Trouble changing an award reservation

Old Oct 9, 18, 8:20 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Cambridge, MA
Programs: AAdvantage, United MP
Posts: 47
Unhappy Trouble changing an award reservation

I needed to change the dates on an award ticket to delay my trip from Europe to the US by about three weeks (same cities of origin and departure). When I found an agent who could book a new itinerary for me, I ran into two problems:

1) The miles needed for the new itinerary were 15,000 less than had been needed for the original reservation. I was told that I would absolutely have to pay a $150 fee to reinstate the miles if I wanted to rebook the flight. My suggestion that I could forfeit the miles to avoid paying the fee was rejected.

2) The taxes on the new reservation were less than on the original reservation. My suggestion that they refund me the difference was rejected: there would need to be two transactions, a refund and a new charge.

The net effect is that because I needed to rebook my itinerary to a later option that required fewer miles, I've ended up out of pocket to the tune of $400: the $150 reinstatement fee plus the original taxes of $250, which have yet to reappear on my credit card after nearly a week (the new charges appeared immediately).

Is it just me, or does this all not make a great deal of sense?
cambridge_mass is offline  
Old Oct 9, 18, 8:39 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Programs: AA EP, Hilton Diamond, Hertz Platinum
Posts: 487
They handled your change of award type just as they should. If you look at the terms and conditions of award travel on the website it says when a change of award type occurs, the first award is redeposited and the redeposit fee paid.

As to the difference in processing times between credits and charges, that’s just common place with merchants and credit card issuer/banks. Charges will almost always show up before they credit. Thats not something specific to American Airlines.
JDiver, adunker and enpremiere like this.
milesandmoremiles is offline  
Old Oct 9, 18, 8:42 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Cambridge, MA
Programs: AAdvantage, United MP
Posts: 47
Originally Posted by milesandmoremiles View Post
They handled your change of award type just as they should.
Thanks, I appreciate this information.
cambridge_mass is offline  
Old Oct 9, 18, 8:52 am
  #4  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 61,579
Originally Posted by cambridge_mass View Post
I needed to change the dates on an award ticket to delay my trip from Europe to the US by about three weeks (same cities of origin and departure). When I found an agent who could book a new itinerary for me, I ran into two problems:

1) The miles needed for the new itinerary were 15,000 less than had been needed for the original reservation. I was told that I would absolutely have to pay a $150 fee to reinstate the miles if I wanted to rebook the flight. My suggestion that I could forfeit the miles to avoid paying the fee was rejected.

2) The taxes on the new reservation were less than on the original reservation. My suggestion that they refund me the difference was rejected: there would need to be two transactions, a refund and a new charge.

The net effect is that because I needed to rebook my itinerary to a later option that required fewer miles, I've ended up out of pocket to the tune of $400: the $150 reinstatement fee plus the original taxes of $250, which have yet to reappear on my credit card after nearly a week (the new charges appeared immediately).

Is it just me, or does this all not make a great deal of sense?
It makes a great deal of sense, unfortunately, given AA rules governing awards.

Exchanging an award for one of greater value does not incur the redeposit fee; exchanging for one of lesser value does.

You should have been able to forfeit the miles’ redeposit to your account if you had the requisite miles available for your new award flight, IMO. (But replacing those miles might cost as much as three cents per mile, so you might want to do the maths on the cost forfeiting, say 57,500 or even 22,500 miles to save $150.)

I suspect your “$250 taxes” are probably BA “carrier imposed fees”, not charged by the airline you’re now flying your reticketed award on (AA?) The fees will be refunded to your FOP, so you’re not out that money - it’s just that many airlines take weeks to refund your money. And yes, the airline must process these transactions separately for accounting purposes, so they can’t just credit the YQ from one flight toward redeposit fees, etc.

See AA oneworld & Other Airline Partner Award information, rules (master thd) (the Wikipost contains a lot of useful information).
JDiver is offline  
Old Oct 9, 18, 9:02 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Cambridge, MA
Programs: AAdvantage, United MP
Posts: 47
Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
It makes a great deal of sense, unfortunately, given AA rules governing awards.

