American Offering Limited International Same-Day Changes
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Same-day flight changes are often a very valuable tool for flyers, enabling travelers to take an earlier or later flight on the same day without paying a difference in fare. Each carrier handles things differently, but it’s generally capacity-controlled in some form, and comes with a fee that’s often waived for elite frequent flyers.
American currently allows flyers to do a domestic same-day confirmed flight change, for either an earlier or later flight. To take advantage of this, the origin and destination must remain the same (although the routing can change), you must travel on the same calendar day and the flight needs to have availability in the E inventory bucket — which you can check on ExpertFlyer. It costs $75 to change, with the fee waived only for Executive Platinum top-tier elites, although other people may be eligible to standby for no cost.
Now, American is offering same-day confirmed flight changes for a limited number of international routes. Customer service representatives received a memo on July 13, 2015, that stated that for $150, customers could make a same-day change in “transatlantic market slices including JFK-LHR and LHR-JFK.” The fee will also be waived for Executive Platinum passengers.
Additionally, changes can only be made online at AA.com, and only flights operated by American Airlines, not US Airways, are eligible.
Multiple Executive Platinum representatives told me that this was a test, offered only between New York-JFK and London-Heathrow, but this contradicts my own experience.
I tested out the same-day flight change policy, and I was able to make a change to an earlier or later flight from New York to London. I was also able to complete a same-day change from New York to Paris, but I was unable to do it on an itinerary that included the same London flight that worked, but with a connecting flight from Washington D.C. to New York first, despite plenty of E inventory available on both legs.
It’s unclear when this new policy will be extended, if ever. The flight changes should be controlled by the same E inventory, though it’s a little too early to tell for sure.
Between United and Delta, only United allows same-day changes on international itineraries.
If you’re able to take advantage of this, let us know in the comments below!