/destination remain the same.


However, your wife's ticket is a bit more complicated - b/c it includes a partner award (JFK-TXL is on AB, correct?) - and thus the rule you quote is for Milesaaver & Anytime AAdvantage awards are not applicable.
The presence of a partner carrier on the itin isn't the issue. People change such itins among oneworld carriers without fees every day.

I believe the problem is the auto pricing of the drop of the NYC airport change. Routing isn't supposed to matter (so long as the new routing is qualifying).
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Old Dec 9, 14, 9:27 am
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
The presence of a partner carrier on the itin isn't the issue. People change such itins among oneworld carriers without fees every day.
You're correct-- the mere presence of an AAdv partner airline on a ticket doesn't make it exempt from the rules we know nor the rules the OP references.

Yes, for a long time people here were confusing the rule for the ability to switch AA segments to other OW partners (they thought it could be done regardless of OneWorld, etc.) but I think we finally have most people mostly straight on that.

But the mere presence of a partner on a ticket isn't the issue here, best as I can see.
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Old Dec 9, 14, 9:29 am
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Is that really 100% right? I was under the impression that if you're flying AA metal you were guaranteed no change fee (assuming an unaltered origin/destination); and that if you have partners in the itinerary, maybe not. Or am I misinformed?
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