Uh-Oh: AA Eliminates Close-In Award Fees

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American has eliminated the $75 close-in fee on award tickets effective immediately.

Delta and United previously did that and proved that we should always “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.”

I wrote in April that United’s elimination of the close-in fee was devastating news. They got rid of them in November and things looked OK at first, but just a day later they started charging a close-in mileage surcharge of up to 7,000 miles per round-trip. And that surcharge even applies to cardholders and elites that weren’t previously subject to a close-in fee.

As it is, American has been blocking close-in saver award space on many routes within 2 weeks of departure:

 

American has also been pushing people to use miles to book web specials, which are rates that follow the revenue price of a ticket. The standard award search takes you to the web special interface and you have to use the advance search option on the desktop site to access the old award calendar.

I’d say this news doesn’t bode well for the future. If fees go down then something else will have to give.

HT: Leon F.

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17 Comments On "Uh-Oh: AA Eliminates Close-In Award Fees"

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Hvaces42

If the WebSpecials stay I say it’s a push. Some insane values going on internationally.

Yitz

Agreed. Even domestically

1991

What could get worse with this amazing milage program?

Shlomo

Good one

JohnnieD

Uh oh……..

Chesky

I booked a flight last night and I paid the fee do you think I’ll be able to get a refund

Ljderm

Since it is within 24 hours, shouldn’t you be able to cancel for a full refund of miles and fees? And then rebook?

Chesky

I canceled and rebooked

Menashe

Doesn’t hurt to ask

Chaim

Can you access the old award calendar on a mobile device? Whenever I try, even if I’m on the desktop site, it still treasures me to the new awards interface.

EliJelly

I’de rather a award price increase but at least open up award space (not only 6 am)

TT

It could be a way to get ppl to earn and spend aa miles instead of using BA.
they know how many ppl are using BA. hopefully won’t charge extra miles like UA

Chaim

True, though a lot of domestic flights are cheaper on ba.

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