This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Last week, we reported that American Airlines is now offering a limited test of same-day confirmed flight changes to select international routes. Unfortunately, it seems that the airline also added some unannounced modifications to its same-day change policy. Per View from the Wing, the new policy update restricts the routing options available to American flyers who make same-day changes.

The new language reads as follows:

“Customers using Same-Day Flight Change may only change to earlier or later flights that have the same routing, number of connections, and cannot change to a co-terminal in a multi city airport.”

Same-day changes are important because they enable flyers to purchase fares that aren’t ideal (e.g., those with an inconvenient departure time or connection) and then switch to a better flight if space is available. Now, however, options are significantly more limited. Flyers can no longer route through a different hub — a strategy that can be particularly helpful when there’s a chance of bad weather along your current itinerary (but no travel advisory has been issued), or at smaller airports when there might only be a few daily flights to each American hub.

American
American’s same-day change page doesn’t list these new restrictions. You’ll need to click through to the terms and conditions to see them.

Delta and United both allow routing changes in their same-day change product, but implement other restrictions. Delta requires availability in the same fare class, which is almost impossible to find along busier routes for cheap fares booked in advance. United also requires availability in the same fare class, but offers an option to buy up to a more expensive fare class if necessary. For now, American isn’t implementing any such fare class restrictions for economy tickets, but does require special E-class inventory to process a same-day change. The cost remains the same at $75, and is waived only for top-tier Executive Platinum elites.

You can check for E inventory on ExpertFlyer, which continues to be a powerful tool for American passengers. If inventory isn’t available, flyers can continue to try for a same-day standby. However, there have been reports that Executive Platinum customer service representatives can process exceptions and open up E inventory even on flights that don’t have any. Hopefully phone representatives will be more lenient with these new routing restrictions — but don’t expect to see any of those options offered online.

2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.