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Can you get a refund if award ticket mileage drops?

Can you get a refund if award ticket mileage drops?

Old Jul 13, 23, 1:06 pm
  #1  
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Can you get a refund if award ticket mileage drops?

First off, I did a search, but was unable to find something on this topic. If there is something, I am sorry in advance.

I booked a one-way business class award to Europe about 9 months ago for travel next month. While recently looking on AA's site, I noticed that I can get the same tickets, on the same flight, for 18,000 miles less for each ticket. Since there are four seats, 72,000 miles is definitely worth it. Does anyone know if I can get these miles simply refunded or will I have to cancel and rebook? I am hesitant to do the latter for a number of reasons that I won't bore you with. Thanks in advance!
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Old Jul 13, 23, 1:06 pm
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Cancel and rebook.
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Old Jul 13, 23, 1:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Matt the Coffeeman
First off, I did a search, but was unable to find something on this topic. If there is something, I am sorry in advance.

I booked a one-way business class award to Europe about 9 months ago for travel next month. While recently looking on AA's site, I noticed that I can get the same tickets, on the same flight, for 18,000 miles less for each ticket. Since there are four seats, 72,000 miles is definitely worth it. Does anyone know if I can get these miles simply refunded or will I have to cancel and rebook? I am hesitant to do the latter for a number of reasons that I won't bore you with. Thanks in advance!
AAdvantage flight awards are no longer changeable: you must cancel and rebook, although not necessarily in that order. I would put the new award tickets on a complimentary hold, and then immediately cancel the older booking. If you need the miles used on the older booking to complete the newer booking, they should be restored to your AAdvantage account very quickly; if they are not, call AA, and an agent should be able to process the mileage refund over the phone.
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Old Jul 13, 23, 2:23 pm
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This is a good thread, thanks. I recently paid 450Kx2 miles for PHL-SYD in Business class one way per person. I am fairly certain that the price will drop nearer the flight date (Feb). But for now, I just wait. It was still better than paying $9271x2.
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Old Jul 14, 23, 11:53 am
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Do EXP phone agents have the ability to change award bookings and refund mileage if the miles required go down?

They used to be able to do that. But not sure if there is a such thing as an EXP phone desk anymore as you can call the EXP phone line and still get a inexperienced phone agent.
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Old Jul 14, 23, 12:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Time traveller
Do EXP phone agents have the ability to change award bookings and refund mileage if the miles required go down?

They used to be able to do that. But not sure if there is a such thing as an EXP phone desk anymore as you can call the EXP phone line and still get a inexperienced phone agent.
As noted above, for AA awards the only mechanism to do this is to just cancel your existing award and rebook the new award at the lower price (not necessarily in that order assuming you have sufficient miles in your account).

There is still an EXP desk with dedicated EXP agents, although their experience and skill level is for sure no where near what it used to be (but still generally way better than your average just off the street AA phone agent).

And even in the "old days" a good agent was still never able to just make changes and refund you the difference; The pricing mechanism was always to cancel the old higher priced award and rebook the new lower priced award. However a good agent could do this in one swoop and often while utilizing your existing award space.
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Old Aug 20, 23, 4:08 pm
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Do the app and website have problems trying to rebook a lower miles award ticket? I tried both last night and neither was successful. I had to cancel my original ticket and book a new trip.
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Old Aug 20, 23, 4:13 pm
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Originally Posted by DavidDTW
Do the app and website have problems trying to rebook a lower miles award ticket? I tried both last night and neither was successful. I had to cancel my original ticket and book a new trip.
AAdvantage flight awards -- at least, those involving only AA flights, which are the awards where redemption rates can change over time -- are not changeable. You must cancel and rebook (though not necessarily in that order) if you wish to take advantage of a reduced redemption rate.
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Old Aug 20, 23, 4:17 pm
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Originally Posted by apeortdz
This is a good thread, thanks. I recently paid 450Kx2 miles for PHL-SYD in Business class one way per person. I am fairly certain that the price will drop nearer the flight date (Feb). But for now, I just wait. It was still better than paying $9271x2.
This just works against you. It might make sense if you got a mediocre price like 200-300k miles, and theres risk it could potentially go up further that youre hedging against by booking an award, but when you book at full peak price the only thing it does is take up two seats in inventory and signal to the revenue management algorithms that the flight is selling, making it less likely the price will drop (or drop as far).
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Old Aug 20, 23, 4:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Antarius
Cancel and rebook.
Much safer to rebook and then cancel.

