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Back in April, American changed 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.
This change went into effect on 7/1, but it has been rolled back and will now go into effect on 9/9 due to COVID-19.
It’s also possible that American will continue to push the change off for as long as COVID-19 makes travel uncertain.
This means that now only United has fees on award redeposits for tickets booked now for travel on 2021.
If you book an award by 9/8, all date changes and cancellations, including redepositing awards, will be free. That includes partner awards and web special awards.
This also includes any previously booked awards.
Starting 9/9, this is what all changes and cancellations will cost if you’re traveling after 9/30/20:
The good news is that cancellations made 60+ days in advance will be free.
The bad news is that aside from the loss of free date changes, 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, but now you’ll pay the full fee on each ticket. 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.
More bad news is that 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.