June 17, 2021

American Airlines Change Flight Policy & Fee: Same-Day, Standby & Rules

How to Make Changes to Flights with American Airlines

Table of Contents

How to Change a Flight with American Airlines

American Airlines Same day change -when the agent confirms your change onto another flight. In most cases, you no longer have a reservation for your original flight.
American Airlines Standby Policy – when there isn’t availability to confirm a change. Instead, your request is placed in a queue and may be processed if there are empty seats remaining on the flight. Your reservation for the original flight remains intact until this standby clears.

American Airlines Change Flight at the airport (at the self-service kiosk or ticket counter) or call AA Reservations. If you still want to try for a different flight, same-day standby lets you standby for an earlier American or American Eagle flight (with the same routine on your day of departure).

  • American Airlines allows same-day flight change on domestic flights. For a $75 fee, you can get a confirmed seat on a different flight (known as a confirmed same-day flight change). If a seat is not available, you can opt for standby status instead (unconfirmed same-day flight change). If you are not allocated a seat on a standby flight, the $75 fee is refunded.
  • American charges a whopping $200 change or cancellation fee on most paid fares (excluding full-fare refundable tickets) for domestic flights. This climbs as high as $750 per passenger for international flights. Same-day charges start at $75 for domestic and short-haul international flights in economy class.

You can request American Airlines standby or confirmed flight changes online, by phone, at an airport check-in kiosk, or at the ticket counter 24 hours prior to departure.

Those traveling with American Airlines can change their AA reservations, but it incurs a service charge. They can call American Airlines Reservations Number to change their ticket at any time of day at the following numbers:

How do I change my reservation on American Airlines?

Call American Airlines at 800-433-730 or (888) 660-1594 to change your reservation with a representative over the phone. A change fee applies. Your new flight’s scheduled departure must be within one to 12 hours of the time you call.

What happens if American Airlines changes my flight?

They say if your departure time changes by 60 minutes or more, or if your itinerary changes from a direct flight to a connecting flight, or if there’s an equipment change, you can change your ticket for no charge.

American Airlines Reservations and ticket changes Phone Numbers

If you’re not traveling in the next 72 hours, please wait until closer to your trip to call. You can also book new travel or make changes to an existing trip on aa.com or the American Airlines app.

Within the U.S. and Canada

English (806) 853-55-67
Mandarin Chinese800-492-8095
Hearing & speech impairedDial 711 to be connected through the National Relay Service

AA Same Day Flight Change Fee

  • The standard cost for an SDFC “on flights between the 50 United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), Canada, and the Caribbean” is $75 per direction.
  • Long-haul international flights are generally not eligible for a same-day flight change, but there’s one exception. If you’re flying between New York-JFK and London-Heathrow (LHR) — including itineraries with connecting flights inside the U.S. — you can make a SDFC for $150 per direction.
  • American Airlines charges a $75 fee for a same-day confirmed change or a standby request. The fee for a confirmed change is waived for Executive Platinum members only, but the fee for a standby request is waived for a much larger group of travelers that includes all elite members and customers with full fare tickets.
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Who can get same-day flight change for free?

AA Confirmed, same-day flight change is free for passengers ticketed in first or business class and those booked in full-fare (Y fare) economy. Also, American Airlines Executive Platinum and Platinum Pro elites — plus one companion in the same reservation — also get the option to change for free. Also, American Airlines AirPass ticket holders are eligible for free same-day flight changes.

How the AA 24-hour change window works

Thankfully, the “same day” part of the SDFC program doesn’t mean that you have to wait until the calendar day of your departure to make changes. For example, when I wanted to SDFC a 6 a.m. flight from Jacksonville (JAX) to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), I didn’t have to stay up until midnight to change my flight. Instead, I was able to change it the day before departure.

How to change AA award tickets

All AAdvantage award tickets are eligible for complimentary, confirmed, same-day flight changes. That said, unlike on paid tickets, you aren’t looking for “E” fare availability. Instead, there has to be award availability on the new flight for you to get a confirmed flight change.

While the SDFC option will show up online and, in the app, generally you’re going to end up having to call AA to change your flight.

Same-day changes can only be made within 24 hours of the new departure time — not the original departure time. The new flight can be earlier or later than the original flight as long as it’s on the same calendar day.

Also, the routing of the new itinerary must be the same, including the origin and destination airports (no co-terminals allowed in the same city). There must be available in the “E” fare class, which is reserved for same-day changes — find this under “Awards & Upgrades” when using ExpertFlyer. Cross-reference this with availability in the “A” fare class if you’re trying to improve your chances at an upgrade.

AA Only flights AA1094 and AA1402 have an upgrade available, but they are not available for a confirmed change. I’d probably pick AA1489 or AA388.

There is a $75 charge for standby requests that must be paid in advance, but the fee is refunded if the standby doesn’t clear. Unlike the same-day change, however, my interpretation of the rules is that customers with elite status may be re-routed to a different co-terminal in the same city.

American Airlines Change Flight Rules

Your new flight must:

  • Depart on the same day, from and to the same airports, as your original flight
  • Have the same number of stops, in the same airports, as your original flight
  • Be marketed and operated by American Airlines or American Eagle
  • Also, please keep in mind that:

Anyone can standby for an earlier flight, but only elite status members can standby for a later flight on the same day Same-day confirmed changes and standby are subject to availability on select flights

How to request an AA same-day change or standby

Beginning 24 hours before departure, go to your trips online or in the app, or stop by an airport kiosk or ticket counter to request a change and pay the fee, if applicable. *

After you check in, you’ll receive a new boarding pass and receipt.

