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