Repricing American Airlines Flights Is So Fun!

Repricing American Airlines Flights Is So Fun!

40

Who knew changing an American Airlines ticket could be so fun?! Yes, I realize I need new hobbies…

I love how airlines have eliminated change fees

Around the start of the pandemic, most major airlines in the United States eliminated change fees “permanently.” Different airlines have slightly different policies, there are some exclusions (sometimes for basic economy), and who really knows what “permanent” means in this context.

However, I just wanted to stop for a moment and appreciate how awesome this is. Yes, I know Southwest Airlines customers have been enjoying this for years, but for the rest of us, this is kind of exciting.

The process of planning travel has just become so much easier since the start of the pandemic. Now I can make a booking if I think I’m going to be able to take a trip, allowing me to lock in flights at the best price, secure upgrades and good seats, etc. If my plans change, it’s no big deal, since I can just use my credit towards a future flight.

Now that I’ve gotten used to this, I can’t believe that back in the day I always had to make a $200 gamble when booking a ticket, since that was typically the change fee. But the benefit of no change fees isn’t just the flexibility to change your flights, but it’s also the ability to rebook your flight when the price drops.

Legacy US airlines have largely eliminated change fees

Repricing tickets is kind of thrilling

Most of my flights in recent months have been booked pretty last minute, so there haven’t been opportunities to take advantage of fare drops. However, when I book a ticket on an airline with no change fees, I always go to Google Flights and set a price alert, so that I receive an email if the price changes (either up or down).

Well, that finally paid off. Yesterday I received an email alert that the price for an upcoming American itinerary had dropped by ~$80. Since there are no change fees, I could receive an $80 voucher towards a future flight. Woot!

Now, I’m not sure I went through the process of rebooking in the most efficient way possible. In retrospect, it would have probably been easier if I just called up American and asked an agent to reprice the itinerary and issue me a voucher. However, I naively thought that maybe I could do this all online. Not so much:

  • When I tried to use the ticket change function, it didn’t let me price exactly the same flights, but rather required me to choose different flights
  • Instead I canceled my ticket, and then tried to go through the process of booking a new ticket; however, there was no way to apply this particular ticket credit, unless I missed something obvious
  • I placed the itinerary on hold, and then called American; the call ended up taking about 15 minutes, as the agent had to contact the ticketing desk to apply the voucher since Ford and I were on the same record, so it seems that this isn’t something that even a reservations agent can directly apply
  • Sure enough, after that both Ford and I were issued $80 credits, so that was an easy $160 in future ticket credits on American
Yay, travel credits from repricing flights!

I’m not sure if I missed some other obvious easy way to reprice tickets, so if anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

One thing is for sure — I got a real thrill out of being able to reprice tickets, beyond just the $160 in value I got. Maybe it’s all the change fees I’ve had to pay American over the years, though it was nice to have the airline issue me a credit for something like this, for once.

Bottom line

It sure is nice how the legacy carriers in the United States have eliminated change fees on most types of tickets. This has completely changed the way I plan travel and has taken the stress out of the process of booking flights, and on top of that it’s also really fun to reprice tickets.

Just set a Google Flights price alert, if the price changes you’ll be contacted. Airfare tends to fluctuate, so there’s lots of potential here.

Anyone else get a thrill out of repricing flights, after airlines taking advantage of us with change fees for so many years? Is there an easier rebooking option that I missed?

Conversations (40)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Jane Do Guest

    Actually that happened to me;by spirit airline.Not only I lost everything $$ From Previous ticket'
    The agent get me also.
    I will not recommend Spit it airline to Nobody period.

  2. John Guest

    Rebooking Southwest flights using points is seemless and efficient. No time frames or restrictions. Canceled points are redeposited into your account immediately and you are able to use them within security book your new flight. I recently rebooked a flight 4X getting it down from $178 to $49!

  3. Flyoften Guest

    A classic definition if a bully is someone who slaps you until you cry, then tells you he won't slap you anymore. Not all the time at least.

    The victim thinks the schoolyard is fun again.

    It is sad how we are getting excited over something that should be normal.

  4. Sachette Guest

    Interesting, I have always set price alert before I fee a flight. I hope people changing flights for cheaper tickets does not stop them from continuing the no change fee.

  5. C Brown Guest

    Welcome to the repricing club. The only problem is that you May get over 20 flight credits without the ability to combine them.

  6. Marlyne Tyre Guest

    I booked a trip leaving on 12/23 through 12/27. I called American Airlines to change the time on the return flight only to be told it would be over $300 to do so. I will NEVER book with American Airlines again!!!

    1. BenjaminGuttery New Member

      Just because changes fees are gone, there are still price differences in flights, because time is money. Earlier flights are less, so are the late at night "red eyes", but other times in the middle are for "convenience". I think that's a completely fair price for a time change during Christmas.

  7. Nagoya Guest

    I’ve done the same on short- and long-haul itineraries booked thru AMEX Travel, which offers discounted AA tickets by default. Simply call AMEX Travel to receive and/or redeem travel credit. Btw, AMEX fares have been cheaper than Google Flights, Air Hint, Skiplagged, etc or even booking direct. Rumour has it that discount perk will end in 2023.

