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Changing an AA pre-devaluation business class award
In case you’d missed what happened earlier this year, American devalued their chart for travel booked on/after March 22, 2016. At the time you could book a ticket to Europe for 50k miles and $5.60 on American metal. It worked perfectly for me as I had a trip planned to London in the fall and needed a ride there. I’d booked a 777-300ER mini cabin business class flight on American metal. I’d actually never flown that product. But then I did.
And it was SICK!
Then my plans changed
Kinda. I still needed to get to London in the fall, but I also needed to get to London at the end of the month for a wedding. What I found was that I could buy a r/t from Dublin to Dublin in business for about the same price as coach from lax-lhr-lax. That’s cray cray. So that would fly me back from the wedding and then back to Europe in the fall. So at this point, I had two tickets to Europe in the fall and a flight back from the wedding but not a flight to the wedding. I ended up finding avail on Air Berlin. Here’s the problem
The complexion of my ticket changed
I was solely on American metal on my original itinerary in the fall. Now, I actually needed to route to SFO on American and then through Dusseldorf on Air Berlin and then to London on BA. I called just to see what the damage would be. The original thought was that the complexion/routing had to stay the same for the pre-devaluation rates to be honored:
- All American metal
- Mix of American and Partner
- Only Partner
I’m Platinum so I can’t redeposit fee-free like Executive Platinums can so I wanted to see what the phone rep would say when I gave him the new itinerary I wanted to change my ticket to.
The agent told me the price would go up by 7500 AA
Wait…that’s not so bad. The agent said that I don’t have to pay a ticket change fee because I’m actually paying a higher amount of miles. I knew that this policy was applied to revenue fares: i.e. upgrading coach to first on the same itinerary. But, I was changing the complexion completely which SHOULD incur a redeposit fee.
Originally, if the underlying complexion changed I thought the rules meant I’d have to pay the prevailing redemption rate and a redeposit fee, but the agent is saying the only additional fees I’d owe are the taxes. In fact, if I’d stopped at Dusseldorf I would be off the phone for 57,500 +$5.60. It was the BA leg that added on another $80. All in all I’m very happy with the swap.
I thought I’d have to push this award ticket out to next year and then once I achieved Executive Platinum redeposit it fee free. But this way, I can get a ride to Europe on a new product and book a great r/t revenue fare where I’ll be able to fly 2 more new products: AA 777-200 Biz and BA Club World.
Here’s the 3 products I’ll now be able review for you guys:
Air Berlin A330 Business
British Airways Club World
- You may be able to change a ticket regardless of complexion without incurring a change fee
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