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Flight award chart
Flight awards on american.
Flight awards are available for as low as 7,500 miles each way plus any applicable taxes and carrier-imposed fees. Mileage levels vary by date and flight. During booking, the applicable award level will be displayed based on availability.
Keep in mind, you can cancel and reinstate your miles at no charge. You can change an eligible trip online in just a few steps. While you may have to pay the difference, there are no change fees for award tickets. Flight awards have no blackout dates and are available on all American Airlines marketed and operated flights.
Details and definitions
Use the award chart to learn where mileage award pricing starts for a one-way award on American Airlines for trips originating in North America.
What you need to know
- For each one-way award redeemed for travel within the United States and Canada (including Alaska and Hawaii), a maximum of three segments are permitted.
- For all other destinations (including Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands), a maximum of four segments are permitted.
- Book a one-way trip or combine awards for round-trip or multi-city travel.
- Taxes and fees vary by trip origin and destination.
- The exact amount of taxes and carrier-imposed fees that apply will appear when searching for a particular itinerary.
- The name on the credit or debit card must match the name on the AAdvantage® account from which miles are being deducted.
- Flights booked for an unaccompanied minor are subject to an additional service fee (plus tax, where applicable). This fee also covers siblings on the same flight.
Reservations and ticket changes
- Caribbean: includes Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands
- South America – Short Haul: Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru
- South America – Long Haul: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay
Where are you traveling?
Miles shown are estimated starting values for one-way trips originating in North America, for informational purposes only. Two flight awards are needed if your one-way trip includes two long haul international flights.
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American Airlines (Re)Adds Free Award Changes for Certain AAdvantage Awards
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As part of its switch to dynamic award pricing , American Airlines sunsetted a flyer-friendly policy: Free AAdvantage award changes. Going forward, all AAdvantage awards would be treated like the now-retired Web Special awards. This policy wasn't all bad though. AAdvantage members could still cancel awards and redeposit miles for free. But, travelers would have to book new awards each time they wanted to change or reprice an award.
Today, American Airlines is reversing course. On certain eligible AAdvantage awards, you'll now be able to change your award flights without having to cancel, refund, and rebook your flights. Here are the details of this policy change.
Who's Eligible To Make Free AAdvantage Award Changes
Not all AAdvantage awards are now eligible for changes. Instead, awards must meet all of the following criteria:
- All flight segments must be on American Airlines.
- Limited to domestic award flights only.
- Only one passenger can be in the booking.
- Awards must have been booked with a U.S. point of sale.
- Only the AAdvantage account owner that originally booked the flight can make the change.
That's… a lot of restrictions. But, this is still better than before when no awards could be changed.
To be fair, American Airlines originally introduced similar restrictions when it originally added the ability for flyers to cancel and refund AAdvantage awards online. Then it expanded this ability over time. So, we can hope that American Airlines will similarly expand the ability to change AAdvantage awards online.
How To Change an AAdvantage Award
Assuming your award is eligible (see above section), here's how you can change your AAdvantage award. First, log into your AAdvantage account. Then, head to your My Trips page . Click “Select” for the award you want to change. Then, click the large blue “Change trip” button to start your change.
Next, check the box for “Yes, I want to change this flight” and confirm or change the route and departure date. Then click “Continue”.
For reference, American Airlines will show how many AAdvantage miles and how much you paid in taxes and fees for the original booking. Review the award search results and select the flight you'd rather take.
On the next page, American Airlines will confirm your flight selection and show the price difference for the flight. In this case, American Airlines confirms it will refund 30,500 AAdvantage miles to my account after confirming this award change. Scroll down and click “Continue” to move to the next step.
The next page is pretty similar to the previous one — confirming your new flight details and the price difference. Presumably, this is where American Airlines would request payment if the taxes and fees increased on your new itinerary. Enter your email address for the receipt; agree to the terms and conditions, refund policy, and conditions of carriage; and then click “Submit change” to confirm your change.
If everything worked, you should receive a confirmation that your change is confirmed. For reference, American Airlines kept the same record locator but ticketed my new flight with a new ticket number.
American Airlines just (re)added free award ticket changes for certain eligible awards. If your ticket is eligible, you'll be able to change and/or reprice awards online without having to go through the hassle of canceling and rebooking an award. That's a nice win for travelers as you won't have to check your credit card statement to make sure American Airlines refunds the taxes and fees on your canceled award.
The downside: Only certain awards are eligible for online changes. You'll need to be a solo passenger on a fully-domestic American Airlines award, purchased within the U.S., and have used your AAdvantage miles to book the award. Hopefully, American Airlines will quickly expand the ability to change more types of AAdvantage awards soon.
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buen dia consulto si hay alguna tarjeta de credito argentina que permita acumular millas en AA,?, lo ultimo que acumule fue por medio de compra de hoteleria. gracias
Hola Mario, No hay información para Argentina en esta lista, pero puedes seguir consultando en el futuro. https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-program/miles/partners/credit-card/international-credit-and-debit-cards.jsp
hay alguna tarjeta de credito argentina para acumular millas de American A, como era Diner y luego Santander, gracias
Did AA really charge on award ticket change and cancellation recently? I don’t see any fee in any change and cancellation now either.
Changing flight awards You can change an eligible trip online in just a few steps. While you may have to pay the difference, there are no change fees for award tickets.
Canceling flight awards and reinstating miles If your plans change and you no longer wish to travel, you can cancel your trip anytime on aa.com. We’ll reinstate your miles and refund eligible taxes and fees up to 1 year after the ticket issue date, but you have to cancel your trip before the first flight departs. If you cancel your trip on aa.com, your miles will be reinstated and your refund will be requested automatically in most cases. There is no fee to reinstate your miles.
Sam, AA was allowing people to cancel awards without fees but wasn’t permitting changes. Cancel/refund/make a new booking was the only path, which was quite complicated. That still exists for passengers whose tickets don’t meet the restrictions for this new policy allowing changes.
American Now Allows Changing Some Awards Online
by Gary Leff on July 19, 2023
The person whose miles were used to issue the ticket can now make changes to the booking online.
Now, American Airlines award flights are now dynamically priced. You aren’t really ‘making changes to’ the booking. Currently you can cancel a reservation, redeposit miles, and then book a new ticket. And you could do all of that online.
What’s new is that you can do this in a single transaction, without having to re-enter passenger details. You’re going to get the new price for the award, whatever it happens to be at the time you’re making the change. This doesn’t save you miles. It saves you a step, to keep traveler information stored.
This is a convenience, and should help reduce calls to reservations. But it’s a minor convenience.
American’s milesAAver (and AAnytime) awards used to allow changes , such as changing a single flight on an intinerary without changing the price of the award. That went away with the elimination of those award types in April, and the name change of web savers to Flight Awards.
Of course partner awards still can be changed. That includes where there is an American Airlines flight as part of the award. For instance if you booked Austin – Dallas – London with Austin – Dallas on American and Dallas – London on British Airways, you can make changes to the short Austin – Dallas flight if traditional award space is available. Say you made the booking and only coach was available Austin to Dallas, but it’s a business class award. If the premium cabin opens up on Austin – Dallas, you can still call to make that change for free.
Unfortunately most agents no longer know that this is allowed, and refuse to do it. You need to hang up, call back. And hang up, call back. And hang up, call back. Probably several more times to find an agent who allows you to do what is permitted under American’s rules .
The ability to make changes to partner awards online, to multi-passenger American Airlines itineraries, and to international itineraries would be a real advance. Hopefully this is only the first step – Vasu Raja has talked about allowing all transactions to be self-serve digital by end of the year, though that will never happen. You still can’t confirm upgrades on their website! But more transactions successfully completed online or via app would be progress for sure.