*Customers traveling on a Basic Economy fare can’t make changes at a kiosk and should find their trip on the American app, aa.com, or visit a ticket counter to request a change.

American Airlines Same Day Flight Change rules

Let’s start with the basic rules of AA’s policy. True to the “same day” part of the name, your new flight(s) must depart the same calendar day as your original flight(s). For example, if you’ve booked the first flight Tuesday morning, you’re only going to be able to change to a later flight on Tuesday. You can’t fly out Monday night instead through a same-day flight change.

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Also, the change must be made within 24 hours of the new flight. That means you won’t be able to change your flight until the day before or the day of. This can make it tough if you’re trying to make plans for your departure or arrival. Also, you can’t switch to any flight with an open seat. Instead, there needs to be specific availability on the new flight to make the change.

How to change or cancel your American Airlines flight

Changing and canceling your flight is so easy your grandmother can do it (but after reading this, you can be nice and offer to do it for her). Here are the step-by-step instructions.

Step 1: Head to the American Airlines website and log in or click the “Your trips/Check-in” tab at the top of the landing page. You don’t have to log into your account to see your upcoming flight — you just need your name and record locator. If you do log in, your upcoming travel will automatically appear under the “Your trips” tab.

Step 2: Simply click choose the trip from the list of upcoming flights and select “View/Change.” Then you’ll be given a rundown of your itinerary and other pertinent details, and you’ll see two links at the top of the page:

  • Change trip
  • Cancel trip

Step 3: Click the appropriate link and American Airlines will take you by the hand to help you change or cancel your flight. You’ll get an email outlining your changes.

You can also make a same-day change to your flight for $75 (waived for Executive Platinum and Platinum Pro status members). The same day you’re flying, you’ll find this other “same day” option when going into the View/Change tab. Same-day standby is available for free.

It’s also worth noting that you might find that you can’t access your particular flight. This could be because you’ve booked your flight through a partner airline, or perhaps an online travel agency. Remember, you may well have to contact the original airline or agency to modify your tickets.

American Airlines $75 standby / confirmed same-day flight change fee is waived for the following passengers:

  • Customers who purchase unrestricted Economy Class fares (Y class of service)
  • Customers who purchase Business or First-Class tickets
  • Active U.S. Military personnel traveling on orders or personal travel
  • Active U.S. Military dependents traveling on orders
  • American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum, or AAdvantage Gold members
  • Oneworld® Alliance Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby members
  • Customers flying on the same reservation as an American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum or AAdvantage Gold member or Oneworld Alliance Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby member regardless of frequent-flier status or fare type
  • AAirpass members
  • First and Business Class MileSAAver Awards
  • First, Business and Economy Class Anytime Awards
  • Customers who purchase a Choice Plus fare

Canceling an AA flight

  • American Airlines customers have 24 hours after purchasing their ticket to cancel it for a full refund, provided they booked the ticket at least two days before departure.
  • If the ticket was bought directly from American Airlines, request a refund online or contact American Airlines’ reservations desk, and the refund should be credited within a week. If it was purchased through a third party, customers have to call the third party to get refund details.
  • Flights booked through American Airlines’ reservations service are considered nonrefundable, so customers can get a full refund on these tickets only within 24 hours of purchase. Otherwise, the only situations that entitle a nonrefundable ticket purchaser to a refund are:
    • A schedule change that results in a change of 61 minutes or more
    • Death of a passenger or passenger’s traveling companion
    • Military orders
  • However, non-refundable ticket values can be applied toward future flights as long as:
    • The new trip begins within one year of the original ticket’s issue date
    • The customer canceled the original ticket before the first flight departed

How do I rebook your American Airlines canceled Flight?

When you’re ready to rebook your trip, you’ll need either:

  • Your 6-character confirmation (also called a ‘Record Locator’)
  • Your ticket numbers

If you don’t know your Record Locator, you can find it in the confirmation email you received when you booked your trip.

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American tickets have a 13-digit number that begins with ‘001’. Keep in mind there are separate ticket numbers for add-ons like seats, upgrades, and bags.

The ticket number can be found on your:

  • Cancellation email
  • Confirmation email from when you bought your ticket – look in the ‘Receipt’ section
  • Credit card statement – the reference number is next to the amount charged
  • Receipt from Airport / City Ticket Office – at the bottom in the middle of the ticket

1. Go to aa.com and choose ‘Manage trips / Check-in’

Choose ‘View canceled trips’ and enter your trip details.

2. Find your trip

You’ll see your Flight Credit details on the ‘Your trip’ page.

3. Rebook and add Flight Credit

Go to aa.com and find your new flight. On the payment screen, choose ‘Add Flight Credit.’

Enter the ticket number from your canceled trip and apply for the credit.

You may use a credit card to pay any remaining balance.

5. Contact Reservations

If you need more help with rebooking, please call American Airlines Booking.

Can you change your flight after you check in at American Airlines?

You can’t change your reservation online once you’ve checked in. Contact Reservations for assistance. If you’re unable to make your flights, contact Reservations prior to your flight’s departure to retain the value of your ticket. Charges or penalties may apply for changes, depending on the fare paid for the ticket.

How to know if your American Airlines ticket is nonrefundable

  1. Viewing fine print on your original booking confirmation email.
  2. Calling American Airlines reservations.
  3. Logging into your American Airlines account to see your booking details.


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