Yesterday I wrote about changes you will be able to make to American AAdvantage awards after award chart price changes go into effect March 22 without having to pay additional miles.
I pointed out that for an award you book before March 22 you’ll still be able to:
- change date and time without repricing the award, while keeping airlines and routing constant.
- change routing without repricing the award, while keeping the airlines constant, with a few caveats. Basically you cannot break the fare. You cannot add a stopover. You’re going to have to stick with a legal routing for the primary carrier on the itinerary.
However you cannot change award types, which means you can’t go from American only to flying partners. You can’t go from an extra mileage award to saver award without a redeposit of miles and re-issue.
There’s really no special rules for March 22. What’s at issue is whether or not the changes you’re making require a new award or merely involve changing your existing award.
Readers had several questions about what this means in practice, so I sought additional clarification.
You can change from one oneworld carrier to another on your itinerary.
Spokesperson Laura Nedbal tells me,
If an All Partner award is claimed, we will allow to change from/to a oneworld carrier and not collect the ticket change. Taxes/carrier imposed charges will apply. We only do this for oneworld carriers.
You cannot change from American-only to a oneworld or other partner airline. You cannot change from a oneworld airline to a non-oneworld partner.
You can drop a segment as long as your origin/destination remain in the same region.
I mentioned being able to make changes as long as your city of origin and destination airport remain the same. In fact, it’s a bit more generous than that. As Laura explains,
We have a drop segment rule that would apply, provided the origin/destination remains in the same region of the award claimed. SFO and ORD require the same North America award so the ORD to SFO could be dropped, retain the same award and no charges apply. As long as dropping the segment does not change the:
• mileage required
• award claimed
• number of awards claimed on the ticket
You cannot simply change your origin city or your destination city but you are allowed to drop a segment. I had an idea of booking a Cathay Pacific first class award to Manila. I can only find first class space on Hong Kong – Manila, and business class across the Pacific Ocean. That forces AAdvantage to issue a 67,500 mile first class award instead of a 55,000 mile business class award. And it lets me upgrade the transpacific flight to first class later for no additional miles.
Cathay Pacific First Class
It turns out that I can do this and drop the Hong Kong – Manila segment later since both cities are in the ‘Asia 2’ region.
I don’t even have to mess with Manila, I should be able to book first class New York JFK – Los Angeles – Hong Kong as a 3-cabin first class award (with New York – Los Angeles in 3-cabin first) and then drop New York – LA later. Or book Hong Kong – Los Angeles – New York and drop Los Angeles – New York later.