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About Gary Leff
Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »
More articles by Gary Leff »
Congratulations AA, you’ve finally caught up to something Delta has been doing for quite some time now.
Does the number of times one must hang up and call back in an attempt to change a partner award render it unavailable? Only available to those whose persistence is unending. And for those few, the award space you saw may well have vanished by the time you get an agent willing to make the change without insisting cancel, redeposit and rebook is the only option to make such a change.
Kudos to AA on a customer-friendly step forward.
Another minor fix would complement this one beautifully. That would be to list in an award booking the number of miles that was used to book it. Bizarrely, the information is currently nowhere to be found, even tin the email confirmation for the booking (it will show in an email for a “hold” for the booking, oddly).
@David Hanson – CORRECT !! I have complained to AA about this and they seemingly refuse to fix it. Every confirmation should show all elements of the tranaction: miles deducted, fees, taxes, total, etc. Complain to AA. Maybe they’ll listen to you. Such a simple fix.
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American Airlines scraps traditional frequent flyer award chart in dynamic pricing shift
- American Airlines is replacing its frequent flyer award chart to reflect a shift to dynamic pricing.
- The new chart will show starting points for frequent flyer redemptions.
- American in December said it would get rid of different redemption categories, MileSAAver and AAnytime awards.
In this article
American Airlines is getting rid of its traditional frequent flyer award chart as the carrier moves toward dynamic pricing for mileage redemptions, the latest shift in its lucrative AAdvantage loyalty program.
Starting late Wednesday, the carrier will publish starting levels for how many frequent flyer miles are likely required to redeem for a ticket in certain regions — for example, 7,500 for a one-way ticket within the contiguous 48 U.S. states and Canada. Previously, the chart showed redemption levels that were static.
American in December said it would get rid of different redemption categories, MileSAAver and AAnytime awards, which have set minimum rates. The new redemption level will be called "Flight Awards" and the chart will serve as a reference guide.
"Just like cash tickets, these are going to float based on demand," Chris Isaac, American's director of loyalty, said in an interview.
American introduced dynamic pricing for award tickets in 2019, meaning the number of miles required to redeem for a ticket fluctuate based on supply and demand.
"This product has become the product that our members have gravitated to," Isaac said. That category required the same number or fewer miles than the awards that were set in the chart "up to 85% of the time over the last few years," American said.
Previously the chart looked like this:
Now it will look like this:
Award tickets on American and other airlines can also vary based on the time of year.
For example, it cost 126,000 frequent flyer miles for a roundtrip ticket in standard economy on American between New York and Rome between June 1 and June 8, during the high season, but only 89,500 miles from Oct. 1 to Oct. 8, during the lower-demand season.
"What I think is good about this, it aligns the award chart where American is today. To tell [travelers] that an award ticket is going to cost them a certain number of miles is no longer accurate," said Henry Harteveldt, founder of Atmosphere Research Group, a travel industry consulting firm.
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American Airlines Raises Threshold for Gold Status, Adds Loyalty Point Rewards
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American Airlines plans to make sweeping changes to its AAdvantage loyalty program next year. When the changes go into effect in March 2023, it’s going to be tougher to earn American Airlines Gold elite status .
As a small consolation, the airline is adding a milestone reward for flyers who haven’t earned elite status yet, similar to JetBlue’s new Perks You Pick .
These changes are to be expected as American makes further tweaks to its loyalty program, which underwent a major overhaul and introduced Loyalty Points in 2022. Rather than earn elite status based on miles flown, American made it possible to earn American Airlines Loyalty Points without even setting foot on an airplane — but it wasn’t as easy as it sounds .
Here are the biggest changes coming to the American Airlines AAdvantage loyalty program in 2023.
Tougher Gold elite status requirements
Inflation and higher priced airfares sadly don’t mean a faster route to elite status. Just as airfares have mostly increased, American has also increased the number of loyalty points needed to earn its Gold tier of elite status by 33%.
Happily, though, the higher tiers won’t change. Here are the new thresholds:
» Learn more: The best airline credit cards right now
New Loyalty Point Rewards
American Airlines currently lets its members select a Loyalty Choice Reward like Admirals Club day passes or bonus AAdvantage miles when they reach Platinum Pro status.
The rewards were first called “elite choice rewards,” but American renamed them as “Loyalty Choice Rewards” as part of its October 2021 program update announcement. The naming committee at American Airlines has some commitment issues, as the name has once again changed, this time to “Loyalty Point Rewards.”
And with the fresh name comes easier opportunities to earn such rewards.
Now, you only need to earn 15,000 Loyalty Points to unlock your first reward, which has been renamed Loyalty Point Rewards. That means you can earn some small recognition for your loyalty, even before you’ve reached AAdvantage Gold status.
For reaching 15,000 Loyalty Points, you’ll receive Group 5 boarding for the membership year and the choice between either:
1. Priority check-in, security and Group 4 boarding for one trip; or
2. Five preferred seat coupons.
American also revealed new Loyalty Point benefits that come as bonus goodies when you’re between tiers of elite status. That’s good for someone with Gold status who might not earn the 75,000 points needed for Platinum status. For example, with 60,000 points, you’ll get Avis Preferred Plus elite status and a 20% Loyalty Point bonus when shopping with select American Airlines partners.
The rewards get even better for folks who exceed the 200,000 Loyalty Points needed to earn Executive Platinum status. For example, once you’ve blown past Executive Platinum status and earned 550,000 points, you’ll get to pick two rewards from options including:
A systemwide upgrade.
25,000 bonus miles.
$200 trip credit (or $250 for AAdvantage credit card holders ).
The ability to gift Platinum status to someone else.
A Flagship First Dining visit pass.
The new milestone rewards continue up to the 5 million Loyalty Points. Consider that encouragement to not stop earning points, even when you’re seemingly on top.
» Learn more: Is an American Airlines credit card worth it?
More earning opportunities for big spenders, and fewer for the cheap ones
Most of the American Airlines changes are better for people who already spend a lot with the airline and earn Platinum status or above.
In more good news for ultra-big spenders, American is removing the previous 75,000 limit on miles that a member could earn on a single ticket.
Because miles for flights are earned based on a combination of ticket price and status tier, sometimes the most elite members who booked expensive airfares were capped at the number of miles they could earn on one flight.
In more bad news for budget travelers, AAdvantage members will now earn just 2 miles per dollar spent on basic economy fares for all tickets issued on or after Jan. 1, 2023, for travel starting March 1, 2023. Tickets purchased and used prior to that earned a higher minimum of 5 miles for every U.S. dollar.
No AAnytime or Saver awards
American Airlines is also getting rid of two types of award flights: AAnytime and Saver awards. These static awards were two of the most affordable fares listed on American's award chart , which made it easy for AAdvantage members to estimate how many miles they would need to book.
Instead, American is moving to fully dynamic pricing for its award flights. The cheapest option will now be Web Specials .
The partner award chart is staying, so flyers booking partner flights with AAdvantage miles will still see static pricing.
Elite status is getting harder to earn across many airlines
American Airlines is hardly the only airline making it tough to earn elite status as of late. Delta , JetBlue and United have also made adjustments to their loyalty programs for 2023 — especially when it comes to qualification requirements.
In a similar vein, Southwest Airlines increased how many Rapid Rewards points you need to earn its coveted Companion Pass, while Delta made its rules stricter around who can access its lounges.
And still, Alaska Airlines remains the best elite status program for flyers, according to NerdWallet analysis.
(Top photo courtesy of American Airlines)
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On a similar note...
