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When to cancel an award trip
I have a trip scheduled with my family using AA miles, leaving for Tokyo on at the end of June on AA/JAL in 1st class. I give it a very low chance of being a successful trip under current circumstances. Currently the flights are still on the schedule, though I have no idea when it will be safe to travel again (or even allowed to Japan). But is there any advantage in waiting to cancel, as opposed to doing it now? For example, if the airlines cancel the flights sometime in the next two months, will I have a better chance of re-booking for a later date with miles, since [I]they [/I]cancelled it vs. me cancelling?
The AA calendar is currently open to late March. If you want to move the trip to some time before then I think you can at least try to go ahead and change it. As long as your origin and destination airports are the same there should not be a change fee though of course there will need to be award space on your new dates.
If you want to rebook for next June, I’d wait for them to cancel the flight and refund you the miles; if you make the cancellation they’ll charge you a fee. The booking window for June 2021 won’t open until July 2020.