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Following on from yesterday’s article, here are a couple more interesting (and potentially useful!) quirks to the way American AAdvantage award bookings work.
You can change the date (and route) of your award redemptions for free
American AAdvantage allows you to alter your travel dates and routing without a fee – so long as your origin and destination remain the same.
The exception is that “If you change your outbound award travel date to within 21 days of the original booking date, a $75 award processing fee will apply, provided the new date is valid for the original award type claimed“.
This is a very useful policy, as it effectively allows you to book something suboptimal (with more connections than you would like, bad times, not ideal date, etc) as a back up and then amend your booking if award space on a more convenient routing opens up later.
You don’t need Miles in your own account in order to book
I suspect this is actually quite widely known, but I was slightly surprised to learn it – following a bit of miscommunication when putting some awards on hold.
Due to our respective mileage balances, I wanted to use my account for my dad’s ticket and his account for mine. After the call, I checked the record locators and saw that my itinerary was on my account and my dad’s was on his – which wouldn’t work because I didn’t have enough Miles in my account for my ticket and didn’t want to transfer more across.
I rang back to ask if the awards could be swapped, but was instead told this wasn’t a problem at all – my dad could simply ring up, give them the record locator, and use his Miles to book the award (my flights) attached to my account and I could do the same for him.
In other words, you can call AA, put an award on hold for yourself (attached to your own AA account), and then have a friend or family member use their Miles (from their account) to pay for it.
This is useful because piecing together award flights for a complex itinerary can be tricky (even with a competent agent) for someone who doesn’t really know how that sort of stuff works. Something that took me a few minutes could easily have taken my dad 30 minutes and there would be a substantial chance of mistakes – even if I wrote out everything as clearly as possible. Instead, all he had to do was ring and tell them the record locator and his payment details for the taxes. Easy.
American AAdvantage still has a lot of positives, even if I don’t love some of the award prices these days.
Anyone else miss the gateway city stopover policy?