Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > American Airlines | AAdvantage
Reload this Page >

Changing trip after starting it for a lower fare difference?

Changing trip after starting it for a lower fare difference?

Old Sep 21, 20, 9:02 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,666
Changing trip after starting it for a lower fare difference?

Hi all,

Heading to Mexico over Christmas, and we are considering extending our stay and working remotely from there for a month (appears to be fully legal as I work for a US company, get paid into a US bank account, etc.). I booked back in the Spring for $300ish r/t, and now changing my return flight while keeping the original appears to be over $500 more per person, even though it is less than half that for just the new return flight by itself.

Knowing that airfare can shift considerably between now and then, how would it look if I waited until after my first flight to initiate the change? Will AA consider the cost of the first flight locked in and only look at the return price, or am I better off just throwing away the return and buying a new ticket altogether?
lowfareair is offline  
Old Sep 21, 20, 10:46 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: DFW/DAL
Programs: AA Lifetime PLT, AS MVPG, HH Diamond, NCL Platinum Plus
Posts: 20,374
Originally Posted by lowfareair View Post
Hi all,

Heading to Mexico over Christmas, and we are considering extending our stay and working remotely from there for a month (appears to be fully legal as I work for a US company, get paid into a US bank account, etc.). I booked back in the Spring for $300ish r/t, and now changing my return flight while keeping the original appears to be over $500 more per person, even though it is less than half that for just the new return flight by itself.

Knowing that airfare can shift considerably between now and then, how would it look if I waited until after my first flight to initiate the change? Will AA consider the cost of the first flight locked in and only look at the return price, or am I better off just throwing away the return and buying a new ticket altogether?

You can't, at least technically "throw the ticket away", without now owing AA for the difference between a one way ticket and the discounted roundtrip ticket, assuming the one way ticket to Mexico would have been higher.
You may be successful in ignoring the return part of the original ticket and flying on the new one way ticket, but that doesn't mean it isn't a violation, so if you get caught, then you risk the penalty
Generally, not a huge risk for a one off, but it will be a problem if it becomes a habit.
Bottom line, the official way to do this is to change your current ticket. Anything else might be a violation of the original ticket

Last edited by mvoight; Sep 21, 20 at 11:22 am
mvoight is offline  
Old Sep 21, 20, 1:06 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,666
Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
You can't, at least technically "throw the ticket away", without now owing AA for the difference between a one way ticket and the discounted roundtrip ticket, assuming the one way ticket to Mexico would have been higher.
You may be successful in ignoring the return part of the original ticket and flying on the new one way ticket, but that doesn't mean it isn't a violation, so if you get caught, then you risk the penalty
Generally, not a huge risk for a one off, but it will be a problem if it becomes a habit.
Bottom line, the official way to do this is to change your current ticket. Anything else might be a violation of the original ticket
So then how would my original question get answered if I do that: If AA is currently valuing my outbound way higher now (by $300+/ticket it seems), would it make sense to change the ticket after flying the outbound if I do not expect the return to go up by that much, or change it now? In other words, would AA look changes after the outbound is flown differently, such as trying to price it as 2 one-ways rather than one, or would it look at it as meeting a roundtrip requirement and just having me pay the difference (if any) between the original return and the new return flight?
lowfareair is offline  
Old Sep 21, 20, 2:11 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: LAX
Programs: AA: EXP Hilton: Gold, SPG: Gold, Hyatt: Plat
Posts: 193
Originally Posted by lowfareair View Post
So then how would my original question get answered if I do that: If AA is currently valuing my outbound way higher now (by $300+/ticket it seems), would it make sense to change the ticket after flying the outbound if I do not expect the return to go up by that much, or change it now? In other words, would AA look changes after the outbound is flown differently, such as trying to price it as 2 one-ways rather than one, or would it look at it as meeting a roundtrip requirement and just having me pay the difference (if any) between the original return and the new return flight?
I would wait at this point and see if the RT goes down. Worse case, yes you should be able to change the return easily once the first leg is completed. Do you know if the change fee waiver applies to Mexico?
MSPeconomist likes this.
lax555 is offline  
Old Sep 21, 20, 3:05 pm
  #5  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 50,103
Originally Posted by lowfareair View Post
So then how would my original question get answered if I do that: If AA is currently valuing my outbound way higher now (by $300+/ticket it seems), would it make sense to change the ticket after flying the outbound if I do not expect the return to go up by that much, or change it now? In other words, would AA look changes after the outbound is flown differently, such as trying to price it as 2 one-ways rather than one, or would it look at it as meeting a roundtrip requirement and just having me pay the difference (if any) between the original return and the new return flight?
Impossible to answer your question without knowing what and how you paid for each segment of your ticket. What was $300 RT might have been $200 + $100 and you will have used $200 by flying the outbound segment.