Exchanging an award for one of greater value does not incur the redeposit fee; exchanging for one of lesser value does.

You should have been able to forfeit the miles’ redeposit to your account if you had the requisite miles available for your new award flight, IMO. (But replacing those miles might cost as much as three cents per mile, so you might want to do the maths on the cost forfeiting, say 57,500 or even 22,500 miles to save $150.)
I'm reassured to find out that this wasn't mishandled, thanks! The number of miles involved was 15,000, which using your conversion rate could be worth $450.
cambridge_mass is offline  
Old Oct 9, 18, 9:29 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 23,369
What itinerary from Europe to the US could have two possible reward types, 15k miles apart? Given same origin/destination and I assume same class of service.
ijgordon is offline  
Old Oct 9, 18, 9:39 am
  #7  
Hilton Contributor BadgeMarriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: DCA
Programs: Marriott GLD; Hilton GLD; Free Agent (former AA PLT/US GLD)
Posts: 1,183
Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
What itinerary from Europe to the US could have two possible reward types, 15k miles apart? Given same origin/destination and I assume same class of service.
Main Cabin Off-Peak is 15,000 fewer miles roundtrip than a regular Main Cabin award.
cambridge_mass likes this.
Beltway2A is online now  
Old Oct 9, 18, 9:40 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: DFW/DAL
Programs: AA Lifetime PLT, AS MVPG, HH Diamond, NCL Platinum Plus
Posts: 19,302
Originally Posted by cambridge_mass View Post
I needed to change the dates on an award ticket to delay my trip from Europe to the US by about three weeks (same cities of origin and departure). When I found an agent who could book a new itinerary for me, I ran into two problems:

1) The miles needed for the new itinerary were 15,000 less than had been needed for the original reservation. I was told that I would absolutely have to pay a $150 fee to reinstate the miles if I wanted to rebook the flight. My suggestion that I could forfeit the miles to avoid paying the fee was rejected.

2) The taxes on the new reservation were less than on the original reservation. My suggestion that they refund me the difference was rejected: there would need to be two transactions, a refund and a new charge.

The net effect is that because I needed to rebook my itinerary to a later option that required fewer miles, I've ended up out of pocket to the tune of $400: the $150 reinstatement fee plus the original taxes of $250, which have yet to reappear on my credit card after nearly a week (the new charges appeared immediately).

Is it just me, or does this all not make a great deal of sense?
You will get a refund of any fees/taxes that were overpaid.
An downgraded award requires the fee. IMHO, $150 for 15000 miless, isn't a bad trade, especially if getting $250 back in taxes/fees
mvoight is offline  
Old Oct 9, 18, 9:41 am
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 23,369
Ah, okay, thanks. I thought they had gotten rid of the off-peak awards. (Or maybe they're going soon?)
ijgordon is offline  
Old Oct 9, 18, 10:12 am
  #10  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 61,579
Originally Posted by cambridge_mass View Post
I'm reassured to find out that this wasn't mishandled, thanks! The number of miles involved was 15,000, which using your conversion rate could be worth $450.
It could be worth that - if purchased or redeemed for a scarce award. Often it’s about how miles are used.

My trip SMF-DFW-KEF, AA wanted $10k for one way Business tickets for each of us (one way transatlantic pricing ex-USA is nothing less than extortionate, IMO, and my one way to LIS next month was equally ridiculous, $8,981) - much better for us to use miles, even AAnytime.

Because of these transatlantic trips (to catch repositioning trabsat epositioning cruises) my miles are still very useful.
cambridge_mass and wrp96 like this.
JDiver is offline  
Old Oct 9, 18, 1:55 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 23,369
You could also book your airfare through the cruise line, they can get you around the round-trip requirements of the cheaper fares.
ijgordon is offline  
Old Oct 9, 18, 2:11 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: The FT AA forum, until it no longer wants me.
Programs: CK or bust
Posts: 1,333
If you're an Executive Platinum or CK the redeposit fee is waived, effectively making it free for lower award types or switching to lower cabins.

While on the surface this seems a bit anti-consumerist, American's policies with regards to award modifications remain (for now) some of the most generous and flexible out of the big three.
enpremiere is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread