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Great news: You can now rebook your canceled American Airlines trip online — here's how

Aug. 25, 2020
5 min read
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Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, American Airlines has allowed travelers to change or cancel new and existing flights without penalty. In June, the airline also made a positive change to its seat fee refund policy.

While that sounds great on the surface, the rebooking was a pain. Fortunately, that isn't the case anymore.

TPG has discovered that flights voluntarily canceled can now be rebooked online. Previously, you needed to call and speak to an American Airlines reservations representative, which could be an extraordinarily long process.

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Types of AA travel credits

American now offers three types of travel credits: Flight Credit, Travel Vouchers (being discontinued) and Trip Credit. All of these sound similar so here’s a quick overview:

Flight CreditTravel VoucherTrip Credit
Issued forFlights canceled by youU.S. residents (typically compensation)Compensation by airline, or for remaining value from a Flight Credit exchange
Valid forFlights onlyFlights onlyFlights only
Who can use itOnly the same passenger on the canceled ticket can book and travel using a Flight Credit

Can be used by the voucher holder to book travel for anyone

Can be used by the credit holder to book travel for anyone

Number that can be used per trip1 per passengerUp to 8 per tripUp to 8 per trip
ExpirationTravel must begin 1 year from the date of issue (credits issued for flights canceled due to COVID-19 can be used for travel through Dec. 31, 2021)1 year from date issued1 year from date issued
How to redeemOnline (new feature) or over the phoneOnline or over the phoneOver the phone

Related: How to change or cancel an American Airlines flight

Rebooking AA flights online

When you voluntarily cancel a non-refundable flight, you'll get the value of your ticket back in the form of "flight credits." These credits are valid for flights only (not extras like seats or bags) and can only be used to book flights for the passenger on the canceled ticket.

As first discovered by TPG, you can now check the value of flight credits on AA's site. In the "Manage trips/Check-in" box on the site's homepage, there's now an option to look up canceled flights. You can search by record locator or ticket number.

You'll then be taken to a page that shows your ticket number, the original date of issue and ticket value. There was no easy way to find this information online in the past.

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Related: How to quickly reach an airline customer service agent

To book a trip using the credit simply search for a flight as you normally would. Then, on the checkout page, under the payment options, there's an option to apply your flight credit. This feature is available both via the airline's website and mobile app. Presently, you can only apply one flight credit per passenger per trip.

Travel typically must begin within one year of your original ticketing date. However, due to the coronavirus travel waiver, the value of your unused ticket can be used for travel through Dec. 31, 2021.

Unlike United, American will give you the residual value back in the form of a trip credit if you book a new flight with a lower fare.

A spokesperson for American explained to TPG that this feature is available for domestic single-passenger itineraries, though there are some instances where domestic multi-passenger itineraries are also eligible. The feature is not available for international itineraries or where the point-of-sale was international.

Related: American Airlines extends free change and cancellation policy

Bottom line

Being able to rebook flights online is a big step forward for American. It's refreshing to see that the airline is making it easier for our customers to use travel credits while some competitors are doing the opposite.

This isn't the airline's only technological improvement in recent months. In June, American added a chat feature to its mobile app and then in August it introduced a tool to provide travelers with the latest travel and health restrictions.

All screenshots courtesy of American Airlines.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

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  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023