American Airlines is making changes to the travel experience.
Like its competitors, the airline is eliminating change fees. It is also allowing customers to fly standby for free, and basic economy will now be more flexible.
In addition, AAdvantage elite members will be able to apply their current travel benefits to all tickets, including when purchasing a Basic Economy fare.
“In a world that’s constantly changing, American is resolute to our purpose of caring for customers at all points of their travel journey,” said American’s chief revenue officer Vasu Raja. “American is offering more flexibility and ease than ever before should travel plans change. By eliminating change fees, giving customers an opportunity to get where they want to go faster with free same-day standby on earlier flights and providing access to upgrades and seats for all fare types, we’re giving customers the freedom to make their own choices when traveling with American.”
Change fees have been eliminated effective immediately for all First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy and Main Cabin tickets for all domestic and short-haul international flights.
In addition, customers booking more expensive flights will just pay the fare difference, and those booking a cheaper flight will not lose their ticket value if the new flight is less expensive. In this case, customers will receive a voucher for use on a future trip.
Starting October 1, 2020, travelers will be able to fly standby on the same day as their original departure to the same destination as they are booked for no charge. This option is available for both domestic and international trips, regardless of the ticket purchased.
Basic Economy travelers will now be able to purchase upgrades, priority boarding, Preferred/Main Cabin Extra seats and same-day confirmed changes.
American still allows just one personal item and one carry-on item for Basic Economy travelers.
Travelers with Advantage Elite status will now enjoy their benefits no matter the ticket they purchase.
In addition to Priority Access and Preferred Boarding, elite members who purchase a Basic Economy fare will get upgrade privileges, Elite seat privileges, including access to Main Cabin Preferred and Main Cabin Extra seats, and same-day confirmed flight change benefit.
American also announced that, effective January 1, 2021, Basic Economy tickets will no longer earn elite qualifying dollars, miles or segments toward future status.
American is providing customers additional flexibility by extending its offer to waive change fees for customers booking tickets for any new travel purchased by December 31, 2020.
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