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American is behind United and just behind Delta with their elimination of change fees, but they did it best!
American will waive change fees on all tickets for domestic flights (US 50, Puerto Rico, and USVI as Delta and United did), plus they will also include flights to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean in their waiver!
As with Delta and United, basic economy fares are not eligible for changes. However the free change policy does apply to award tickets.
However unlike United, American will give a voucher if you change to a flight that is lower than the cost of your current flight. That means if the fare on your flight drops you can “change” your flight back to your original flight and get a voucher for the drop, though perhaps you’ll have to change dates and then change back to make that work. With United you don’t receive any refund if you switch to a cheaper flight or if your flight goes down in price.
Starting on 10/1, American will remove same day standby fees on all tickets, including international tickets, award tickets, and basic economy tickets.
Starting on 10/1, American will also allow passengers with basic economy fares to purchase upgrades, priority boarding, preferred or main cabin extra seating, or same day confirmed flight changes.
Incredibly, American will allow elite members on basic economy fares to get their regular benefits so that they can get upgraded, select free preferred or main cabin extra seating, and make same day confirmed flight changes! I’d love to see Delta and United match this!
On the downside, American will no longer count basic economy tickets towards earning elite status.
American is also matching Delta and United in waiving change fees for all domestic and international flight changes for flights booked for the remainder of 2020 for travel anytime. This waiver is valid for basic economy tickets and award tickets.
Well done American, your move JetBlue!