American Eliminates Free Date Changes On Awards Within 60 Days, Details Their Weak Vacation Discount Offer For Elites

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Buried in yesterday’s surprising announcement that American would count credit card spending for million miler status, were changes to award ticket change fees.

The bad news is that American is also changing the definition of what constitutes an award change.

American has always allowed free date changes on awards, except for web specials. Now they will consider date changes to be like all other changes, except for changes to a higher cabin on the same flights which will remain free.

The good news is that all changes, including redepositing awards, will be free if done 60 days before departure under the new structure that goes into effect on 6/1. Plus, web specials will be able to be changed as well.


The bad news, aside from the loss of free date changes, is that there will no longer be a discount if you redeposit multiple awards at the same time. Previously it cost $150 to redeposit an award but just $25 to redeposit additional awards. These changes are terrible news for families traveling together on awards tickets as it will now be much more expensive to redeposit awards within 60 days of departure.

While routing changes were previously free, which meant you could switch to a nonstop flight if one opened for mileage availability, that will be now cost extra within 60 days of departure.

It’s worth noting that all awards awards that were issued by 5/31 for travel through 9/30 can be changed or redeposited for free at any time due to coronavirus waivers.

I’m not sure what will happen if your award travel was booked before these changes were announced for travel after 9/30, but the DoT is very clear that airlines must honor the rules as of when the ticket was purchased.

American also announced that starting on 7/1/20, Gold elites will get $300 off an AA vacation, Platinum/Platinum Pro will get $350 off, and Executive Platinums will get $400 off. They can travel through 12/20/21.

Unfortunately the fine print is that you must spend at least $2,500 on round-trip flights+hotels to get those discounts, which will likely make them worthless for most people. When you book through AA vacations you don’t get hotel points or hotel elite recognition or discounts. However, AA vacations does offer discounted business class fares, so there might be some value to be had.

Do you think the AA award changes are positive or negative for you?

HT: mochjas, via DDF

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23 Comments On "American Eliminates Free Date Changes On Awards Within 60 Days, Details Their Weak Vacation Discount Offer For Elites"

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These are really bad changes. I loved and used the free changes for date, and flight changes many many times. (As mentioned, nonstop \ less stops generally open up). Unfortunately, this means I will need to find another mileage program as it’s a necessary feature for me. Thanks for the clear update.


Overall negative for me – the free 60+ day cancel is nice, but more often than not I’m trying to improve my flight times,etc and that typically happened within 30 days or less of my flights.


I’m not sure I Completely understand how it works with a Web Special.

If I have 3 flights booked for 4/19 with a web special. Can I just cancel and the get them redeposited for free?

billy diller

I think you need to call to get the miles redeposited. just canceling on the web will cancel the flight but not get your miles back.

EXP Flyer

Especially if you can get a * special fare which earns more advantageously depending on what distance flight you take. There are ways to take advantage of this to hit status in 2021

Success In Redeposit award miles.

I called AA yesterday after hearing latest updates. I had 2 AA anytime milage tickets At 30,000 each I made in December and canceled it in December. (Before Covid-19 USA..) Without redepositing the miles for $150+$25 I left it as is to use another time for emergency or any other idea to redeposit for free in the future with in a year.
I called yesterday and gave them my ticket number. They redeposited it for free


What are the rules for award bookings made today but travel is after 9/30?


Negative, it was the best perk to be able to change dates.I’m lifetime gold since many years and won’t get to the next level as I always am in Europe on the other alliances. Anyway, Hyatt gave me the gift that will last another year.


how many people are going to spend to LT level? This redeposit fee change will make way more $ than offsetting cost of the credit card spend.


Something has to be done with that MAX artwork. It’s not a photo, right? It looks like the engine is at the wingtip. When, of course, the whole problem was caused by putting the engine too close to the fuselage.


“It’s worth noting that all awards awards that were issued by 5/31 for travel through 9/30 can be changed or redeposited for free at any time due to coronavirus waivers.”
Do you have to call to have the miles redeposited? Or can you cancel online and they get redeposited?

Enough AA

So happy that I’ve stopped flying AA as my primary airline anymore. Irks me that companies that made BILLIONS in profits from just baggage fees will now get another bailout and find ways of continuing to screw passengers and find other fees to boost their revenue.


Gut vuch Dan, I’m booked on the United flight from newark this Monday. I booked through a 3rd party site Student Universe, obviously without a miracle I won’t be flying, whats the best way to go about cancellation/change


I know this isn’t the right place to say this but I couldn’t figure out how to just send a regular message. Due to COVID-19, National Rental Car is extending their Executive Elite Status through February 2022. This includes the fact that the number of yearly rentals from 2020 will over to 2021.

Ben R

Hi Dan if I book a domestic award ticket for next week can I cancel and redeposit miles with no fee?