  8. AaronP Guest

    I use this all the time, free option. The only issue is if you have a reservation on a hold and then need to purchase it because the fare has gone up, something I also do all the time, then you have to call to apply the voucher.
    You can only do it yourself on a new ticket that isn't on hold...

  9. jim Guest

    tried to do this a while back, and the aa.com site would not allow the change; kept creating an error, although it was the same itinerary and lower price. decided not to wait on hold with an agent, as the hold times were long.

    1. Pam Guest

      I get this same error message every time, too, & have to call an agent. MAKE SURE & save the Ticket ID to rebook or the agent might select one you dont want/later expiration.

      I have also asked several times for an agent to only apply part of a ticket credit & they do all instead.

  10. Criced Criced Guest

    I saved €100 on KLM by rebooking a ticket for a flight during christmas that droped in price. Got a new voucher. So it works in Europe aswell.

  11. Icarus Guest

    Grammar police here. It’s not “ so fun”. You have to add a preposition “ much”. I’ve noticed this recently, “ oh it was so fun” ( chew gum) and it bothers me

    1. Rob Guest

      This is not true. If you are using "fun" as a noun, then yes, you'd need a quantifier. But if it's an adjective (which is the case here), you simply use the adverb: "so fun" (i.e., as-is).

      It's like emphasizing that a house is very big. You say, "That house is so big!" You do not say, "That house is so much big!"

    2. Rob Guest

      Oh, and "much" is not a preposition; is an adverb. If you're gonna go all "grammar police" on us, at least be right.

    3. Grammar Police Reject Guest

      Speaking as an English teacher, that's true-ish. Much depends on what function the word is playing in the sentence in order to determine its class.

      For example, in the previous sentence, I used "much" as a noun; it's a noun because it's in the subject slot of the first clause of that sentence (and hence is an adjective performing a nominal (subect) function.

      "I want much more"--"much here is functioning like an adjective...

      Speaking as an English teacher, that's true-ish. Much depends on what function the word is playing in the sentence in order to determine its class.

      For example, in the previous sentence, I used "much" as a noun; it's a noun because it's in the subject slot of the first clause of that sentence (and hence is an adjective performing a nominal (subect) function.

      "I want much more"--"much here is functioning like an adjective because it qualifies the direct object, "more." And Rob is also right--"much" can function as an adverb, as can many adjectives, depending on what they modify and where they are placed. "It was much more fun than I expected"--in this sentence, "much" modifies more, so it's an adjective describing an adjective--and when that happens, we call it an adverb. This is hard to explain to students because they've been trained to spot word classes (noun, pronoun, verb, etc), not functions (adverbial, adjectival, nominal, etc.).

    4. Cody Guest

      Please add comments pertaining to subject.

  12. Paul Guest

    This all sounds great and will look into this in the future, and this may be what leads to the Airlines reinstating change fees. I like the idea of booking one way since do not save anything for RT tickets, plus most of our travel is through multi city booking. They do not really like to loose fares since this not a new customer booking, just thinking, what would an airline really think of this when planes are fuller.

  13. Jeff Guest

    Just yesterday I re-priced several upcoming hotel stays for a trip to Hawaii. Saved over $700 versus price paid just a few weeks ago. Guessing hotel bookings haven't kept up with expectations and so the hotels are lowering prices?

  14. Chris Guest

    I’ve been able to reprice four or five tickets on aa.com by using the change flight option and then picking the same flights. These were all non-stop DCAMCO flights, so maybe that made it easy? Using the credits is more of a hassle (4+ hour call backs), but once they’re on the phone, it’s been cake.

  15. Randy Guest

    I have been doing this a lot lately Easy to do on line if only one person on the reservation. With two - you have to call and an agent as to do.

    Your flight credit (for a cancelled flight) and/or trip credits (surplus) both show in your wallet. You can apply either. Best to use the Flight credit first (this is the cancelled ticket number) - then add trips credits as needed. Or...

    I have been doing this a lot lately Easy to do on line if only one person on the reservation. With two - you have to call and an agent as to do.

    Your flight credit (for a cancelled flight) and/or trip credits (surplus) both show in your wallet. You can apply either. Best to use the Flight credit first (this is the cancelled ticket number) - then add trips credits as needed. Or if lower, you get a new trip credit.

    Depends on what agent you get. Some agents can do it and put in for ticket issues. Others have to call the ticketing desk to enter.

    Again you can apply as many trip credits to add up to a new ticket. They just copy and past the trip credit number from your account. I have had trip credit auto post for as low as 20 cents - ie new ticket was 20 cents less. No issue just adding them up.

    I usually don't bother is less than $10 - base on time to do for 2 people on reservation. But seems like AA ticket prices are very dynamic. I am getting back anywhere from $20 to $200.

    And I always now book one way ticket. Then if the one way gets cheaper you only have to cancel the one way and not lose the other direction - since that other direction may cost more. With a RT - you have to cancel the whole ticket.

