We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
This year I was able to book all of my holiday travel (Thanksgiving & Christmas) on American Airlines. I used American Airlines miles for my Thanksgiving flights and I was able to book tickets on American Airlines for Christmas using British Airways Avios points.
Recently, I wanted to change my Thanksgiving flight date, and luckily, I was able to make the change for no extra fee and without it costing me any additional American Airlines miles! I’ll fill you in on what you need to know about American Airlines’ award flight change policy and how to take advantage of it.
If you have any other questions about using American Airlines miles or you want to make the most of your miles, be sure to check out our complete guide to using American Airlines miles.
Because the flights I booked for Thanksgiving were domestic flights and 500 miles or less one-way, they only cost 7,500 American Airlines miles per person each way. So it only cost 30,000 American Airlines miles to book round-trip flights for my wife and me. And we earned more than double the miles we needed for the flights from the sign-up bonus on my wife’s CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®.
One of the best things about American Airlines miles is you can make changes to the cheapest saver awards for free as long as you don’t change the origin and destination cities, and as long as the same type of award seats are available on the new flight. So it’s often possible to change your travel dates or times with no extra fees!
I’ve found that within ~2 weeks of departure, American Airlines has a habit of blacking out all of the cheapest saver award seats. But I was checking for available saver awards on the flight I wanted to switch to and miraculously saver award seats opened up within a week of departure! I made the changes right away. If you want to make any changes, you’ll need to call American Airlines customer service at 800-433-7300.
Note: If you book American Airlines new discounted “Economy Web Special” award flights you can NOT make changes to the flight. But you can book certain routes for even fewer miles, so it’s a trade-off.
If you book a more expensive AAnytime award flight, you can even change your origin or destination city for free as long as you book the same award type. And if you’re an American Airlines Executive Platinum elite status member, any change fees will be automatically waived.
If you can’t find available award seats on the dates you want to travel or if you want to change the origin or destination cities, you’ll be charged a $150 fee. If you need to change an award flight and you need to book a different award type, then you’ll have to redeposit your miles. To redeposit your miles you’ll pay a $150 fee for the first ticket on your reservation and $25 for each additional ticket.
Have you taken advantage of this generous American Airlines award ticket rule? Let me know in the comments!
For more useful miles & points travel tips subscribe to our newsletter!