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Involuntary Award Changes / What To Do (merged threads)

Involuntary Award Changes / What To Do (merged threads)

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Old Apr 19, 19, 3:56 pm   -   Wikipost
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Involuntary (Carrier Imposed) Award Changes Questions

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

NOTE: For voluntary award changes (changes you wish the airline will make), see All Voluntary Award Change: date, time, routing, co-terminal, cost, cancel, etc..

Occasionally, AA or a partner carrier may make a schedule change or flight cancellation that negatively affects an award. These changes can include significant flight reschedules (or cancellations) that affect minimum connection times, change departure times, eliminate the class of service you secured originally, etc.

AA's legal obligation ends at redepositing all the AAdvantage miles used and refunding all taxes and carrier imposed charges. But in actuality, AA will generally try to help in these cases. AA can:

1)!Move you and your companions to other flights operated by American Airlines, regardless of whether there is award availability or not, or whether it's the same routing or not. Usually an agent will do this by calling Revenue Management to request revenue seat release to award seats.

2) Have the AA Liaison contact the originally scheduled airline to request they release revenue seat(s) to awards on suitable flights. This generally requires 72 hours (three working days), excluding holidays, weekends, etc.

3) Redeposit your miles free of charge and refund fees and taxes you were charged.

Some agents are more knowledgeable and/or willing to assist you. In cases where they aren't, you can request speaking to a Supervisor, or hang up and call again so you can speak to another agent.

Below are the usual rules for voluntary award changes; though they generally apply, some rules may be waived in cases where you have had your award altered involuntarily.

Award changes, ordinary

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

Also see: AA oneworld and Other Airline ("Partner") Award information, rules (2015 on) (link).

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 - as long as you do not try to change between all AA oneworld awards and non-oneworld partner airlines.

E.g. an all AA award such as SEA-HNL-SYD using AS can not be changed to use JL without requiring award redeposit.

Awards must be used within one year of 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 abd 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 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).

If Maximum Permitted Miles (usually 125% of the most direct available routing) for an award are 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.

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.

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 Jul 18, 16, 9:55 am
  #76  
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Originally Posted by swm61230 View Post
So I am confused about a few things.

1. Doesn't travel from north America to India/ME need to go through Europe to be just one award redemption?
No.

2. Doesn't the rule of having to use the most direct routing need to apply for this as you can get there in one stop lax>hkg>cmb.
Generally, I don't think so, but there are certain limitations (e.g., MPM-based).

3. I thought stopovers were no longer permitted on awards booked through AA. As such he couldn't tell AA that he needs that routing for a particular stop.
A stopover is a technical term, here it means anything over 24 hours. You could certainly want/need to stop in a city to, say have a brief meeting, but not be making a stopover.

4. Shouldn't he really be upset at CX as they are the ones that went back to AA and said that fight is no longer available. Very scummy thing to do but its not like there is anything that can really be done about it is there.
Here I kind of agree. Sounds like CX bounced him from the flight and re-routed him, but from their point of view, they're still getting OP from origin to destination (presumably without significant delay), and there were no stopovers on the ticket, so their obligations are filled.
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Old Jul 28, 16, 11:48 pm
  #77  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Alaska changes AA award to impossible connection

I booked an AA award from Vancouver BC to Honolulu via Seattle and Anchorage on Alaska Airlines leaving at 6 A.M. It was confirmed and ticketed. A month later I go to check on my seats, and Alaska had changed the itinerary (without telling me) to go via Seattle and Oakland. The problem was, the flight from Vancouver got into Seattle at 6:55 A.M., and the flight to Oakland left at 6:05 A.M.

I talked to Alaska, who had me talk to AA, who had me on the phone for a long time before they finally put me on an AA 8:10 A.M. from Vancouver to Phoenix to Honolulu.

My question is, why would Alaska arbitrarily change my reservations, and to a connection that was physically impossible to make? Has anyone seen anything like this? What would have happened if I hadn't bothered to check and catch the change until I got to the airport?

