In effort to better serve their customers, American Airlines has decided to drop change fees on all but basic economy fares. This decisions follows United Airlines’ announcement that they would be doing away with change fees as well.
Currently, American Airlines is waiving all change fees including those associated with basic economy fares until December 31st. When 2021 begins, the waiver will continue for all first class, business, premium and main economy fares for good. That’s right—no more $200 change fee per flight.
Based in Fort Worth, the airline is making changes in effort to accommodate better to their customer’s travel plans. American’s Chief Revenue Officer Vasu Raja made the following statement regarding the update to their policy:
“In a world that’s constantly changing, American is resolute to our purpose of caring for customers at all points of their travel journey. 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.”
With the pandemic still looming, airlines are struggling to fill flights. Now, they must compete against each other for business from the few who are still traveling. By dropping change fees, travelers will be grated greater flexibility, therefore greater peace of mind.
As this new policy is implemented, customers will be able to retain the full value of their original ticket if they wish to cancel a flight. That amount can then be applied to another ticket. And if that new ticket is less expensive, the customer will be issued another voucher with the remaining amount.
In addition, American Airlines customers will be given the ability to fly standby on earlier flights that day to the same destination at no additional cost. This exciting change will be implemented beginning October 1st. Plus, basic economy passengers are even getting some new perks. These passengers will be given a more flexible travel experience, that includes upgrades, preferred and main cabin extra seats, priority boarding and same-day flight changes.
For those loyal AAdvantage members, they will continue to enjoy the same benefits… with any fare! Elite members will be able to apply their current travel benefits on all tickets, including basic economy fares.