Travel on Point(s)
- How To Change American Airlines Award Bookings
- July 22, 2023
- Brian Soares
Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Changes to AAdvantage Awards
American Airlines has recently restored the ability for flyers to make free changes to awards booked with AAdvantage miles. American Airlines had eliminated the ability for flyers to make changes to award bookings. If flyers wanted to modify an award booking, they would have to cancel the award (which was and remains free to cancel), and then rebook that award. This was somewhat inconvenient and not really efficient. More importantly, it could be stressful if the miles didn't refund to your AAdvantage account instantly, in which case you'd have to call American to push them through.
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Thankfully, American has reinstated the ability to make free changes to AAdvantage awards, which we walk you through below.
Changes to AAdvantage Awards: Conditions to Free Changes
Awards eligible for free changes must beet a number of criteria. Based on what I have observed, to be eligible for a free change, the award booking must meet the following criteria:
- Limited to domestic flights only
- The reservation is limited to one passenger
- The award booking must have been booked via American Airlines
- All flight segments must be operated by American Airlines
These restrictions are pretty limiting. The biggest downside here perhaps is the fact that you cannot make changes to awards book via partners, such as British Airways . This was already the status quo, but it's unfortunate to see it remain this way.
If your award does not meet these criteria, you can still cancel your award and rebook it again. AAdvantage miles typically repost instantly, but may take longer for international flights. If that happens, call American and ask them to push the refund through.
How To Make Changes to AAdvantage Awards: Step By Step Process
Here are the step by step instructions to change your American award booking:
Step 1: Select the flight you want to change
Log into your AAdvantage account and go to My Trips page . Select the award booking you want to change. When the reservation shows up, click the blue “Change trip” button.
If you reservation is eligible to be changed, you will be taken to the next page.
Step 2: Confirm the flight you want to change and change the route/date
Confirm you have the correct reservation pulled up by clicking the check box next to “Yes, I want to change this flight”. If you are trying to change your departure or arrival airport or the date of your flight, make that change on this page.
In this example, I am keeping this information the same because I just want to change the time of the flight without changing the date or route.
Step 3: Select your new flight
The next page shows you which flights are available for you to change to, as well as the cost differences in miles and any taxes. I find it helpful that American shows the miles and taxes associated with your original reservation at the top of this page. Click on the new flight that you want to book.
If your new flight has lower taxes than your existing flight, then you will receive a refund to your original form of payment.
The next page will show you a trip summary of the new flight you selected, along with a helpful breakdown of the total cost (if any) associated with the fare difference in miles and cash. Once you review, click the blue “Continue” box.
Step 4: Review and pay
The next screen again shows you a summary of your trip with all relevant details and a cost summary showing the changes in fare. When you're ready to finalize the change, click the blue box labeled “Submit Change” at the bottom of the screen.
When I made the change above, I received a confirmation email from American Airlines within seconds. In fact, I received two emails: one confirming that I redeemed AAdvantage miles for a flight, and another with the booking confirmation. Interestingly, neither email mentioned that this was a flight change, but rather looked just like any other email you would receive for a new booking.
Keep in mind that with the flight change, you lose your seat assignments (see the screenshot above). This is the case even if you only changed one leg in your itinerary.
Changes to AAdvantage Awards: ToP Thoughts
American Airlines restoring the ability to make changes to AAdvantage awards is a positive development. That said, we would like to see this feature available to more award bookings than just those satisfying the limited criteria.
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Airline Cancellation and Change Fees for Award Flight Bookings [In-Depth]
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Credit Cards With Travel Insurance for Award Tickets
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Every airline has its own set of fees and conditions when canceling or changing your award flights (or not — thank you, Southwest !).
We’ve outlined in detail fees and restrictions for canceling or changing award flights with many popular airlines. Below are the award cancellation and change fees you should know about, which are regularly updated.
Award Ticket Fees Tips and Info
Much like cash ticket cancellation and change fees , award ticket fees have varying costs and stipulations — which can be very confusing. Here are some tips and information to help you understand fees better when you book your next award flight.
- When you make a change, you may be required to pay the additional difference in mileage for the new route. However, you may not be refunded the mileage if it costs less.
- In most cases, you will be able to get the taxes and fees you originally paid for the ticket, minus any fees to make a change. However, you may not always be refunded the mileage or may not get anything back.
- All fees are subject to change at any time and may depend on the type of fare you have booked. Always check your ticket’s terms and conditions when booking.
- Most rewards have a validity date of 1 year from the original purchase. Outside of this validity, no further changes or refunds can be made in most cases.
- Certain elite status tiers (in many cases) waive the award ticket fees.
- Some airlines allow you to make same-day changes to a different flight, confirmed or standby, for the same fee as a cash ticket. In some cases, these fees are cheaper than the change or cancellation fees.
Hot Tip: You might also be interested in our piece on how to get compensation for your flight when it’s delayed or canceled .
Do credit cards with travel insurance cover award tickets?
This is a tricky question. Cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred ® Card that provide trip insurance have lots of terms and conditions that must be met to claim the benefit.
The best advice here is to make sure you read the terms and conditions of your particular card and pay all taxes and fees with the card in question to be covered. If you’re not sure about coverage, contact your card’s issuer or benefits administrator.
Award Change and Cancellation Fees by Airline
We’ve made every effort to list below the specific award change and cancellation rules of each airline. Always be sure to check your specific ticket, as rules and fees are always changing.
Hot Tip: Has COVID-19 impacted your upcoming travel plans? We further detail the latest change and cancellation policies of major airlines so that you know what your options are in our guide to Airline Cancellation Policies Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Domestic: Mex$1,070 (~$49)
- International: Mex$1,930 (~$87)
- Changed online: Mex$290 (~$14)
- Changed via offline channels: Mex$580 (~$29)
- Domestic: Mex$1,930 (~$87)
- International: Mex$2,900 (~$150)
- Club Premier Titanium Members do not incur change fees, provided the change is made more than 21 days before the trip
- Tickets booked on or after August 1, 2021, are permitted to make 1 change to the date free of charge within a year of the booking.
- Close-in Booking Fee: None
- Awards Program: Club Premier
- Alliance: SkyTeam
- Popular Domestic vs. International : International
Change and Cancellation Fees:
- Changes and cancellations can be made up to 2 hours before the scheduled flight, and fees are per direction, per ticket
- Fees may be waivered for elite status members
- Tickets booked on or after April 14, 2021, are permitted to make 1 change to the date free of charge
- Close-in Booking Fee: None
- Awards Program: Aeroplan
- Alliance: Star Alliance
- Date or Destination Change Fee: Passengers with travel dates on or before June 30, 2022, may currently change a flight without incurring change fees (Promo Reward flights excluded).
- Cancellation/Redeposit/Refund Fee: Passengers with travel dates before June 30, 2022, may currently cancel a flight without incurring cancellation fees
- Exclusions/Waivers: Changes/cancellations must be made before the departure of the first flight
- Awards Program: Flying Blue
- Alliance: SkyTeam
- Change fees are waived for international flights due to depart before June 30, 2022.
- If the credit was received before January 31, 2022, it must be booked by January 31, 2023, with travel completed by December 31, 2023.
- If the credit was received on or after February 1, 2022, it must be booked within 12 months of being processed.
- No date change fee for Star Alliance Round the World bookings, but a route change fee of $125 applies
- Awards Program: Airpoints
- Alliance: Star Alliance
- Date or Destination Change Fee: Free (excluding Saver fares unless purchased on or before April 30, 2021)
- Cancellation/Redeposit/Refund Fee: $12.50
- Fees waived for MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K, and MVP Gold 100K members
- Full Flex awards are not subject to change or cancellation fees
- Main, first class, and Saver fares may cancel without a fee and receive credit if the ticket was purchased on or before April 30, 2021
- Awards Program: Mileage Plan
- Alliance: Oneworld ; codeshare agreements with some SkyTeam members, as well as other airlines
- Popular Domestic vs. International : Domestic U.S.
