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AA award miles reinstatement / redeposit fees, issues, questions

AA award miles reinstatement / redeposit fees, issues, questions

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Old Jun 14, 19, 10:31 am   -   Wikipost
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Award Reinstatement / Miles Redeposit / Expired Miles Reinstatement
AAdvantage award reinstatement / reissuance charges Link

Prior to ticketing, you may change your AAdvantage travel award reservations with no charge incurred for a number of stipulated changes. However, if your tickets are reissued after the original ticketing, a charge may apply for each ticket. This service charge is paid at the time your ticket is reissued and is subject to change without notice. Upgrade, companion and discount award travel is subject to restrictions of fare purchased.

AAdvantage miles will be reinstated for unused and unexpired awards upon payment of a processing fee. For each additional award reinstatement from the same account at the same time, an additional charge will be collected. These charges are payable by credit card. Gift cards may not be used.

Expired tickets will not be reinstated. If a portion of the miles used to claim an award ticket has expired, only those miles that have not expired will be reinstated. Partially used tickets will not be reinstated.
Reinstating flight awards Link

Contact American Airlines Reservations for assistance with canceling your flight award reservation and requesting mileage reinstatement.

You can request to have your AAdvantage mileage reinstated for a wholly unused AAdvantage award ticket and if the ticket has not expired

  • The reinstatement charge is $150 per account for the first award ticket.

  • Additional award tickets reinstated to the same account at the same time will have a $25 charge per ticket

  • This fee will be waived for Executive Platinum (and Concierge Key) members using miles from their account
NOTE: If bookings are on separate PNRs, AA is likely to want $150 each, according to various member posts in other threads. Push back by saying you know that the computer wants to charge $150 each, but this explicitly contradicts the published rules (assuming miles were charged to the same account), so could the agent please manually adjust the amount charged.

Expired miles may also be reinstated within an 18 month period of time, but these will generally require a reinstatement fee or a reingagement requirement that will require certain levels of AA travel. There’s no other way known to reactivate an account with miles reinstated, though it’s theoretically possible to petition AAdvantage customer service for mercy in force majeure issues (e.g. military deployment or other condition beyond one’s control). Contact AA for your specific situation.
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Old Oct 2, 14, 9:20 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 45
AA award miles reinstatement / redeposit fees, issues, questions

1. I just learned a ticket I booked for a family member cannot be used due to a sudden medical issue. The 12500 miles are not worth the $150 reinstatement fee. That fee is excessive. I believe the only other time I've cancelled an award flight was on Virgin America, and it was only $75 to reinstate the miles. And of course Southwest charges $0.

Isn't it counterproductive to charge more for a reinstatement than the miles are worth? I'm not going to go to the hassle of cancelling now, they can find out at the gate.

2. I was booking a flight 2 weeks out. AA charges a $75 late fee, BA, for the same flight, charges $5. I think other airlines that charge this fee only do so 2 weeks rather than 3 weeks before travel. Maybe they have become worse too.

I don't mind fees for actual service, but this just seems to be random nickel and diming.

Last edited by JDiver; Mar 20, 16 at 9:04 pm Reason: Restore original post content
humesd is offline  
Old Oct 2, 14, 9:38 pm
  #2  
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There is no cost to cancel the ticket, the cost is only associated with re-depositing the miles if you wish to

If the passenger is likely to be able to use the ticket before its expiry date, then can always change the date to another date for free

I would suggest that 12,500 miles is worth more than $150 rather than the miles being worth less than $150. To purchase 12,000 miles would cost $384.75

As far as how other schemes work, different schemes are better in some ways and worse in others

BA may allow a late booking, but generally the redemption rates may be quite high plus a lot more charges in carrier surcharges

e.g. for LHR-SYD AA would charge 80,000 points plus taxes ( and surcharges if on BA ) for a 1st class flight vs 150,000 points plus carrier surcharges plus taxes

I would suggest that a $75 booking fee would be better

Last edited by Dave Noble; Oct 2, 14 at 9:47 pm
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Old Oct 2, 14, 10:13 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Honolulu, HI
Programs: UA 1K 1MM, AA Exec Plat
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AA fees are excessive and above competitors

And really not much different that other competitors. For instance, UA charges $200 for redeposit the miles. DL charges $150 for the same service.

Just cancel the ticket and pay the fee only of you find another use. I also agree 12500 miles are worth more than $150.
1KHI is offline  
Old Oct 2, 14, 10:37 pm
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by humesd View Post
I'm not going to go to the hassle of cancelling now, they can find out at the gate.
Notwithstanding the other points you raise, I'm not sure that this is the best play. I understand that AA allows you to change the dates for free, so if you change to the latest possible date in the future, there is a non-zero chance that there will be some sort of schedule change that would allow you to cancel and redeposit for free. If you don't have an immediate use for the miles, it's worth a shot.
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Old Oct 3, 14, 2:52 am
  #5  
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Thread moved to correct forum (AA and US continue to operate as separate airlines at this time), and retitled to conform to Rules and omit incorrect information. (Original title can bee seen as post title.)

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JDiver is offline  
Old Oct 3, 14, 5:49 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
I would suggest that 12,500 miles is worth more than $150 rather than the miles being worth less than $150. To purchase 12,000 miles would cost $384.75
Of course, the miles aren't by definition worth what AA charges. They're worth whatever they're worth to the individual customer. In real terms (i.e. actual, imminent spending that's replaced by mileage redemption), I rarely exceed 1 cent/mile, so I wouldn't pay the fee. OP's mileage may vary.
rjw242 is offline  
Old Oct 3, 14, 7:22 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,370
I think AA should offer the option of a no monetary cost, 100% miles cost, redeposit fee option.

So you don't pay anything in cash, lose the miles (similar to not flying), but get back the taxes.
bmchris is offline  
Old Oct 3, 14, 7:27 am
  #8  
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The fees are fixed so you pay the same if you spent 12,500 miles or 125,000 miles so it's a better bargain for premium intl awards. Which miles should be spent on ;-)
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Old Oct 3, 14, 7:28 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Originally Posted by mikew99 View Post
Notwithstanding the other points you raise, I'm not sure that this is the best play. I understand that AA allows you to change the dates for free, so if you change to the latest possible date in the future, there is a non-zero chance that there will be some sort of schedule change that would allow you to cancel and redeposit for free. If you don't have an immediate use for the miles, it's worth a shot.
This is probably the best advice for now. You may also want to use the miles on the same routing (this is a one-way ticket in Y, so who knows) in the future.

If you don't have many miles, 12,500 isn't worth $150. If you have enough that that is the difference, say between F and J NYC-HKG, then it is definitely worth it.

Regarding the ultimate point: most people seem to be saying that because other legacy carriers have similarly priced redeposit fees, this renders this in some way fair... but what United does says nothing about AA's practice. The essential question isn't whether this is the rule (it is) or whether this is industry norm (it is). The question is whether this industry norm is fair.

I'd submit the answer is no. One camp would argue that since this is indeed a ticket, paid for in an alternative "pseudo-currency", then the airline is actually losing access to revenue when a ticket is cancelled, and so just like normal nonrefundable tickets they can charge for a cancellation. The difference here is that the miles are captive assets, and can only be redeemed on AA, and so are worthless in the open market. They are already "on the books" with AA. So it is more like a change fee: your money (miles) are with us, and still with us, and you pay for the pleasure of finding a different way to ensure we get them. If you view mileage awards as tickets, paid for in miles, then this reading works: you pay a change fee and can use the balance of your ticket (the miles) any way you want (i.e. with more miles, etc). The change fee/voucher system is in place to ensure your money stays with AA.

And yet this doesn't work because of the fact that miles are a restricted currency from the beginning. Since you don't have the power to remove them from AA (and never did) and use them in the competitive marketplace, you are powerless in the first place to "shop around", and so your miles were captive in the beginning. You never had the choice of where to spend them, and so you don't give up any market freedom by booking an award ticket, whereas you do when you book a nonrefundable ticket. There never was any freedom, nor competitive market in the first place. Therefore there should be no change fee.

My two cents!
FlightWhite is offline  
Old Oct 3, 14, 8:04 am
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by bmchris View Post
I think AA should offer the option of a no monetary cost, 100% miles cost, redeposit fee option.

So you don't pay anything in cash, lose the miles (similar to not flying), but get back the taxes.
You mean the $5.60 on what I assume is this one way domestic ticket.

I do think if you cancel the ticket without redepositing you get the taxes back. But that's hardly an issue for most here.
danpeake is offline  
Old Oct 3, 14, 8:41 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by danpeake View Post
You mean the $5.60 on what I assume is this one way domestic ticket.
Right. And more for international.

While not a lot in terms of amount, it goes a long way in principle. The current policy, AA not only keeps what they gave you, but also keeps what was to be paid to the government (do they pay it for no shows?).

Either way, it's a nice gesture to say we're refunding you what would have been paid to a third party and not taking advantage of the situation, let along the $150 fee.
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Old Oct 3, 14, 9:03 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
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It's pretty ridiculous! They should waive this for platinum as well. They do it for Exec Plat. Gold should be $75. Non elite, sure!
fedaputz is offline  
Old Oct 3, 14, 9:20 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Originally Posted by fedaputz View Post
They should waive this for platinum as well.
I disagree. PLT qualification is only 50K miles. EP is 100K. EP can be twice as hard to attain as PLT. And I am a PLT.

Making EP benefits more common is not a solution. There also needs to be true recognition of the EP level.

As someone who almost always flies paid F (my company has an over 3 hour flight policy), the free redeposit for EPs is something I would greatly value over PLT. The big thing is not just the redeposit fee, but the number of award seats available. I expect they would dramatically be reduced if PLTs were allowed free redeposits.

Last edited by bmchris; Oct 3, 14 at 9:53 am
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Old Oct 3, 14, 2:24 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by FlightWhite View Post

Regarding the ultimate point: most people seem to be saying that because other legacy carriers have similarly priced redeposit fees, this renders this in some way fair... but what United does says nothing about AA's practice. The essential question isn't whether this is the rule (it is) or whether this is industry norm (it is). The question is whether this industry norm is fair.

I'd submit the answer is no. One camp would argue that since this is indeed a ticket, paid for in an alternative "pseudo-currency", then the airline is actually losing access to revenue when a ticket is cancelled, and so just like normal nonrefundable tickets they can charge for a cancellation. The difference here is that the miles are captive assets, and can only be redeemed on AA, and so are worthless in the open market. They are already "on the books" with AA. So it is more like a change fee: your money (miles) are with us, and still with us, and you pay for the pleasure of finding a different way to ensure we get them. If you view mileage awards as tickets, paid for in miles, then this reading works: you pay a change fee and can use the balance of your ticket (the miles) any way you want (i.e. with more miles, etc). The change fee/voucher system is in place to ensure your money stays with AA.
It is perfectly fair imo since it is clearly part of the membership terms. No one is forced to be a member of Aadvantage ( or any FF scheme ); if choosing to join, then should expect the rules of the scheme to apply

If Aadvantages terms are onorous , then can either not collect miles or simply collect to another scheme whose terms are better for that person. If BA or QF's cancellation policies make them better for ones use, then use them

If the OP feels that the $144.40 cost to redeposit the miles is not worth it, then that is the OP's choice
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Old Oct 3, 14, 2:40 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Originally Posted by fedaputz View Post
It's pretty ridiculous! They should waive this for platinum as well. They do it for Exec Plat. Gold should be $75. Non elite, sure!
where do you draw the line? Once Plt gets this perk, Gold members will come and complain how ridiculous it is and ask for waiver too... Then the creditcard members... EXP flies 100kEQM/EQP/EQS, Plat flies half of that I think its fair for EXP gets more perk than Plat.. I would agree with the idea of Plat gets 50% discount while Gold gets 25% discount in paying off mile reinstatement fee, but waiving it completely will just dilute the perks for the EXP... And EXP have plenty to complain about with this merger and the future of AA, just read thru FT..
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