This Easily Missed American Airlines Award Flight Rule Saved Me $150 On My Thanksgiving Flight!

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This Easily Missed American Airlines Award Flight Rule Saved Me $150 On My Thanksgiving Flight!

JasonThis Easily Missed American Airlines Award Flight Rule Saved Me $150 On My Thanksgiving Flight!Million Mile Secrets Team

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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.

I Found Plenty of American Airlines Award Seats Available Around Thanksgiving, Even Last Minute!

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!

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CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

  • Designed for businesses
  • Earn up to 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles: 50,000 AAdvantage® miles after making $3,000 in purchases in first 3 months and 10,000 after making a total of $10,000 in purchases in first 12 months of account opening*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries to reduce travel costs and boost your bottom line*
  • 25% savings on American Airlines inflight Wi-Fi when you use your card*
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations*
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent on other purchases*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees*

More Info

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You meant “origin & destination” not “origin & departure”

Thanks for the catch Danielle, it’s been fixed!