(Update: Now Valid On Flights Booked Before March 1) American Airlines Waiving Change Fees For Travel Booked March 1-16 For Travel To Jan 26, 2021.


Update 3/10/2020: In addition to Delta and United, American Airlines has announced that they’re extending their waived change fees to include flights that were booked before March 1, 2020. This is valid for flights due to take place from March 10 to April 30, 2020. Those flights can be rebooked for travel through December 31, 2020 or a year from when you originally booked it, whichever comes first.


American Airlines has announced that they’ll be waiving change fees for travel booked from March 1-16, 2020. This is valid for flights up to January 26, 2021 and has clearly been introduced to encourage people to go ahead and book travel where they might otherwise have delayed booking anything due to concerns over Coronavirus.

American Airlines Planes

There are a number of important things to note regarding this policy change. American Airlines has advised the following:

  • We will waive the change fee only for tickets purchased between March 1, 2020 and March 16, 2020, with original travel between March 1, 2020 and January 26, 2021.
  • Tickets must be changed at least 14 days prior to the departure of your original flight.
  • New travel must be completed within one year of original ticket issue date.
  • Any difference in fare will apply.
  • Change your trip online or by calling Reservations.

This is a positive change that will likely encourage some people to make reservations, but it’s important to be aware that it only applies to change fees – it doesn’t represent a change in policy with regards to cancelling your flights and/or getting a refund. You’d therefore need to be prepared to move a trip to different dates rather than being able to cancel a trip outright and receive a refund.

As the terms above note, you’ll have to pay any fare increase as a result of changing your flight(s). What’s not clear is whether American Airlines will reciprocate that by providing a partial refund if the flight you’re changing to is cheaper than the flight you originally booked. It’s highly likely though that they won’t refund any difference in fare though because, you know, it’s American Airlines rather than Southwest.

It might seem a little strange that they’re only offering the waived change fees for flights booked in the next couple of weeks, but I suspect the March 16 date will get extended if worldwide – and particularly domestic – cases of Coronavirus continue to rise over the next fortnight.

Want to learn more about miles and points? Subscribe to email updates or check out our podcast on your favorite podcast platform.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

There seems to have been another update on March 16th. Now you can also cancel and rebook later, apparently. Still not sure how award tickets work. https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/travel-alerts.jsp

Deb k

Doesn’t look like American changes apply to award tickets?


Deb or Stephen,
so award tik like the web disc will be lost or be charged a change fee for changing? thx

[…] been seeing a drop in reservations as a result of Coronavirus concerns, with Alaska, JetBlue and American Airlines all updating their policies to encourage people to continue booking […]


Does this apply to award travel ticket changes as well?


It says it does NOT include award tickets, but what about someone like me who only used miles to upgrade?? Tried calling, heard a 2 hour wait and hung up.

Katie Kennedy

I find this so odd. I booked a flight mid-February to travel
on March 1st. That’s about the time that all the news was showing how bad the virus was getting. To think that because I booked *before* the outbreak, and wanted to cancel when the outbreak started to get more exposure, and not have to be penalized with a change fee, seems silly to me that they would only honor flights booked *after* March 1.
But, then again, everything American does is silly. And yet, here I am, still loyalty flying with them. I guess I am the silly one
for staying loyal. 😉


It would be immensely costly and time consuming to apply it retroactively, and they were also unlikely to do it until they saw bookings were getting soft across the board. And, as you note, it’s American.


Yup their not helping me out Just Future Bookings . Now we will see how good National Healthcare is which it isn’t .