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How to take advantage of American Airlines Same-Day Flight Change
We’ve all been there…something has come up and you NEED to take a later flight or an earlier flight. American has a rule that many people over look, and here’s the ins and outs around how to take advantage of American Airlines Same-Day Change and Standby Rule. Note…if you are on a Basic Economy ticket…this does not apply to you. It’s also worth noting that anyone can fly standby on flights that depart earlier than the flight they’ve booked, but only elite members can go standby on flights that depart after their booked flight.
It’s free for these fliers!
- American Airlines Executive Platinum Members
- American Airlines Platinum Pro members
- Unrestricted Economy ( Y fare ), Business, First, or you hold an AirPass.
I’d suspect that very few of you will be on a Y fare since these often price higher than you’d pay for a discount business or first class ticket. Additional tickets that qualify for Same Day changes are first
What are the rules?
- The flights must be Same Day
- You also need to fly through the same Airports as original flight ( if you’re flying LAX-DFW-MIA, your new flights must match that )
- Same Number of stops in the same airports ( basically what I mentioned up above )
- Be marketed and operated by American Airlines or American Eagle
- No partner airlines allowed
A few things to note:
- Any passenger can fly standby on an earlier flight
- Only Elites may fly standby on a later flight same day
- Same-day confirmed changes and standby are subject to availability on select flights
What will it cost?
It’ll cost you $75 to confirm a flight change
- waived for Executive Platinum members
Some fares will receive a complimentary change and standby:
Essentially, if you are
- Executive Platinum or Platinum Pro…congrats, you get changes free of charge.
- Unrestricted ticket or AirPass, you also get free changes.
- Biz/First Award tickets get free changes
You get free standby if
- AA Plat or Gold + 8 companions
- One World Emerald, Sapphire, or Ruby + 8 companions
- Active Duty Military + dependents ( must be on active orders )
When can you confirm an American Airlines Same Day flight change?
You can confirm a same day change starting 24 hours from your new flight, not 24 hours from your original flight.
This is a big thing to note. I just took advantage of this perk on a flight from NYC to LAX where I was scheduled to fly at 650pm on Thursday. I then saw upgrade space available on an earlier flight and wanted to utilize an upgrade with Business Extra. Instead of having to pay a $200 change fee and difference in price, I simply waited until after 11am on Wednesday, and then phoned in and paid the $75 change fee and had the upgrade processed at the same time. Just to be clear, I didn’t have to wait until after the 6:50pm flight to make the change, I did it at 11am the day prior.
Voila…hello lie-flat biz
Miles – do I have to call an agent? NO WAY BROSÉ – You can do it online!
When you pull up your itinerary you will be prompted like this:
When you click Same-day flight change you will be prompted again with your options to change. If there are multiple people on an itinerary you can select 1 or all. Below is a flight from a while back that I screen-capped to show how you can do it.
What if it’s more than 24 hours, how can I see if I may be able to switch?
You can use Expertflyer. If you take the same JFK-LAX parameters and search for ( E ) fare buckets and look at a future date you can see these options: I also searched for “C” inventory which you can apply Business Extra Upgrades
Search for Awards and Upgrades:
We put in our parameters and searched (E): Employee and Confirmed Flight Changes
Then we see the results. For my situation I was looking for a flight with both E and C space, since I wanted to confirm into a flight that also had Business Class upgrade space on it as well. As I mentioned, I did this on the 11, but you can see that the 9:45pm also has this space. We would need to wait until 9:45pm in order to change that flight though.
How you can use Same-Day flight change on a last minute booking to save a lot of dough? So happy you asked! Here’s a little ditty –
If the flight that you really want has E space available on it, but is significantly more expensive ( $75+) than the flight that you don’t want ( and it’s within 24 hours of departure) you could use the confirmed same-day change or standby to snag the flight you want by paying for the flight you don’t want and then changing it via this rule. Obviously this works best with flights that are booked the day before.
Let’s say it’s noon and you want to fly tomorrow from LA to Dallas. You want LAX-DFW at 11 am but it’s priced at $500 ( but showing E space), yet the LAX-DFW at 3:50pm is priced at $175. You could book the 3:50pm for $175. Get your confirmation, login to your flight, see an option for sameday flight change, and because it’s within 24 hours of the 11am flight, you can go ahead and confirm the change for $75. You’d end up on the flight you wanted, but instead of spending $500, you’d spend $175 + $75 or $250.
Hope this was helpful!
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