- Date Change Fee: None
- Destination Change Fee: None
- Cancellation/Redeposit/Refund of Miles Fee: None (up to 1 year after the ticket issue date)
- Web Special awards cannot be changed, but you can cancel and get a miles refund at no charge
- Awards Program: AAdvantage
- Alliance: Oneworld
- Popular Domestic vs. International: Domestic U.S.
- Date or Destination Change Fee: None (changes can be made up to 96 hours prior to the departure)
- Cancellation/Redeposit/Refund of Miles Fee: 3,000 miles
- Reissue/rebooking fees of ¥2,160 (~$21) may apply to any changes made by phone
- For tickets with stopovers in multiple cities or those that were originally reserved via phone must be changed via phone
- Certain types of tickets may include fees; be sure to check your individual terms
- Awards Program: Mileage Club
- Domestic flights: None
- International: $30 or 3,000 miles
- Domestic: ₩5,000 (~$5) or 500 miles
- International flight fee waived for cancellations made up to 91 days before the departure date
- No show fees: ₩5,000 or 500 miles (Domestic); $50 or 5,000 miles (International)
- No changes to the return route may be made
- Refunds requested 12 months after the ticket was issued will incur a fee of 10,000 miles or $100
- 1 free change is permitted for flights booked on or after April 1, 2021
- Awards Program: Asiana Club
- Alliance: Star Alliance
- Members that have booked a reward flight between September 1, 2021, and October 19, 2021, can make 1 change free of charge to a new travel date within 12 months.
- Reward tickets purchased less than 1 year ago can be canceled and a refund requested. Tickets booked more than 1 year ago may only be changed (within the same route and cabin class), not refunded.
- Change of name not permitted for awards flights
- Free change policy is due to COVID-19; standard change fees are $25 to $75
- Close-in Booking Fee: N/A
- Awards Program: LifeMiles
- England: £35 (~$47)
- Ireland/Most of Europe: €42.50 (~$47)
- Departing North America: $55
- Each change comes with an additional $25 service center fee
- Cancellations must be made at least 24 hours before the flight
- Change fees waived for Gold Priority Reward Bookings
- Awards Program: Executive Club
- Destination Change Fee: $100 or 10,000 miles (only possible via the call center)
- $25 or 1,000 miles rebooking via the online form
- $40 or 4,000 miles rebooking through other channels
- Cancellation/Redeposit/Refund of Miles Fee: $120 or 12,000 miles
- Some tickets can be changed within your Asia Miles account and may not incur a change fee
- Tickets purchased from March 9, 2020, to March 31, 2022, can make unlimited free changes until March 31, 2022, for travel until March 31, 2023
- Awards Program: Asia Miles
- Date/Time Change Fee: Free (changes to a destination not permitted)
- Cancellation/Refund of Miles Fee: Free for Platinum members; not permitted for all other members
- Exclusions/Waivers: China Eastern does not disclose its COVID-19 cancellation policy. Contact the airline directly for more information.
- Awards Program: Eastern Miles
- Domestic 24+ Hours Before Departure: ¥ 50 (~$8)
- Domestic 24 Hours or Less Before Departure: ¥ 100 (~$16)
- International 24+ Hours Before Departure: ¥ 100 (~$16)
- International 24 Hours or Less Before Departure: ¥ 200 (~$31)
- Cancellation/Redeposit/Refund Fee: 50% of the unused mileage
- SkyTeam award flights cannot change routes or names; flight number and date can be changed for ¥ 100 to ¥ 200 (~$16 to $31) depending on if it is domestic or international
- China Southern does not disclose its COVID-19 change/cancellation policy. Contact the airline directly for more information.
- Close-in Booking Fee: N/A
- Awards Program: Sky Pearl Club
- Date/Destination Change Fee: Free for travel within the U.S. and international travel originating in North America. $150 for other routes.
- Cancellation/Redeposit/Refund of Miles Fee: $150 per ticket for award tickets (waived for tickets with travel originating from North America to anywhere in the world excluding Basic Economy fares; fare difference applies)
- Above fees waived for Platinum and Diamond Medallion members
- $75 same-day confirmed or standby charge for different flight time
- Same-day changes waived for Gold , Platinum , and Diamond Medallion members
- Awards Program: SkyMiles
- Popular Domestic vs. International : U.S.
- Silver and Gold tier members who purchased an award ticket from April 6, 2021, to December 31, 2021
- Platinum and Top-Platinum members who purchased an award ticket from April 6, 2021, to June 30, 2022
- Not disclosed
- Awards Program: Matmid Club
- Alliance: Codeshare agreements with American, Iberia, JetBlue, and more; partners with AeroMexico, Alaska, and Qantas
- Classic Flex Plus/Classic Flex: None
- Classic Saver: $25
- Flex Plus/Flex reward tickets: None
- All other reward tickets within the same destination zone: $25
- Destination changes to a different zone require a cancellation of the original award ticket (miles re-credited back to the account minus expired miles) and repurchase/reissue of a new ticket with a new validity period and destination.
- Classic Flex Plus: Free
- Classic Flex: $50
- Classic Saver: $75
- Refunds after travel: Not permitted
- Fees waived for infants
- Tickets booked on or after October 12, 2021, with a travel date on or before August 31, 2022, can extend the validity for 24 months from the original date of booking. Tickets can be changed to another flight (same destination and booking class) with no extra fees.
- Tickets booked between April 1, 2021, and October 11, 2021, with a travel date on or before August 31, 2022, can extend the validity for 24 months from the original date of booking. Tickets can be changed to another flight within the same region and in any booking class with no extra fees.
- Awards Program: Skywards
- Alliance: Codeshare agreements with some Oneworld and SkyTeam members, as well as other airlines
- Date Change Fee: Changes can be made up to 24 hours before departure: AED 100 (~$27)
- Destination Change Fee: Not allowed; ticket must be refunded and a new ticket issued
- Up to 24 hours prior to departure, a flat refund fee of 10% of the total miles is required for the reward booking, excluding any applicable taxes and carrier charges
- Exclusions/Waivers: Passengers may rebook a flight within 12 months of their original purchase. If the first leg of the journey has been used, the ticket is valid for 1 year from the first date of travel.
