American Now Lets You Re-Route Yourself When Flights Go Wrong

Via JonNYC on Twitter American Airlines rolled out their new ‘dynamic re-accommodation’ tool last week. This allows passengers to re-book themselves during irregular operations using the website, mobile app, or kiosks. Although to access the tool customers need to have opted into flight status notifications.

At this time it allows rebooking for American and American Eagle flights only although they foresee a time when it will support rebooking onto joint business venture partners as well.

American Admirals Club New York JFK

You’ll get a list of flights to choose from for the same class of service or lower. The automated tool isn’t as good as working with an ‘AAngel’ who sometimes might be able to book you into a higher class of service if that’s all that’s available on a workable itinerary.

When you’re rebooked tickets will be re-issued or revalidated instantly allowing immediate check-in as long as you’re making a change inside the check-in window for the new flight. Checked bag re-routing will occur automatically with check-in. This isn’t available only to customers without checked bags. And it will be possible to rebook into different airports — co-terminals and airports within 50 miles of your original destination.

If you choose a flight in a lower class of service the refund process for the difference in cost is automated as well.

However not all itineraries are currently eligible to use this:

  • Pet in cabin or checked pet
  • Unticketed reservations
  • Through flights (more than one segment with the same flight number) where a segment has already been flown
  • Award tickets (but note that paid tickets with mileage upgrades are eligible, it’s only $0 fare tickets that cannot use this tool)
  • When other airline flights are part of the journey
  • Diverted flights
  • Large party bookings (reservations with 8 or more)

When you’re making a change via this method bear in mind that you only get one bite at the apple. When your flight suffers a change due to irregular operations you’re going to get an ‘SSR’ or special services request added to your reservation. This enables the rebooking via the self-service tool. It’s associated to the segment you’re rebooking, and gets deleted when you change flights.

Interestingly the instructions tell agents that they should still help customers who ask for it, and not to send them to self service options, this is not meant to be the only option that passengers have for help (and they feel the need to remind agents of this!).

Here’s the documentation:

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Well, Jason Go Ahead and Fly Delta or Whoever Works for You. Period. I knew it wouldn’t take more than a nanosecond for Some Genius to complain about it. Ridiculous already with Some of You. As a Business Owner I wouldn’t want Some of You as a Client……Waay too f’n Needy and Critical and I bet You are hardly Worth the Effort…..That “I want, I need gotta have Attitude”.

  2. “This isn’t available only to customers without checked bags. ‘

    Can you clarify what you mean here, a bit of a confusing sentence.

  3. @HoKo- you might think only customers with carryons would be able to do this, but AA completed the tech to reroute checked bags too so you can use this even if you’ve checked luggage.

  4. Jeez, @reece! Capitalize much.

    I think it’s fare to point out that in 2017, the word’s largest carrier is just now getting this tool.

  5. Since Its impossible to reach a live person during even minor IRROPS, AA didn’t have much choice other than to catch up.

  6. I am happy that American Airlines now offers self-service reaccommodation service during irregular operations.

  7. Reese – why the lecture? Jason is right. Delta’s IT capabilities outshine just about everyone – their website should be lauded. You can’t even ck AA’s mobile site for mileage flights and as the largest airline in the world, the fact that they can’t instantly ticket you speaks volumes about how much they care about customers. I run a business and have left AA after many years of loyalty because as a business, AA has failed on numerous levels… IT, service, food, and worst of all – an abundance of unhappy employees. I do not find that to be the case with Delta – at least so far.

    So rethink your post — Jason has every right to voice an opinion – and in this case, he has at least one person who totally agrees with him.

  8. Finally….UA and DL well ahead on this one.

    Interesting – so the *airport supervisors* are the ones who can flag a flight for IRROPS? “station management will notify when the ‘turn on irops’ option on the SSM should be activate.

    Didn’t see any standard parameter for what defines a ‘disruption’ that activates like 30 minute delay or 60 minute delay.

    Would be nice to know what policy is.

  9. This is a good thing for those of us who are good with computers.  However, for the technologically inept or people who can’t make up their minds, this is going to slow things down even more.

  10. Yes, it has been a nice feature of Delta for years.

    But to whoever applauds Delta’s IT, their website is pretty buggy (and ugly IMO). I like AA’s website much more.

  11. @reese — learn how to capitalize properly. It’s a skill that every business owner needs.

    AA was *way* behind, and I expect this to be very buggy.

    And I do notice that shopping parameters are based on “FLIFO ETA of inbound flight (if applicable). Since that data is often garbage (flight still showing on-time after departure time and then inbound aircraft hasn’t landed), this will be a problem.

    Also the blackout on the next 60/120 minutes flight is very silly: if I’m at the airport without checked baggage waiting on a flight to ORD on the way to Toronto and the connection to my final destination cancels, why can’t I be rerouted on a flight through DFW that leaves in 30 minutes (30 minutes < 120 minutes so Dynamic Reaccom won't work)?

    Also I see no mention as to what happens to upgrades. It doesn't look that they even thought about their best (according to them) customers. Very unimpressed — too bad jetBlue and Delta don't fly to all the places I need to go.

  12. Next………….update the website to accomodate online booking with partners.
    Join the space age!

  13. Deltas IT… lol How many IT issues have they had this year that have left passengers stranded?

  14. I wonder why AA decides to officially roll out their product announcements through Private Twitter Accounts and/or bloggers? I’ve been a top-level flyer with AA for three decades. Could they at least publish the “official” private webpages where their produce announcements will be leaked? Although this sounds like a rant, it’s really just a question. If AA has something important to tell me, why don’t they email me or push it to my Mobile App or pick up the phone and tell me? Why do they want me to get it from a private Twitter account and/or a private blog?

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