You may have to rebook without FF numbers and add them after, as AA might pick up on the double booking.
Another way is to open two windows to AA.com, rebook up to the point of adding names (fill in info just don't submit), then cancel original, then continue with the new booking.
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Old Aug 20, 23, 8:37 pm
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Originally Posted by javabytes
This just works against you. It might make sense if you got a mediocre price like 200-300k miles, and theres risk it could potentially go up further that youre hedging against by booking an award, but when you book at full peak price the only thing it does is take up two seats in inventory and signal to the revenue management algorithms that the flight is selling, making it less likely the price will drop (or drop as far).
+1.

By paying 450k you're taking 2 J seats out of inventory thereby potentially reducing the chances the flight will drop (or at least drop to the price it might drop to if you were not holding those 2 J seats). In this scenario, I don't see any reason to hold the seats at 450k given the flight is so far out as you should be able to book those two seats at that price pretty much anytime you want between now and Feb.
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Old Aug 20, 23, 8:42 pm
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Originally Posted by SteveinA2
Much safer to rebook and then cancel.

You may have to rebook without FF numbers and add them after, as AA might pick up on the double booking.
Another way is to open two windows to AA.com, rebook up to the point of adding names (fill in info just don't submit), then cancel original, then continue with the new booking.
AA's systems have become a lot smarter at preventing double bookings so this is difficult. Of course, in an attempt to become smarter, AA's system has become dumber as the system frequently shows dupes when they're not really there -- e.g., if I I book an award ticket for someone else while logged into my AA.com account, I cannot then go book that same itinerary for a different passenger while logged into my account. AA.com refuses to do so and says the reason is a double booking when that's not in fact true as the flights are for completely different passengers, only similarity is both bookings were made from the same AAdvantage account.
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Old Aug 20, 23, 8:49 pm
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
As noted above, for AA awards the only mechanism to do this is to just cancel your existing award and rebook the new award at the lower price (not necessarily in that order assuming you have sufficient miles in your account).

There is still an EXP desk with dedicated EXP agents, although their experience and skill level is for sure no where near what it used to be (but still generally way better than your average just off the street AA phone agent).

And even in the "old days" a good agent was still never able to just make changes and refund you the difference; The pricing mechanism was always to cancel the old higher priced award and rebook the new lower priced award. However a good agent could do this in one swoop and often while utilizing your existing award space.
EXP desk has gone downhill significantly on award ticket issues, although I attribute a lot of that to AA's new award rules/policies that either tie their hands or aren't explained properly to agents. Speaking of that, anyone figure out a way to add a OW partner segment to an AA award? For example, US-LHR on AA connecting to BA out of LHR or US-SYD on AA connecting to QF out of SYD? AA.com won't allow it and every EXP agent I've spoken to since the new award rules went into place said they couldn't do. Is this simply not allowed under the new award rules?
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Old Aug 20, 23, 8:58 pm
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Originally Posted by javabytes
This just works against you. It might make sense if you got a mediocre price like 200-300k miles, and theres risk it could potentially go up further that youre hedging against by booking an award, but when you book at full peak price the only thing it does is take up two seats in inventory and signal to the revenue management algorithms that the flight is selling, making it less likely the price will drop (or drop as far).
Wrong. It dropped to 290K so I cancelled and rebooked.
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Old Aug 20, 23, 9:00 pm
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Originally Posted by apeortdz
Wrong. It dropped to 290K so I cancelled and rebooked.
Great that it worked out this time, but still doesn't mean this practice can't work against you. Who knows what price may have dropped to if you weren't holding up those 2 seats at 450pp.
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