You can now book American Airlines Web Specials by phone — great news for families

Apr 6, 2020

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The unfortunate trend that we’ve seen from airlines around the globe in recent years is a shift away from fixed award charts and towards a variable or “dynamic” pricing scheme. Delta was the first of the three legacy U.S. carriers to adopt this policy several years back, and United followed suit late last year.

American Airlines, meanwhile, has taken a slightly different approach. Instead of an all-out shift to dynamic pricing, AA has increased the cost of its more expensive AAnytime awards while expanding the use of its discount Web Special awards to effectively create dynamic pricing. There have been some truly incredible Web Specials deals in the year and a half these awards have been around, including domestic AA flights for as little as 5,000 miles each way.

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Book AA Web Specials over the phone

Based on the name — “Web Specials” — you would assume that these awards can only be booked online. In fact that’s been true for quite a long time, with AA phone agents not being physically able to see or ticket flights at the Web Specials prices. However, venerable twitter user @JonNYC reported that as of April 1, you can book some Web Specials awards over the phone as well.

Here’s what American Airlines had to say about the improvement:

“We’re making it easier for customers to book Web Special Awards. Previously available only on aa.com, customers can now call American Airlines Reservations for support booking domestic Web Special Awards and those to Canada and U.S. Virgin Islands. This update creates a more seamless experience across booking platforms and enables customers with infants or unaccompanied minors to book these awards through Reservations.”

This change isn’t significant for many customers, as booking online and skipping the long hold times is always a preferable option. There are two groups of travelers who will really benefit here, as AA notes. Since unaccompanied minors and passengers traveling with a lap infant have to call in to book, they previously weren’t able to take advantage of Web Special award pricing. With this new change, they’ll be able to score the same great deals over the phone that they see online, but note this is currently limited to flights in the U.S. and to Canada and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Related: Redeeming American Airlines AAdvantage miles for maximum value

Bottom line

Dynamic pricing has not gotten a warm welcome from award travelers, but everyone like a good discounted award sale which is exactly what AA Web Specials offer. It’s nice to see AA expanding access to the program, and specifically making it possible for children traveling as unaccompanied minors or lap infants to take advantage of these deals.

Featured photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.

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