If you look at your e-ticket receipt, you should see a line which shows the breakdown by segment, although it is all coded. But, you will see the airport codes and a $ number. Alternatively, you could simply call AA and ask for the breakdown per segment.
Often1 is offline  
Old Sep 21, 20, 6:54 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,666
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Impossible to answer your question without knowing what and how you paid for each segment of your ticket. What was $300 RT might have been $200 + $100 and you will have used $200 by flying the outbound segment.

If you look at your e-ticket receipt, you should see a line which shows the breakdown by segment, although it is all coded. But, you will see the airport codes and a $ number. Alternatively, you could simply call AA and ask for the breakdown per segment.
What does the exact fare I paid have to do with knowing the method AA will use to reprice the ticket after the journey has started? I just want to know if they w
reprice as if it is 2 one ways, or will they allow a return fare that requires a round trip purchase.
lowfareair is offline  
Old Sep 21, 20, 7:01 pm
  #7  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 91,915
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Impossible to answer your question without knowing what and how you paid for each segment of your ticket. What was $300 RT might have been $200 + $100 and you will have used $200 by flying the outbound segment.

If you look at your e-ticket receipt, you should see a line which shows the breakdown by segment, although it is all coded. But, you will see the airport codes and a $ number. Alternatively, you could simply call AA and ask for the breakdown per segment.
Look also at the fare classes and fare rules if possible. If your outbound travel is on a busy holiday date, most of the cost of your ticket could be in this direction. Mexico is a popular Christmas destination, although obviously some dates (days of the week) are busier than others.

As a very general rule, it can be better to wait to change the return portion of a RT ticket until after the outbound has been flown, but YMMV. It depends on the specifics of your fare rules and whatever waivers might apply as well as future availability, which can be hard to predict far in advance.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Sep 22, 20, 2:13 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: DFW/DAL
Programs: AA Lifetime PLT, AS MVPG, HH Diamond, NCL Platinum Plus
Posts: 20,374
Originally Posted by lowfareair View Post
So then how would my original question get answered if I do that: If AA is currently valuing my outbound way higher now (by $300+/ticket it seems), would it make sense to change the ticket after flying the outbound if I do not expect the return to go up by that much, or change it now? In other words, would AA look changes after the outbound is flown differently, such as trying to price it as 2 one-ways rather than one, or would it look at it as meeting a roundtrip requirement and just having me pay the difference (if any) between the original return and the new return flight?
AA will charge the return at whatever the current fare is at the time you make the booking for the new return, and they will then subtract the original value of the return to determine whether you owe them more or if they owe you a credit.
mvoight is offline  
Old Sep 22, 20, 5:11 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: RDU <|> MMX
Programs: AA EXP 2MM, SK EBS
Posts: 7,130
So your original roundtrip was $300 (~$150 each way). Buying a new ticket today, same outbound date but return date extended, will now cost you $800 (~$400 each way).

If you change the ticket now, you're paying the new higher price for both outbound and return (+$500 add'l fare collection).

If you wait and change the ticket after you've flown the outbound, then you only pay the new higher price for the return ($400 new price - $150 already paid = +$250 add'l fare collection).

Of course the above example is simplified, but you get the idea.
JJeffrey is offline  
Old Sep 22, 20, 5:58 am
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: MSY (finally); previously BOS, NYC, AUH
Programs: AA EXP, 5MM; BA GLD
Posts: 16,092
Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
You can't, at least technically "throw the ticket away", without now owing AA for the difference between a one way ticket and the discounted roundtrip ticket, assuming the one way ticket to Mexico would have been higher.
You may be successful in ignoring the return part of the original ticket and flying on the new one way ticket, but that doesn't mean it isn't a violation, so if you get caught, then you risk the penalty
Generally, not a huge risk for a one off, but it will be a problem if it becomes a habit.
Bottom line, the official way to do this is to change your current ticket. Anything else might be a violation of the original ticket
I view this as zero risk. AA's ticket rules presumably indicate that if you miss your return flight, you lose its full value and have to purchase a new one. Which is exactly what the OP is proposing to do. There are lots of times, particularly in the days of change fees, where the change fee plus the fare difference exceeded the cost of a one-way ticket, so many people, myself included, would just purchase a new one-way ticket. One could perhaps view this as a violation of AA's rules, but I don't think it is, nor do I think it's something they're policing (unlike hidden city ticketing, which is a completely different animal).
JJeffrey likes this.
Blumie is offline  
Old Sep 22, 20, 12:37 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Programs: American Airlines
Posts: 36
Iíve seen some fare rules that say the fare must be priced with historic fares once the first segment is flown. If that is the case does that mean the person traveling can get the price that was available when originally buying the flight if they wait to rebook until after flying the outbound (assuming same fare bucket is available and advance purchase requirements are met)?

