American Airlines will now rebook passengers who miss flights by a few minutes at no additional cost

Apr 24, 2021

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. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Earlier this week, American Airlines made a change to its policy that will allow agents to rebook customers who arrive at the airport just a little too late onto the next available flight at no additional cost.

As reported by View From the Wing, if a passenger arrives after the check-in cutoff time (typically 45 minutes for domestic flights) but within 15 minutes of their flight departing, American can rebook them on the next flight that has a seat for no cost to the passenger.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

According to the rules of this new policy, the destination must stay the same, but agents can send a passenger to a “co-terminal,” meaning someone traveling to New York, for example, could be put on a flight that arrives at either Kennedy or LaGuardia airports. Also, the agents can re-route a passenger through a different hub if they’re making a connection.

But, an agent can’t overbook a flight to accommodate a passenger who just barely missed their original flight. The rebooked flight must have seats available for sale.

Note this policy change only applies to those passengers who arrive within the check-in window and within 15 minutes of their original flight departing. If they arrive after the 15 minute-window, American’s current standby policy applies.

Speaking of standby, AA made a customer-friendly change last year by eliminating standby fees for all passengers. Before that, passengers who did not have elite status were charged a $75 fee to fly standby on an earlier flight, but now that perk is available to all for no cost.

Featured photo by John Nacion/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The All-New United Quest℠ Card

WELCOME OFFER: Up to 100,000 bonus miles


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X miles on United® purchases

*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 80K bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 20K bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months
  • $250 Annual Fee
  • Earn 3X miles on United® purchases, 2X miles at restaurants, on select streaming services & all other travel, 1X on all other purchases
  • Earn 3X miles on United Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2X miles at restaurants and on select streaming services
  • Earn 2X miles on all other travel
  • Earn 1X mile on all other purchases
  • Each year, receive a $125 credit on United® purchases and two 5k-mile anniversary award flight credits. Terms apply.
Regular APR
16.49% to 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent, Good

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.