American has updated its award booking fees and on net I actually like the change!
On February 16, American’s telephone booking fee will increase from:
- Domestic: $25 to $30
- International: $35 to $40
But American will now waive the telephone fee entirely for awards that cannot be booked online.
Previously American would add the telephone booking fee regardless of whether you could book awards online or not.
And since American currently only lets you book its own flights plus those of a handful of partners:
That meant there was a de facto “partner booking fee” if you wanted an award on an airline like Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, LAN, Iberia, Etihad, etc. Now there isn’t.
American’s top tier Executive Platinum members of course have telephone booking fees waived already — as long as they’re one of the passengers traveling.
I like as well that American has not added US Airways’ junk ‘award processing fee’ of:
- $25 U.S. (excluding Hawaii) and Canada
- $35 Mexico and the Caribbean
- $50 Hawaii and international
Bottom-line is that if you can book an award online, you should, but you won’t be penalized for booking an award ticket that American hasn’t provided the functionality for you to issue on its website.