Iíve never tried this before, but it might be applicable in this case. Or I might misunderstand that clause in the fare rules.
Ivan Denisovich is offline  
Old Sep 22, 20, 12:40 pm
  #12  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 91,915
Originally Posted by Ivan Denisovich View Post
Iíve seen some fare rules that say the fare must be priced with historic fares once the first segment is flown. If that is the case does that mean the person traveling can get the price that was available when originally buying the flight if they wait to rebook until after flying the outbound (assuming same fare bucket is available and advance purchase requirements are met)?

Iíve never tried this before, but it might be applicable in this case. Or I might misunderstand that clause in the fare rules.
This is often why one should wait to change the return until after the outbound has been flown. YMMV, as of course there might not be availability on the desired flights.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Sep 22, 20, 5:13 pm
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 24,280
Many fares also require using historical fares (ie, the original outbound fare) if only changing the return Segment, *even if making the change before starting the trip*. But I think it might require manual override or something. The original fare rules would specify if this is the case but you need an advanced degree in linguistics to decipher it, Lol.

If you can verify your fare allows re-pricing at historical fares if only changing the return, of being that up with an agent on the phone.
ijgordon is offline  
Old Sep 23, 20, 7:03 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: ORD, SZX, HKG
Programs: AA EXP, CX GR, AS MVP GLD
Posts: 535
Agreed with posts above that without specific details it is hard to tell - but usually for AA fares:

Any changes before departure: reprice using current fares - you are essentially buying a new ticket with the old ticket as a credit

Changes after departure : reprice using historical fares - it would be the fare you would have paid if you purchased your new itinerary at the old dates. However, sometimes the historical fares have max/min stay/seasonaility restrictions so your outbound might also need to be repriced. And as times goes, the inbound flight might only be available in higher fare classes, which is also a risk.
shd9 is offline  
Old Sep 23, 20, 4:50 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 301
I can't find anything on the AA website about repricing with historical fares. I didn't see anything here either. Can someone point me to a thread or AA link which explains this policy? Thanks!

Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
You can't, at least technically "throw the ticket away", without now owing AA for the difference between a one way ticket and the discounted roundtrip ticket, assuming the one way ticket to Mexico would have been higher.
You may be successful in ignoring the return part of the original ticket and flying on the new one way ticket, but that doesn't mean it isn't a violation, so if you get caught, then you risk the penalty
Generally, not a huge risk for a one off, but it will be a problem if it becomes a habit.
Bottom line, the official way to do this is to change your current ticket. Anything else might be a violation of the original ticket
Originally Posted by Ivan Denisovich View Post
Iíve seen some fare rules that say the fare must be priced with historic fares once the first segment is flown. If that is the case does that mean the person traveling can get the price that was available when originally buying the flight if they wait to rebook until after flying the outbound (assuming same fare bucket is available and advance purchase requirements are met)?

Iíve never tried this before, but it might be applicable in this case. Or I might misunderstand that clause in the fare rules.
Originally Posted by shd9 View Post
Agreed with posts above that without specific details it is hard to tell - but usually for AA fares:

Any changes before departure: reprice using current fares - you are essentially buying a new ticket with the old ticket as a credit

Changes after departure : reprice using historical fares - it would be the fare you would have paid if you purchased your new itinerary at the old dates. However, sometimes the historical fares have max/min stay/seasonaility restrictions so your outbound might also need to be repriced. And as times goes, the inbound flight might only be available in higher fare classes, which is also a risk.
Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
Many fares also require using historical fares (ie, the original outbound fare) if only changing the return Segment, *even if making the change before starting the trip*. But I think it might require manual override or something. The original fare rules would specify if this is the case but you need an advanced degree in linguistics to decipher it, Lol.

If you can verify your fare allows re-pricing at historical fares if only changing the return, of being that up with an agent on the phone.
EQDsSUCK is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: