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Award Change and Miles Redeposit Fees, Issues, from 1 Jul 2020 (consolidated)

Old Apr 13, 2020, 9:30 pm
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Last edit by: beltway
AA does not charge any fees to change an award ticket, or to cancel an award ticket and redeposit the miles and refund any taxes and fees. This policy applies to all award tickets booked with AAdvantage miles on AA flights as well as all partner carriers.

In order to be eligible for a refund of the miles and taxes/fees you must cancel the award before the first flight on the itinerary departs.

For most awards canceled at aa.com the miles and taxes/fees are automatically refunded, however in some cases you may still have to call to have an agent manually process the redeposit and refund. Typically if you do not see the miles automatically redeposited within a few minutes you will have to call.

AA policy (see "Manage Your Award Travel" section)
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Award Change and Miles Redeposit Fees, Issues, from 1 Jul 2020 (consolidated)

Old Apr 13, 2020, 1:38 pm
  #1  
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Exclamation Award Change and Miles Redeposit Fees, Issues, from 1 Jul 2020 (consolidated)

As part of today's announcement on status extension, I noticed what seems like a nasty little Easter egg buried in the announcement:

Waiving award reinstatement and change fees for award bookings
We’re giving you more flexibility with waived award reinstatement and change fees for awards booked by May 31, 2020, for travel through September 30, 2020.

For award travel ticketed on or after June 1, 2020 (edit: now July 1, 2020), we’ll waive change and reinstatement fees when the change is made at least 60 days before travel. A new fee structure will apply to changes made with fewer than 60 days before travel:

Fees apply to each award ticket changed or reinstated.

Fees vary by elite status of the member using miles from their account and the number of days before departure of the first changed or canceled flight in the original trip.

Change made 60 days or more before travel
Executive Platinum: $0
Platinum Pro: $0
Platinum: $0
Gold: $0
Regular member: $0

At least 7 days, but fewer than 60 days before travel
Executive Platinum: $0
Platinum Pro: $50
Platinum: $75
Gold: $100
Regular member: $125

Fewer than 7 days before travel
Executive Platinum: $0
Platinum Pro: $75
Platinum: $100
Gold: $125
Regular member: $150

Fees apply to each award ticket changed or reinstated.

Fees vary by elite status of the member using miles from their account and the number of days before departure of the first changed or canceled flight in the original trip.
The flight award change / reinstatement fee will be waived for:
  • Members using more miles to purchase a higher cabin on the same flight(s).
  • Executive Platinum members using miles from their account, including for Web Special awards.
Previously, fees were only incurred for reinstatement, and changes (i.e. moving dates while keeping the same cities and award type) were permitted without a fee. The way I read this, that's ending... along with the reduced fees if you are changing/cancelling flights for more than one passenger... instead of $25 for each additional passenger, you pay the full fee. However, even reinstatements will be free for everyone as long as you change 60+ days out.
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Last edited by javabytes; Jun 5, 2020 at 11:57 am Reason: Removed outdated screenshot
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Old Apr 13, 2020, 2:31 pm
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Man, leave it up to AA to not let a goodwill opportunity slip by without sneaking in a huge devaluation.

Obviously the big question is what constitutes a change? Is that just a major change to the origin or destination, or ANY change whatsoever?

Assuming it's ANY change (don't see any language suggesting otherwise), this is a major blow, especially with how stingy AA is/was with award space. Booking whatever you can then changing to better options as they open up (usually within 60 days) is no longer a viable strategy for anyone not EXP.
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Old Apr 13, 2020, 3:55 pm
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I was wondering about this also. When clicking on the "Award Travel" link under the new fee structure chart, and select "changing flights and upgrade awards", the verbiage still seems to imply a date change only would not result in a change fee:


Changes to the origin or destination or airline

  • For MileSAAver awards, origin or destination changes to the itinerary will incur a change fee of $150, even when retaining the same award type
  • For awards involving travel on other airlines, origin or destination changes or changes to the airline(s) in the itinerary will incur a change fee of $150, even when retaining the same award type
  • For AAnytime awards, origin or destination change fees are waived only when retaining the same award type
  • You may not make changes to origin, destination or airline for an itinerary that includes a Web Special award. While you can cancel and reinstate your miles, fees may apply
  • The change fee will be waived for Executive Platinum members using miles from their account
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Old Apr 13, 2020, 4:12 pm
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Change fee for EXP's still $0 at any date. What status level were you referring to that has been de-valuated?
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Old Apr 13, 2020, 4:26 pm
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I cannot see where it differentiates the redeposit fee on web specials... I assume the same "no changes apply"
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Old Apr 13, 2020, 4:54 pm
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Originally Posted by enviroian
Change fee for EXP's still $0 at any date. What status level were you referring to that has been de-valuated?
Everyone else. The table here is probably better formatted, FT is screwing with the post formatting on tablet/mobile : https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-p...am-updates.jsp
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Last edited by javabytes; Apr 13, 2020 at 5:01 pm
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Old Apr 13, 2020, 5:34 pm
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Originally Posted by enviroian
Change fee for EXP's still $0 at any date. What status level were you referring to that has been de-valuated?
Youre unaware of the existence of non-EXPs?
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Old Apr 13, 2020, 5:57 pm
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Originally Posted by cmtlatitudes
I was wondering about this also. When clicking on the "Award Travel" link under the new fee structure chart, and select "changing flights and upgrade awards", the verbiage still seems to imply a date change only would not result in a change fee:


Changes to the origin or destination or airline

  • For MileSAAver awards, origin or destination changes to the itinerary will incur a change fee of $150, even when retaining the same award type
  • For awards involving travel on other airlines, origin or destination changes or changes to the airline(s) in the itinerary will incur a change fee of $150, even when retaining the same award type
  • For AAnytime awards, origin or destination change fees are waived only when retaining the same award type
  • You may not make changes to origin, destination or airline for an itinerary that includes a Web Special award. While you can cancel and reinstate your miles, fees may apply
  • The change fee will be waived for Executive Platinum members using miles from their account
That's the same verbiage that has always been there, they haven't updated it yet to include the new terms announced today.
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Old Apr 13, 2020, 6:09 pm
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Wow this is the worst of both worlds. Speculative bookings will consume inventory and then if you get lucky late, there's a fee. Why would changing a flight time be equivalent to reinstatement?
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Old Apr 13, 2020, 6:26 pm
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Being able to make substantive changes and cancel without a fee at >59 days is a positive of this. For me, this benefit is worth more than being able to make changes to date/time close to departue without a fee

I wouldn't say that it is the worst of both worlds - can still make speculative bookings - just need to stop speculating at 59 days
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Old Apr 13, 2020, 6:49 pm
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I'm not happy with this new policy, if every date change < 60 days will constitute a change fee. Especially in the current situation. There are many unknowns right now that will likely not become magically known within 60 days of a flight after September 30th. Particularly for international tickets and places like Hawaii that have instituted quarantine restrictions. There is much speculation the virus will surge again in fall/winter. Flights may be operating before quarantine restrictions are lifted and resorts re-opened a particular locale. Many people will choose not to travel if quarantine restrictions are not lifted and that may be not be known at 60 days out. Heck, it might not even be known if certain resorts or hotels will fold now at 60 days out. This unfortunately seems like a guaranteed stream of revenue on Award change/reinstate fees from members who may likely have no practical choice but to continue sliding their Award reservations out.

Plus, a bit swarmy on AA's part to offer the best miles sale in AA's history through midnight yesterday, and then come out with a significant devaluation for all not EXP today. Very happy now I didn't purchase any additional miles. It did cross my mind and I'd be mad as heck with AA right now if I had.
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Old Apr 13, 2020, 7:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble
Being able to make substantive changes and cancel without a fee at >59 days is a positive of this. For me, this benefit is worth more than being able to make changes to date/time close to departue without a fee

I wouldn't say that it is the worst of both worlds - can still make speculative bookings - just need to stop speculating at 59 days
How can you say it’s not worse?

AA is encouraging speculative bookings meaning the little inventory there is will dry up. We might have lots of people schedule 7-8 trips expecting to take only 1-2. Even a $10 cancellation fee would discourage this. I’m only PLT but EXPs should be po-ed.

Just to clarify, I’m not talking about 2020 but next year or whenever flying becomes somewhat normal again.
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Old Apr 13, 2020, 7:46 pm
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Well, I hadn't been looking at it from that end, but that's a good point. I'd rather have the previous policy of $150 fee with the ability to make to date changes, than the new policy. There will be a lot of dried up inventory with everyone able to cancel until 60 days out. Agree that some non-refundable nominal fee would discourage this. Almost feel like I need to get some flights on hold now while they are still out there. Someone said this was the worst of both ends. Completely get that now.
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Old Apr 13, 2020, 7:47 pm
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Originally Posted by rrgg
How can you say its not worse?

AA is encouraging speculative bookings meaning the little inventory there is will dry up. We might have lots of people schedule 7-8 trips expecting to take only 1-2. Even a $10 cancellation fee would discourage this. Im only PLT but EXPs should be po-ed.

Just to clarify, Im not talking about 2020 but next year or whenever flying becomes somewhat normal again.
Being able to make major changes free of charge and being able to cancel is a benefit to me

I don't see that it will make a lot of difference to speculative bookings - people need to have miles to make bookings and they need to cancel 60+ days in order for it to be a free cancellation
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Old Apr 13, 2020, 8:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble
Being able to make major changes free of charge and being able to cancel is a benefit to me

I don't see that it will make a lot of difference to speculative bookings - people need to have miles to make bookings and they need to cancel 60+ days in order for it to be a free cancellation

Well, that's true about needing the miles. They will run out at some point for most people. So it's not completely unlimited open season on speculative bookings.

But part of the new change seems to be major changes are no longer free of charge. So a date change now, with no change to origin or destination, would now incur a change fee unless made 60 days out.
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