Thanks.
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Old Jul 29, 16, 5:41 am
  #78  
 
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This happens all the time in the airline world, especially if your flight is a ways off in the future. Flight schedules change, and the computers will automatically rebook you, sometimes on alternate flights that make no sense. Generally you should get an email from AA notifying you, although oftentimes there can be quite a lag from the time the flights are changed to the email. It definitely pays to check your reservation online often, as you've seen.
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Old Jul 29, 16, 7:37 am
  #79  
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A change in schedule causes reaccommodation, but not necessarily by sentient beings. Though it seems like the airlines should be careful, in my decades of flying I've found it necessary to check periodically on my flights and to be proactive (I don't expect the airline entity will care more about my travels than I do).
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Old Jul 29, 16, 7:51 am
  #80  
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It's an AA award. AA is responsible for telling you and rebooking you, opening award inventory on their own planes if needed (to the extent they serve your routing). That's an industry standard.
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Old Aug 2, 16, 8:09 pm
  #81  
 
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Policy for award schedule changes

I booked an award back in January 2016 for an F award (Z if we're being technical) in October. A few days ago I got a call asking to reticket my award mentioning that it won't be F anymore. Logging onto aa.com, it looks like they plan on dropping me from F to J award. Currently I have BCN-MIA-SFO. Before I call them back to negotiate, do y'all know what I can push on? My goal is to stay in F or something comparable.
  • Should I just accept it? I would have expected a ticketed reservation in January would be "safe." This is AA 113 and I guess it's dropped from a 777 with F to a 767-300 with J only. This seems like a pretty big quality drop to me as I think this is an old-style J config AFAICT. I think it's only got angled-lie-flat, and I think I might've had a new/refurbed 777 config when I booked it.
  • I know routing changes are allowed. Does saver award capacity have to exist for me to make the change? Naturally this close in saver awards for my exact dates are much harder to find. I'd really prefer to stay in F but I might have to ask for them to open up space in BA BCN-LHR-SFO or AA BCN-JFK-SFO. This is /probably/ my preferred option but if it's not possible I won't waste too much time on it.
  • They're going to credit me the miles difference (oh how generous!). I'm expecting to get the difference pre-devaluation - is that a safe assumption?
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Old Aug 2, 16, 8:54 pm
  #82  
 
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What is the J configuration of the 767? if 1x2x1, then it is lay flat seat. They are the reconfigured ones and very good in my opinion, I would opt for that along with the mileage difference (prior to devaluation) back in my account.

If not 1x2x1, then its the old angle seats, not really what you seem to want. If you still want to fly F, its best to look for an AA route that has F on it. I've had mixed results in the past asking AA to open up space on BA on equipment changes in the past. Its easier to accommodate on their own metal as opposed to BA.

Just because you booked so far in advance does not guarantee anything, actually, you have a higher chance on schedule & equipment changes. You also have the option to cancel the trip and get a refund.
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Old Aug 2, 16, 8:58 pm
  #83  
 
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Saver award capacity would have to exist if you wanted be rerouted on partners. It does not have to exist (i.e., they can force it open) if you want to be rerouted on AA.

if you want three-cabin F and don't mind two stops what about BCN-LHR-LAX-SFO?
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Old Aug 2, 16, 9:00 pm
  #84  
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I would do the BCN-JFK-SFO.

My BCN-JFK at the end of the year is a 772 (new biz) and the JFK-SFO in F would be great. Definitely worth a phone call. If the agent says no, you can choose to HUCA or move on as you "won't waste too much time on it". I think its worth a call or two.
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Old Aug 2, 16, 9:15 pm
  #85  
 
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Originally Posted by arollins View Post
What is the J configuration of the 767? if 1x2x1, then it is lay flat seat. They are the reconfigured ones and very good in my opinion, I would opt for that along with the mileage difference (prior to devaluation) back in my account.

If not 1x2x1, then its the old angle seats, not really what you seem to want. If you still want to fly F, its best to look for an AA route that has F on it. I've had mixed results in the past asking AA to open up space on BA on equipment changes in the past. Its easier to accommodate on their own metal as opposed to BA.

Just because you booked so far in advance does not guarantee anything, actually, you have a higher chance on schedule & equipment changes. You also have the option to cancel the trip and get a refund.
aa.com suggests it's a 1-2-1 seat arrangement, so new config? The MIA-SFO leg remains a 738 in F, which is OK I guess (and not a change AFAICT). I'm guessing I can get the pre-deval 50k mileage level if I opt for the refund?

Otherwise the AA BCN-JFK-SFO seems like a net upgrade if I can get them to open space?
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Old Aug 2, 16, 9:18 pm
  #86  
 
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Originally Posted by MrPink View Post
"...it's dropped from a 777 with F to a 767-300 with J only. This seems like a pretty big quality drop to me as I think this is an old-style J config AFAICT. I think it's only got angled-lie-flat, and I think I might've had a new/refurbed 777 config when I booked it."
While this is a brutal swap on paper, considering you're going from 77W equip out of BCN to a 763, you may be happy(er) to know that AA and BA have a contract that all transatlantic flights must be with the new J class on 763 equipment (as of summer 2015), meaning you WILL, at the very least, get the new fully lie-flat product. While it IS more narrow than the old 767 angle-flat....at least it is not...well...angle-flat.

Information on this agreement can be found in this 767-300 CIP thread (around page 10): http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...ussion-99.html

While this certainly isn't the new (and sexy) 773ER product, it won't be as depressing as the old angle-flats, that it seems as though my wife and I will be dealing with on our next trip to Hawaii. Hope this helps, MrPink!

FINAL THOUGHT: (That said, I certainly wouldn't hesitate to let AA know that you need fair compensation in the form of vouchers and/or miles.)

Last edited by meunger11; Aug 2, 16 at 9:22 pm Reason: added final though
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Old Oct 6, 16, 2:11 am
  #87  
 
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Disappointed with AA/CX (award and KA cabin changes)

Booked a Business Class flight from Wuhan to Miami for Nov. 27th with a stop in Hong Kong in January 2016 (pre devaluation). Got a call a couple months ago telling me that because Dragon Air was discontinuing business class on that flight so they were down grading me to economy. I was ok with it since .... happens but I checked online today and saw that there was still business class being sold that day between Wuhan and Hong Kong. Called AA which contacted CX but was told there was none available even when AA also can see in their system that there was still seats available. .

Anything else I can do about this? If not would I be able to get points or other things from AA?
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Old Oct 6, 16, 6:57 am
  #88  
 
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Originally Posted by phiota View Post
Booked a Business Class flight from Wuhan to Miami for Nov. 27th with a stop in Hong Kong in January 2016 (pre devaluation). Got a call a couple months ago telling me that because Dragon Air was discontinuing business class on that flight so they were down grading me to economy. I was ok with it since .... happens but I checked online today and saw that there was still business class being sold that day between Wuhan and Hong Kong. Called AA which contacted CX but was told there was none available even when AA also can see in their system that there was still seats available. .

Anything else I can do about this? If not would I be able to get points or other things from AA?
Call back. If you're not calling the AA number in the USA then I recommend doing that.

Tell them that you were downgraded to economy on the WUH-HKG flight due to a schedule change. The schedule has changed again, and there is now business available again, and ask to be put back in business on that leg.

Even changes that should be "easy" like this seem to be taking 3 or 4 calls to AA these days.
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Old Oct 6, 16, 9:51 am
  #89  
 
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Called AA which contacted CX but was told there was none available even when AA also can see in their system that there was still seats available.
The AA I called was in the US.
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Old Oct 6, 16, 11:26 am
  #90  
 
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Originally Posted by phiota View Post
The AA I called was in the US.
Hang up - call again
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