  16. pwirth158 New Member

    I’ve done essentially this a few times with United recently - not as easy as just changing the flight to the now lower-priced same flight, but neither have I had any issues with just canceling the original flight and using the credit to rebook the same flight, while retaining the balance in future flight credits. Fun indeed!

    1. UA-NYC Guest

      UA pro tip - change to a different flight on the same routing with the new (lower) price, spitting out the credit, then change back to your original flight.

  17. Jonathan Guest

    AA won't apply credit from a domestic ticket to an international ticket. So i ended up with future credit and had to pay some for my recent ticket change.

  18. Ryan Guest

    The chat feature in the app also works and quite simple/easy to do if you don’t want to call. They can reprice and issue the credit.

  19. BC Guest

    Even better, refundable tickets get a refund to your credit card for the difference (if you request it)!

  20. _ar Guest

    I've done this online on AA.com for months without issue. Not sure why you had a problem. AA and Delta naively allow you pick the same flight when you want to 'change'. Jetblue shows you all other flights.... United I don't fly....

  21. Gary Leff Guest

    I just call, tell them the price dropped on my itinerary and I'd like them to reissue the tickets and send me a credit please.

    1. Gary Leff Guest

      As I wrote about six weeks ago: https://viewfromthewing.com/always-check-for-price-drops-even-after-youve-booked-your-travel/

    2. Donna Diamond

      I do the same thing, just call. I’m a bit nervous to do try it online.

  22. panda Guest

    It’s not eliminating change fees for regular flights if basic economy is ineligible and the price is the same as what economy flights used to be…

    1. KingBob Guest

      Does AA even have Basic Economy anymore? All my recent flights purchased and/or priced have regular Economy as their lowest price.

  23. Sosie Guest

    When I tried doing this with United the agent told me that it will be a downgrade fee of $50

  24. leol Guest

    Delta's process is much easier. Just select Modify flight, choose the original flight, check out, then it's all set. If there's been a schedule change, you can basically change to any flight with no extra cost as long as the origin and destination are the same and it's within 2 days of the original itinerary.

  25. Peter Guest

    I agree! I used to track prices after purchasing flights to see if I did indeed get the best deal. It is much more fun now that if the price drops, I get the credit instead of the disappointment. I’ve generally had luck changing to the same AA flight but not 100%.

  26. kq747 Guest

    The only way I've been able to use AA trip/flight credit is by calling so I don't think you are doing anything wrong. I think I read in some of the terms that you needed to call in?

    1. Skyward Geek New Member

      That's because American Airlines has terrible IT - you can do it all online or even the app on United.

    2. Brodie Gold

      Sometimes you will see a flight credit icon on the payment screen, sometimes you will not. I have yet to figure out what triggers it, but it is annoying none the less.
      I also recently ended up getting a credit due to a price drop on a LAX-JFK flight for a trip next year, and can think Google flights just as you have for the heads up.
      As much crap as AA gets,...

      Sometimes you will see a flight credit icon on the payment screen, sometimes you will not. I have yet to figure out what triggers it, but it is annoying none the less.
      I also recently ended up getting a credit due to a price drop on a LAX-JFK flight for a trip next year, and can think Google flights just as you have for the heads up.
      As much crap as AA gets, your ability to cancel and rebook outperforms numerous airlines. I can literally cancel an award booking and get my miles back near instantly. Try that with Emirates, Lifemiles, ect.

    3. 767 Guest

      The flight credit only appears if you are booking one passenger. If more than one, you have to call and hope that there is not an hours long wait, even as an elite. I missed out on a great fare for a reservation I had on hold. After unsuccessfully trying to book online before the 24 hold expired, I finally got through but the fare expired and they would not honor it despite the long hold time.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Rob Guest

Oh, and "much" is not a preposition; is an adverb. If you're gonna go all "grammar police" on us, at least be right.

4
Rob Guest

This is not true. If you are using "fun" as a noun, then yes, you'd need a quantifier. But if it's an adjective (which is the case here), you simply use the adverb: "so fun" (i.e., as-is). It's like emphasizing that a house is very big. You say, "That house is so big!" You do not say, "That house is so much big!"

3
Randy Guest

I have been doing this a lot lately Easy to do on line if only one person on the reservation. With two - you have to call and an agent as to do. Your flight credit (for a cancelled flight) and/or trip credits (surplus) both show in your wallet. You can apply either. Best to use the Flight credit first (this is the cancelled ticket number) - then add trips credits as needed. Or if lower, you get a new trip credit. Depends on what agent you get. Some agents can do it and put in for ticket issues. Others have to call the ticketing desk to enter. Again you can apply as many trip credits to add up to a new ticket. They just copy and past the trip credit number from your account. I have had trip credit auto post for as low as 20 cents - ie new ticket was 20 cents less. No issue just adding them up. I usually don't bother is less than $10 - base on time to do for 2 people on reservation. But seems like AA ticket prices are very dynamic. I am getting back anywhere from $20 to $200. And I always now book one way ticket. Then if the one way gets cheaper you only have to cancel the one way and not lose the other direction - since that other direction may cost more. With a RT - you have to cancel the whole ticket.

3
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,523,713 Miles Traveled

25,807,500 Words Written

28,675 Posts Published