- Awards Program: Etihad Guest
- Alliance: Codeshare agreements with many Oneworld, SkyTeam, and Star Alliance members and other airlines
- America/Europe/Oceania routes: $100
- Asia/Hong Kong and Macau: $50
- Exclusions/Waivers: Fees waived for Silver, Gold, and Diamond members
- Awards Program: Infinity MileageLands
- $0 at 60+ days before departure
- $49 at 59 to 7 days before departure
- $79 within 6 days before departure
- Cancellation/Redeposit Fee: $75
- Exclusions/Waivers: N/A
- 180 days before travel: Free
- 21 to 179 days: $15
- 7 to 20 days: $50
- Less than 6 days before the departure date: $59
- Awards Program: Frontier Miles
- Alliance: No current codesharing agreements with popular commercial airlines
- Changes can be made 4+ hours from departure
- Changes will be subject to a 20% of total mileage penalty
- Destination/Name Change Change Fee: Not permitted
- Cancellation/Redeposit/Refund Fee: Only fully unutilized reward tickets can be redeposited
- If your account does not have the additional 20% mileage per the change penalty, a change cannot be made
- Awards Program: GarudaMiles
- Date Change Fee: Starting from 8,000 points (determined by the flight distance)
- Destination Change Fee: Not allowed except for certain routes on Fortune Flex Award tickets
- Fortune Classic Awards: Miles are non-refundable, but taxes and fees are
- Fortune Flex Awards: Depends on fare type and ticket price
- For Fortune Classic Awards, changes can only be made within the same cabin class
- Silver, Gold, and Platinum members are exempt from fees, but only on Fortune Classic Awards
- Members may change the flight date up to 2 hours before the departure with flights marketed and operated by Hong Kong Airlines
- Awards Program: Fortune Wings Club
- Alliance: No major alliance; individually partnered with 11 airlines, including Etihad, Alaska, and Virgin Australia
- Date or Destination Change Fee: No fee for Main Cabin, first class, and business class fares
- Neighbor Island: $25
- North America: $100
- International: $100
- Redeposit Fee: No fee
- Awards Program: Hawaiian Miles
- Alliance: No alliance, but airline partners include China Airlines, Korean Air, Japan Airlines, JetBlue, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia
- Popular Domestic vs. International : International and domestic
- Blue Class/Premium Economy/Business Class: €25 (~$30) up to 24 hours before the flight departure
- Full Economy: Free
- Cancellation/Redeposit/Refund of Miles Fee: €25 (~$30) up to 24 hours before the flight departure
- Entry restrictions at your destination
- Lockdown or quarantine measures at your destination
- Lockdown or quarantine measures at your place of origin
- You test positive for COVID-19
- Awards Program: Iberia Plus
- Date Change Fee: Not permitted (flight must be canceled and a new ticket issued)
- Destination Change Fee: Not permitted
- Cancellation/Redeposit/Refund of Miles Fee : ¥3,100 (~$30)
- Changes/cancellations may be made online up to 20 minutes before a domestic flight and until 23:59 (departure city time) the day before travel
- Changes made by phone are subject to a $50 ticketing fee
- Awards Program: Mileage Bank /FLY ON
- Change Fee: Not permitted. Reward flights must be canceled and rebooked
- Cancellation/Redeposit/Refund Fee: Free
- Same-day changes may be made to seats on different flights to the same destination for $75
- Same-day change fee is waived for Mosaic members and Blue Extra fares
- Changes/cancellations made over the phone will incur a $25 service fee
- Awards Program: TrueBlue
- Alliance: Codeshare agreements with many Oneworld, SkyTeam, and Star Alliance members and other airlines
- Domestic: None
- International: ₩30,000 (~$25)
- Before ticket expiration date: 500 miles
- After ticket expiration date: 3,000 miles
- More than 91 days to departure: Free
- Within 90 days of departure: 3,000 miles
- After ticket expiration date: 10,000 miles
- Long-haul (North America/Europe/Middle East/Oceania): 12,000 miles
- Medium-haul (Southeast Asia/Southwest Asia/Tashkent): 7,000 miles
- Short-haul (Korea/Japan/China/Hong Kong/Taipei/Mongolia/Vladivostok/Irkutsk): 5,000 miles
- Domestic: 500 miles
- Awards Program: SKYPASS
- Date Change Fee: €50 (~$60)
- Standard cancellation fee for unused tickets: €50 (~$60)
- Reduced Flight Awards: No refund permitted
- Tickets purchased from August 2, 2021, have unlimited date changes to reschedule the flight (excluding Fly & Save flights that have a reduced change fee of €25)
- Awards Program: Miles & More
- LowFare and LowFare+: €65 (~$73)
- Changes can be made up to 30 minutes before departure
- LowFare, LowFare+, and Premium: Non-refundable (after 4 hours of booking)
- Flex: Refundable
- €25 (~$30) per person, each way service charge for any changes or cancellations made by phone or at the airport
- Norwegian is currently offering 1 free change for LowFare and LowFare+ tickets booked on or before February 28, 2022, and travel must be completed by October 29, 2022. The change must be made at least 7 days before departure.
- If the above conditions are not met, Norwegian is currently offering a reduced change fee of €30 (~$34) for changes made before February 28, 2022.
- Awards Program: Norwegian Reward
- Alliance: Airlines for Europe (A4E), but no other major alliance
- Popular Domestic vs. International : Domestic/Europe
- Changes that require a ticket to be reissued are not permitted within 24 hours of departure or once travel has commenced
- Changes are not permitted on any Classic Flight Rewards flight paper ticket booking once travel has commenced
- Cancellations : 6,000 Qantas points
- Reinstated Fee: 5,000 Qantas points
- Domestic flights booked until April 30, 2022
- International flights booked by June 30, 2022, can be changed or canceled until December 31, 2022
- This waiver only applies to Classic Flight Rewards
- Domestic Australia or New Zealand: 4,500 Qantas points
- International Flights: 7,700 Qantas points
- Awards Program: Frequent Flyer
- Alliance: Oneworld
- Singapore Airlines: $25 (Saver fares); $0 (Advantage fares)
- Partner Airlines: $50
- Singapore Airlines: $25 (Regardless of fare)
- KrisFlyer: $75 (Saver fares); $50 (Advantage fares)
- A no-show fee of $100 to $300 will be applied depending on your class. If you wish to refund and you are a no show, you will pay both fees
- A $25 service fee applies for making any amendments offline
- 1 change free of charge is permitted
- Awards Program: KrisFlyer
- Date Change Fee: Free
- Destination Change Fee: Free
- Cancellation/Redeposit/Refund of Miles Fee : Free
- Exclusions/Waivers: Changes may be subject to a difference in points, but there are no fees
- Awards Program: Rapid Rewards
- 0 to 2 days from departure — $99
- 3 to 6 days from departure — $79
- 7 to 59 days from departure — $49
- 60+ days from departure — Free
- Up to 24 hours before departure — Free
- Changes can be made up to an hour before the flight departure
- $50 for flights booked within 28 days of the departure date
- The close-in booking fee is waived for Silver or Gold members
- Awards Program: Free Spirit
- Domestic: ฿ 500 (~$16)
- Economy Class/Premium Economy/THAI Smile Plus Class: ฿ 2,500 (~$85)
- Royal Silk Class/Royal First Class: ฿ 3,500 (~$120)
- Star Alliance Air Award (All Classes of Service): ฿ 3,750 (~$125)
- Within Thailand: ฿ 1,800 (~$60)
- Regional/International: ฿ 3,750 (~$125)/10,000 miles
- Intercontinental: ฿ 5,700 (~$190)/15,000 miles
- Stopover fee of ฿ 2,850 (~$95)
- For canceled flights due to COVID-19, passengers will have miles returned to their accounts, and taxes and fees will be issued as travel credit
- Awards Program: Royal Orchid Plus
- Domestic flights: ₺50 (~$7)
- International flights: $25
- International change fees apply even if changes are only made to the domestic leg of a domestic-international connection
- Domestic flights: ₺100 (~$14)
- International flights: $50
- Awards Program: Miles&Smiles
- Between any of the U.S. states, or between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, U.S. Virgin Islands, or Puerto Rico (excluding Basic Economy tickets)
- On an international flight originating in the U.S.
- Less than 30 days prior to departure: – Premier 1K: None – Premier Platinum: $50 – Premier Gold: $75 – Premier Silver: $100 – General Member: $125
- $125 redeposit fee for no shows, regardless of elite status
- Additional fee for booking award ticket by phone: $25
- Change fees are waived for all international flights (excluding basic economy) booked through January 31, 2022
- Awards Program: MileagePlus
- International Originating in the U.K.: £30 (~$41)
- International Originating in the U.S.: $50
- International Originating in Any Other Region: Local currency equivalent of $50
- Exclusions/Waivers: Flights booked on or after December 23, 2021, for travel anytime up to December 31, 2022, are permitted to make unlimited date changes. Travel must be completed by December 31, 2023.
