On Sunday I wrote about seemingly new restrictions to American’s same day change policies.
Customers using Same-Day Flight Change may only change to earlier or later flights that have the same routing, number of connections, and cannot change to a co-terminal in a multi city airport.
I highlighted the piece about requiring the same routing — for instance you can’t change a connection in Dallas to one in Chicago.
As far as I know this was new language not previously on the American website, and it’s certainly not how things have worked in the past — American agents have always been willing to change connecting cities.
This Isn’t Actually a New Policy – Just One That Hasn’t Been Enforced By Agents
I spoke with American about the website language, and what I learned is that this was already ‘the rule’ and in fact that the website and kiosks supposedly enforced it, but that agents regularly didn’t.
So calling up an agent is likely to still get a new connecting city. It may even let you change from a connecting flight to a non-stop (or vice versa). And it may let you fly to a different (co-terminal) airport, e.g. LaGuardia/New York JFK, Washington Dulles/National, Houston Intercontinental/Hobby.
And my advice is that if one American agent doesn’t let you, the next one very well still might.
No New Restrictions on Same Day Standby
Several readers asked about new restrictions for flying standby. Indeed, it did appear on the website that elites were no longer allowed to standby for a later flight — only an earlier one.
We continue to offer the same-day stand by option for an earlier domestic flight for select customers at no charge, and the same-day standby option is available to all customers online at aa.com.
I asked American about this and they let me know that the language would be clarified.
There has been no change in our standby policy – regular AAdvantage members have only had the option to standby for an earlier flight whereas elites can standby for earlier or later.
And indeed, the confusing language is gone from the website!
No Changes to American Policies Have Been Made
There haven’t been any changes to American policies for standby or same day confirmed. American just appears to be clearer on what official policy for same day confirmed changes is, but that’s something which isn’t always enforced by agents — and my guess is still won’t be uniformly enforced by agents.