American AAdvantage Executive Platinum members are already exempt from fees charged for awards booked within 21 days of departure and now Gold and Platinum elite members of American AAdvantage can book award tickets close to the date of travel at no charge. As of last month, American AAdvantage is waiving the $100 fee on awards booked between two hours and six days prior to departure ($25 for each additional award) and $50 fee for awards booked between seven and 20 days prior to departure ($25 for each additional award). Executive Platinum members are also exempt from the $150 mileage redeposit fee for cancelling an award as well as the $150 change fee for making changes to the origin and destination cities on award tickets. Visit http://www.insideflyer.com/link/?2771 to read more about the changes.
Bottom line: While American’s decision is a customer-friendly move, the changes only effect American AAdvantage’s most frequent travelers (or in some cases, loyal spenders). Both Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have eliminated these fees entirely for all members, not just elite members. Regular AAdvantage members will still be required to pay the fees when booking within three weeks of traveling. American’s decision to waive redeposit and change fees mirrors United’s policy and allows members at the top elite tier to make changes to award flights without any penalties.