- Awards Program: Flying Club
- Alliance: Codeshare agreements with many Oneworld, SkyTeam, and Star Alliance members and other airlines
As you can see, most airlines have varying fees when it comes to changing or canceling reward flights. Keep in mind that when changing a flight, you’ll always need to pay the fare difference in cash or miles if the new flight is more expensive. Some airlines have terms and fees relating to specific fare types, so it’s always best to check at the point of booking to avoid any surprises.
Frequently Asked Questions
There usually is a fee to change or cancel an award ticket. The amount of the fee can vary a great deal depending on the airline and the type of change being made.
Most airlines allow passengers to cancel flights booked with points, but many impose a fee to do so. Policies vary airline to airline and we’ve listed some of the most popular airlines in this article.
Many airlines allow passengers to change flights booked with miles, usually for a fee. Many restrict these to date changes, but some airlines also offer route changes.
Delta no longer charges change fees for canceling award tickets, but canceling a cash ticket costs $150 per ticket (though this fee is waived for tickets with travel originating from North America to anywhere in the world, excluding Basic Economy fares).
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About Erin Miller
An experienced points hacker, Erin is Alex’s partner-in-crime and contributes to Upgraded Points with in-depth guides and relationship management. Erin’s work has been cited in multiple major publications.
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Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.
April 07, 2019
I believe the Turkish Air information was replaced with Thai airways information copy pasted twice…. please verify.
Hi Jacob – looks like you’re right. Thanks for the heads up! We’ll get to updating this ASAP! 🙂
April 18, 2020
Hi! For Virgin Atlantic would I be able to redeposit my reward miles for a flight that was booked prior to February 2020 due to COVID-19? I can not find any info on redepositing reward miles on their website, only info about rebooking. My flight is coming up soon but I do not want to rebook for travel, just redeposit points instead. Thank you so much!
April 20, 2020
You should be able to get these miles re-deposited for no fee. However, if you aren’t, the cost to re-deposit these miles would be up to $50 per person.
You can offset that $50 per person by using the airline incidental credit from cards like the Amex Platinum.
April 22, 2019
China Eastern Int’l flights Refund: Not possible. Date Change: Free Destination: Not possible. Exclusions: If it’s the airline’s problem, free refund. Close-in booking fee: None. Awards: Eastern Miles. Alliance: Skyteam
April 23, 2019
Thanks for your comment on China Eastern. We’ve verified fee information and have added a section for China Eastern within the article.
If I booked an award through United but on Thai Airways and EVA Air and I want to cancel and redeposit the miles, is it just the United fees I would have to pay? Or will I have to pay the fees with Thai and EVA also? I have an award booking flying out of Sri Lanka and I’m reconsidering going there. Thanks!
April 24, 2019
You’ll only have to pay cancellation fees for United.
With any award booking, you’ll pay cancellation fees with the frequent flyer program you booked with and NOT the airlines you’re actually flying on.
Thanks for reading!
October 21, 2019
Is ANA info correct? I think there is a 3000 miles fee for award cancellation.
Yes, it’s correct. If you want, please visit the link on ANA’s website here:
It says “Mileage for Refund Charge 3,000 miles per customer Taxes and fees for unused awards will be refunded.”
October 22, 2019
So there IS a fee, right? (3000 miles) I don’t think the post reflects that… unless I’m blind.
You bring up a great point. We were mostly tackling this from a cash fee perspective, but we’ve now updated the post to reflect that. Thanks for the feedback!
November 23, 2019
I’m in a pickle right now. I booked a round trip ticket, first flight ever, with United. I need to change the destination airport from Newark to LaGuardia. No date changes, they can change any times but I really just need to fly to LaGuardia instead of Newark. I am a Mileage Plus member and disabled veteran. How can I do this without paying a gazillion $? I know it’s $200 but I can’t afford that. I’m going to celebrate my daughter graduating from NYU and celebrate New Years. What can I do ? Reservation was made back in September and it’s non-refundable. I didn’t know anything when I made reservation, I just went online and made one. Can anyone help?
November 24, 2019
Hello Chrystal and thank you for your service. Have you tried calling United reservations? (1-800-864-8331) If there have been any major changes in the flight schedule, they may waive a change fee. It’s a remote possibility but you could explain to them your situation and ask if they could waive it. Alternately, you can look up the cost of transit from Newark to your destination on Rome2rio, it may not be that much. It may also be possible to go standby on a flight to LGA the same day as your Newark ticket. You can ask at the airport. Good luck.
February 05, 2020
Where is the frontier waiver for the elite 20k members? I can’t find anything online that shows the 75 dollar redeposit fee is waived for elite 20k members.
February 11, 2020
This article needed an update as this does not seem to valid anymore. Thanks for highlighting this, the article has been updated.
February 15, 2020
Hello, I wonder if we have an Aeromexico flight (classic fare) with 3 segments from Mexico to Europe (1 domestic in Mexico, 1 transatlantic, and 1 European) and want to change the date of the flight (and the time of the first segment), do we have to pay 1 fee for each segment (thus 3 fees i.e. 1 domestic + 2 international) or 1 fee for the journey (i.e. 1 international). Where did you find the tariff for the fee ?
February 16, 2020
Airlines usually charge change fees per segment. It looks the Aeromexico fees could do with an update. You can find the applicable fees here by selecting the routing from the dropdown and then selecting your fare type.
February 24, 2020
Does the date change fee on United apply to every change on the same ticket? I need to delay my United partner flights to a later date due to the coronavirus. If I need to change it again later do I need to pay the change fees again?
February 25, 2020
Change fees usually do apply to each segment of a journey. You would be best to contact United who will be able to give you all of the information you require.
March 08, 2020
Qantas details are not correct. Change fee is 5000 points. Cancellation is 6000 points.
Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve updated the post!
March 12, 2020
If I cancel my Virgin Atlantic award which charged me $327.83 in taxes and surcharges, will they refund that amount minus the $50 and redeposit the miles?
Hi Nan. Airlines are waiving fees and adding flexibility due to the current situation. You may be able to receive a refund without a redeposit fee if your itinerary qualifies. Here is Virgin Atlantic’s current temporary policy: https://flywith.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/news.html?intcmp=homepage_no_change_fee#nofee
March 14, 2020
Thank you Christine.
July 22, 2020
Hello everyone. I’ve just confirmed that, despite AA’s website, there will be a reinstatement fee for award travel that takes place next year, according to the normal fee schedule (so $150 for regular members, not $0 as the website states). Thanks
October 11, 2020
This information isn’t much help How do I cancel a LifeMiles ticket? Customer service never answers and their is no way to do this online.
October 13, 2020
Unfortunately, at this time, the only way to cancel a LifeMiles ticket is by calling their customer service team at 1-800-284-2622.
October 19, 2020
I am trying to cancel an Iberia Avios redemption on American Airlines due to the hotel not re-opening in light of COVID-19. They told me they cannot change or cancel (even for a fee) unless one of the flights in my segment is changed or canceled. Essentially, if nothing is changed by the airlines themself, they are telling me I will lose the Avios and the money paid in taxes. Does anyone have experience with this? Any other options?
October 21, 2020
Thanks for reading. I’m sorry you’re experiencing this.
Unfortunately, the airlines aren’t liable for the closures of hotels that they otherwise do not interact with.
As a result, the airlines must levy a change/cancellation fee.
You can cancel your ticket and pay a cancellation fee to get your Avios credited back to your account, as well as any taxes and fees your paid.
October 22, 2020
Stephen – From what Iberia tells me, that is not true when booking an award ticket on AA metal. There are no refunds and no changes – Even for a fee. Their FAQ shows this, “For partner products and services purchased with Avios, refunds must be processed directly with the partner in question and will depend on their returns policy.” It’s as clear as mud. Even during COVID, trying multiple different agents over the phone, and contacting them via email, they all say the same thing – There is nothing they can do unless American airlines delays, changes, or cancels one of the flights in my segment. Naturally calling AA, they directed me back to Iberia. Since I imagine a good amount of readers use Iberia Avios on AA metal, seems this should be something that is highlighted. I am pretty desperate to try and retain my money and Avios so if anyone has found any sort of success in my situation, please share.
Iberia will not refund an award ticket on AA metal. Has anyone had any luck with getting them to refund points and/or taxes in the past? Please help!
June 10, 2021
FYI you might be able to save $200 for LifeMimes cancellation if you use the following trick. I tried to set a pin online but their site is horrible and it wasn’t working. I called LifeMIles and selected the option for website support and explained to them that the website wasn’t allowing me to set a pin so I couldn’t cancel my ticket. They said they are “updating the site” (even though this has been happening for the last week). I gave the agent the record locator, and she said she could cancel it without my pin, she just had to check with the supervisor. She canceled it and I didn’t have to pay any extra fees. Didn’t even provide my credit card. Miles will be returned in 2 weeks and credit card refund will take 5 months. I suggest anyone trying to cancel, first try their web support and explain the above situation. It might save you $200.
October 18, 2021
I believe there are no cancellation fees for partner award tickets cancellation in Alaska Airlines.
March 15, 2022
Does this mean for Air France I can change to another award flight (same route, different date) without paying the miles difference? Or simply that the change fees are waived?
Only the change fees would be waived, you would still have to pay any price difference.
February 04, 2023
For British Airways, “$25 ticketing fee for all award flights booked (online and phone) regardless of the date”? There is no fee for online booking per https://www.britishairways.com/en-us/executive-club/spending-avios/booking-and-service-fees
BTW, what is your source for its close-in booking fee?
February 16, 2023
Thanks for pointing that out, I’ve just corrected the post.
March 17, 2023
Please note the information for Turkish Airlines is incorrect. The change and cancellation fee for International award tickets is $70, not $7.
I’m not seeing that figure stated on the Turkish Airlines website, would you mind sharing where you found that?
March 29, 2023
Hi! I’ve been running into an issue with booking United tickets via Turkish. I am very stressed as the passenger name on the generated United Airlines confirmation page is formatted as Lastname/FirstnameTitle, eg Smith/JohnMr. Clearly the Mr would not be an actual part of the name, but for whatever reason the Turkish agents say that it cannot be removed because the title is required. Do your reservations look like this? Does it give you any trouble when flying? Thank you!
March 30, 2023
This is relatively common and has happened to me multiple times. I have never had an issue.
May 01, 2023
I booked in 01/2023 and cancelled in 02/2023 Air France award flights from LAS to AMS and wasn’t charged any fees. The miles were re-deposited into my account as well as the fees and taxes.
June 21, 2023
Hi, I think it would be helpful to list if the airline has a 24 hour cooling off period where no cancellation fee would apply.
June 22, 2023
Per the DOT, all airlines must offer a 24 hour period in which you can cancel your ticket with no penalty so long as it is at least 7 days or more from departure.
July 02, 2023
Hi, in the above you have, for United, “$125 redeposit fee for no shows, regardless of elite status”.What is the source of this info?
Hi Mike. It is listed on the United website. Effective January 1, 2023, there is $125 redeposit fee for no shows. There is no fee for redepositing miles when canceling a flight. https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/mileageplus/awards/travel/ticketing.html
October 05, 2023
confirmed with Alaska today there is no $125 fee. Just $12.50 actually to redeposit/refund the miles if the flight is on a partner airline.
UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.
Complete guide to changing and canceling award tickets
Getting compensation can be difficult when airlines cancel flights due to weather, crew scheduling, maintenance or other reasons. However, when you need to make changes or cancel your own reservations, you'll often face steep fees. Fortunately, many airlines have permanently waived these fees for both paid and award tickets.
For airlines that still impose fees, there are strategies to minimize or avoid them, such as taking advantage of schedule changes or travel waivers. Here are some tips on how you can dodge fees when changing and canceling award tickets.
The best ways to avoid airline change and cancellation fees
We'll take a closer look at change and cancellation fees in a bit. For now, here's a list of some possible strategies for avoiding them:
- Look for a travel waiver.
- Keep an eye out for schedule changes.
- Remember the 24-hour rule .
- Have a good reason.
- Consider your credit card coverage .
- Earn elite status.
- Use a credit card travel credit to cover your fees.
- Don't pay cancellation or change fees until you have to.
Overview of change fees
Although legacy U.S. carriers no longer charge change fees on most tickets, some other airlines do. You must pay a fixed fee and any fare difference to switch to a different flight. These fees can vary based on the airline, fare class, destination and how far in advance you make the change.
Many airlines offer same-day changes on the same route for a fixed fee. However, same-day change fees are often waived for elite members. The advantage of same-day changes is that you likely won't have to pay any fare difference if you switch to a more expensive flight.
Related: Losing elite status this month? Keep benefits with these airline status matches and challenges
Overview of cancellation fees
As with change fees, the legacy U.S. carriers no longer charge cancellation fees on most tickets. However, if you are subject to a cancellation fee, you'll generally receive a travel credit minus the cancellation fee.
Most major U.S. airlines do not provide refunds to your original payment method unless there are specific circumstances, like a significant schedule change. That said, on award tickets, many will refund the mileage plus any taxes and fees if you need to cancel.
Change and cancellation policies by airline
Each airline has its own cancellation and change policies; some are more restrictive than others. Here's a look at some major carriers and their respective policies.
Air Canada's change policy for award flights is more straightforward than for paid flights, as it doesn't vary by route.
You'll always get free changes when booking Economy Flex, Economy Latitude, premium economy (flexible), business-class (flexible) and first-class (flexible) awards. Meanwhile, Economy Standard, premium economy (lowest), business-class (lowest) and first-class (lowest) awards have a flat change fee of 100 Canadian dollars (per direction, per ticket). Change and cancellation fees are waived for Aeroplan Super Elite members.
Alaska Airlines removed change and cancellation fees permanently in response to the coronavirus pandemic. That said, you must change or cancel your flight before departure to be eligible for flight credit. You will be liable for any fare difference if you choose to change a flight. Saver fares — Alaska's term for basic economy — cannot be changed or canceled.
You'll get your miles and taxes refunded when canceling award tickets, but the $12.50 partner award booking fee and $15 call center booking fee (for awards booked over the phone) are nonrefundable.
Same-day confirmed changes cost either $25 or $50 and are waived for MVP Golds, 75Ks, 100Ks, American AAdvantage Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum members. You do not have to pay a fare difference for same-day changes when available. The fee is also waived for those traveling on the same reservation.
Although a low-cost carrier, Allegiant imposes a relatively reasonable $25 fee per person, per segment when you change or cancel your ticket. However, any changes or cancellations must be made within seven days of departure unless you've purchased Trip Flex . This add-on allows a one-time change or cancellation until one hour before departure, though you can't add it after the fact. You must add this surcharge when you book your flight.
American Airlines no longer charges change or cancellation fees for flights within the U.S. or to/from Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Further, all other international itineraries starting in the U.S. aren't subject to change or cancellation fees. You will only pay the fare difference when changing flights.
Unfortunately, this does not apply to basic economy tickets. These tickets cannot be changed or canceled unless a travel waiver exists. You can cancel all award tickets and receive your miles back.
Check out this guide for more details on changing or canceling your American Airlines flight.
Delta Air Lines
Like American, Delta Air Lines no longer charges change or cancellation fees on flights within the U.S. or international itineraries starting in the U.S. This policy includes award tickets. You're only responsible for the fare difference if you change to a more expensive flight. As you might expect, basic economy tickets cannot be changed or canceled.
Check this link for more details on Delta's change and cancellation fees.
Frontier imposes no change fees on flights more than 60 days from departure. However, there's a $49 change fee from 59 to seven days before departure. That climbs to a $99 fee within seven days of departure. All of these change fees are in addition to any fare difference.
The carrier has no change fees if you purchase its add-on option called The Works and Flight Flexibility.
Check this link for more details on Frontier's change and cancellation fees.
Hawaiian doesn't charge change or cancellation fees on Main Cabin fares or higher. However, you are responsible for paying the fare difference when switching to a more expensive flight.
JetBlue doesn't charge change or cancellation fees on paid or award tickets unless you book Blue Basic. These tickets cannot be changed or canceled. You are only responsible for paying the fare difference if you move to a more expensive ticket. You will be charged a $25 fee if you process your change or cancellation over the phone. Further, same-day changes cost $75 and the fee is waived for Mosaic elite members .
Southwest is famous for not charging change or cancellation fees, though you'll have to pay any difference in fare. You can also receive a credit if the fare goes down . The credit can only be used by the person whose name originally appeared on the ticket.
However, if you change an award ticket that has dropped in price, any additional points are redeposited in the member's account and can later be used for travel by anyone. Just note that you must cancel paid Wanna Get Away reservations at least 10 minutes before your departure time. Otherwise, you'll forfeit the entire value of your ticket.
If you want to move to an earlier or later Southwest flight, you'll have to pay the fare difference on a Wanna Get Away ticket. These fees don't apply to customers booked in Wanna Get Away Plus, Anytime or Business Select tickets. A-List and A-List Preferred Members can take advantage of free same-day change and same-day standby benefits even on Wanna Get Away fares.
Check this link for more details on Southwest's fare options.
Like Frontier, Spirit has a tiered system for flight change and cancellation fees. Modifications are free if you change your flight more than 60 days before departure. Between 59 and 31 days, you'll pay $69; between 30 and 7 days, you'll pay $99; and within 6 days of departure, you'll pay $119.
If you have Spirit elite status , you're eligible for free same-day standby to an earlier flight.
United waives change and cancellation fees for all flights within the U.S. and Puerto Rico, between the U.S. and Mexico and the Caribbean and all international flights departing the U.S. As usual, this doesn't apply to basic economy tickets, and you're responsible for any fare difference. United also doesn't charge redeposit fees when you cancel award tickets.
Related: How to refund a nonrefundable airline ticket
How to avoid change and cancellation fees
The airline might be open to waiving your change or cancellation fees in certain cases. We previously mentioned ways to avoid these fees, but now let's look at specific strategies you can try.
Look for a travel waiver
Travel waivers are typically given by airlines when they expect a large number of delays or cancellations. This could be due to bad weather, natural disasters or recent virus outbreaks. Airlines prefer to offer flexibility to travelers ahead of time instead of dealing with last-minute changes at the airport. The details of travel waivers differ depending on the airline and reason for the waiver, but they generally allow you to change or cancel your flights without any fees.
You can find travel waivers on the airline's website. Generally, these will show at the top of the website and on the screen when you check in for your flight. The airline may even contact you if you're eligible for a travel waiver, so keep your eyes on your inbox before you travel.
Keep an eye out for schedule changes
You may be able to avoid change and cancellation fees if your flight schedule changes after you've booked your ticket. For instance, if your original departure time was 1 p.m. but changes to 2:30 p.m., you might qualify for free flight changes or cancellations. Airlines often notify you of these schedule changes through email, but it's also important to regularly check your trip details to catch any changes.
In general, many U.S. airlines offer a full refund if there is a schedule change of 90 minutes or more to your flight's departure or arrival time. However, each airline has its own policy regarding schedule changes, so it's advisable to refer to our comprehensive schedule change policies guide for specific information on your chosen airline.
Remember the 24-hour rule
U.S. airlines are required by law to offer free holds or refunds within 24 hours of booking, if the flight is more than seven days in the future. This can come in handy if the price drops or you are still nailing down some travel details. This also applies to tickets booked through credit card sites like Amex Travel and the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal .
Have a good reason
Travelers can often get change fees waived in the event of illness, a death in the family or other extraordinary circumstances like a natural disaster. Just be prepared to offer supporting documentation.
Consider your credit card coverage
If you used a travel rewards or airline credit card to pay for your booking, it may include trip cancellation and interruption insurance . This insurance can potentially cover your change or cancellation fees and other eligible nonrefundable expenses. For instance, if you have a valid reason to cancel or modify your trip (like jury duty or a serious illness) and you booked with the Chase Sapphire Reserve , you can receive up to $10,000 in reimbursement per trip.
In case of an emergency that qualifies for your credit card's trip delay or cancellation coverage, you might have more concerns than just airline fees. However, knowing these protections are available if needed is reassuring.
Remember that to benefit from this coverage, you usually must pay for part of the covered trip with your credit card. This can include paying for award taxes and fees or using points to purchase a ticket through a platform like the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
Earn elite status
One of the greatest advantages of having airline elite status is that certain tiers with select carriers will waive change fees on same-day changes. This added flexibility is great if you want to move to an earlier or later flight at the last minute.
Use a credit card travel credit or redemption to cover your fees
If all else fails, you can use travel credits from a premium travel card like The Platinum Card® from American Express or the Chase Sapphire Reserve or redeem miles from a card like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (see rates and fees ) to cover your change or cancellation fees.
If you go this route, you'll still be subject to paying these fees, but you may be able to cover them with a statement credit or your miles. This is most applicable to award tickets since the change or cancellation fees are often an additional out-of-pocket expense. With paid flights, the fees are deducted from the value of your ticket.
In the case of the Amex Platinum, you can only cover the change or cancellation fee for the airline that you've selected to use for your $200 annual airline fee credit (enrollment is required). You can choose this airline when you first get your Platinum Card and once per year after that. It's also worth noting that Amex's system will determine which purchases are (and are not) eligible for the credit. Please read our f ull guide to the Platinum Card's airline credit for more information on what qualifies.
The Sapphire Reserve card has a more relaxed travel credit that automatically applies to the first $300 in various travel purchases each year. This credit resets once per calendar year, so if you've yet to use your credit, charge the change or cancellation fee to your Sapphire Reserve and you'll be automatically reimbursed for the fee.
Finally, if you must pay a change or cancellation fee out of pocket, you could always charge it to a card like the Capital One Venture or Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (see rates and fees ) and then use your miles at a fixed value to cover the cost. However, transferring your Capital One miles to travel partners will likely get you a much higher redemption value.
Don't pay cancellation or change fees until you have to
When you book a flight and later need to cancel, it's best to avoid paying the cancellation fee until necessary. Airlines can sometimes announce schedule changes, delays, or cancellations, allowing you to change or cancel your trip without paying any fees. Remember that if the airline cancels the service, you should receive a refund to your original payment method, not just a travel voucher. This can be a valuable tool if the airline cannot provide the service you booked.
However, it's important to understand your specific airline's policies. Unused tickets can sometimes be rebooked after the flight by paying the same change fee that you would have paid in advance. Certain carriers may require you to cancel or change your flight before the scheduled departure. Familiarize yourself with your airline's rules to make the best decision.
For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.
Related: Missed your flight? Here's what you need to do
Changing or canceling a flight can be a hassle, especially if it means paying a hefty fee. Keep this page handy for future reference when changing a flight.
It could save you a significant amount of money, potentially hundreds of dollars, depending on your flight type. So the next time you change a ticket, you know to mitigate your out-of-pocket expenses.
Additional reporting by Benji Stawski, Jason Steele and Kyle Olsen.