American Airlines’ cancellation policy has changed and is more passenger-friendly now. You will no longer be charged a cancellation fee for domestic or international flights. You will only be required to pay the fare difference when changing flights (if your fare cannot be refunded).
However, the cancellation fee waiver does not apply to Basic Economy tickets, which can only be cancelled within the 24-hour window or if they fall under a travel waiver. You’re now allowed to cancel even non-refundable tickets without a cancellation fee—your refund will be in the form of a trip credit for future use. Refundable tickets can, of course, be cancelled and refunded without a cancellation fee.
Remember, to avoid paying a penalty, you must cancel your flight before departure. If you don’t show up for your flight without cancelling it, it will be treated as a No Show and the value of your ticket will be forfeited, regardless of whether it’s refundable or not.
Overview of American Airlines Trip Cancellation Policy
Under what conditions do I qualify for American Airlines free cancellation?
American Airlines allows you to cancel your flight and get a penalty-free refund under a few conditions. You’re allowed to cancel your flight and claim a full refund if:
- You purchase a ticket at least 2 days before travelling and cancel it within 24 hours (incl. Basic Economy).
- American Airlines cancels your flight and the new flight’s schedule doesn’t suit you.
- A schedule change results in an overall delay of at least 4 hours.
- Your nonstop flight is rebooked to an itinerary with a flight connection.
- Your ticket is refundable.
- A close family member/co-passenger is critically ill or dies.
- You receive a sudden military deployment order.
- You’re holding an award ticket.
- An emergency situation (like COVID) impacts your travel—but solely at American Airlines’ discretion and subject to documentary proof.
- Although non-refundable tickets do not qualify for a refund after the 24-hour grace period, you can cancel your flight before departure and apply the unused portion of your ticket for a future trip, as long as you travel within 1 year of the original ticket’s issue date, and cancel before your flight’s departure.
- If you’re holding a ticket with a travel date between March 1, 2020 – December 31, 2021, your travel date may have been extended, as explained in the section below.
Additional Flexibility for Existing Tickets
American Airlines is also allowing you to extend your travel date:
- If you purchased your ticket (incl. Basic Economy and award) on/before September 30, with a travel date between March 1, and March 31, you’re allowed to extend your travel date till March 31, without being charged a fee. You’re also allowed to change your origin and destination cities, as long you’re willing to pay the fare difference and you complete your new trip on or before March 31.
- If you purchased a ticket (excluding Basic Economy) between March 1 – August 31, with a travel date between March 1, and December 31 and your flight is to or from Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Hong Kong, or Israel, you’re allowed to extend your travel date through December 31.
American Airlines 24-Hour Cancellation
What is American Airlines’ 24-hour cancellation policy?
According to American Airlines’ 24-hour cancellation policy, if you purchase a ticket at least 2 days before departure but cancel it within 24 hours, you are entitled to a full refund. The 24-hour cancellation window holds good for all types of tickets, including Basic Economy, but does not apply to group reservations.
After you cancel your ticket within the 24-hour window, you will be issued a full refund minus service charges and non-refundable taxes (if any). If you purchased your ticket from a travel agency or another source, contact them directly for a refund.
American Airlines COVID Cancellation Policy
American Airlines COVID-19 cancellation policy allows you to do both of these things free* of charge:
- Cancel your ticket (except Basic Economy)
- Rebook it later
* The free-of-charge condition (i.e., zero change fee) applies to all domestic and short-haul international flight tickets purchased on or after August 31, 2020, and for long-haul international flights originating from anywhere in the world for tickets booked on or after November 19, 2020. However, Basic Economy tickets purchased after April 1, 2021, cannot be refunded or changed.
The zero-cancellation fee applies to:
- All domestic and short-haul international flights, i.e., all flights between the following destinations:
- All of the 50 states in the U.S.
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- Puerto Rico
- The Caribbean
- Central America
- All long-haul international flights, i.e., all flights originating in North or South America and flying to:
- New Zealand
- North America
- South America
- The United Kingdom
American Airlines Cancellation Policy—Basic Economy Tickets
What is American Airlines Economy cancellation policy?
Per American Airlines cancellation policy, you are not allowed to cancel a Basic Economy fare unless you cancel within 24 hours and you had purchased it at least 2 days before departure. All Basic Economy tickets purchased after April 1, cannot be refunded or changed (tickets purchased between March 1, and March 31, were eligible for cancellation and rebooking).
However, you can request a refund in the following situations:
- If your flight schedule is affected by 4 hours or more
- You have received a sudden military deployment order
- If your family member/travelling companion is critically ill/dies
American Airlines Cancellation Policy—Non-Refundable Tickets
American Airlines’ cancellation policy for non-refundable tickets has been modified and made more passenger-friendly. You will no longer be charged a cancellation fee on domestic or international fares. This means you can cancel a domestic or international flight before departure without having to pay any fee, as long as you cancel before your flight’s departure.
Remember, you must utilize the unused value of your ticket to rebook your flight no later than 1 year from the date of issue of your original ticket.
Tip. Non-refundable tickets are eligible for a refund if a passenger/co-passenger dies or receives military orders, as long as you can provide supporting documentation.
American Airlines Ticket Cancellation—Refundable Tickets
Per American Airlines ticket cancellation policy, if your ticket is refundable and you cancel it before departure, no cancellation fee will be charged. The value of your ticket will be refunded to your original payment method within 7 days in case of card payments (it may take 1 – 2 billing cycles to reflect on your card statement).
The only condition is that you must cancel your tickets before your flight’s departure.
American Airlines Cancellation Policy—Award Tickets
American Airlines has eliminated the cancellation and redeposit fees for all award tickets. The value of your award ticket will be credited back into your account for future use.
American Airlines Cancellation Fee Waiver
Is American Airlines offering a cancellation fee waiver?
American Airlines does not charge a cancellation fee (or change fee) if:
- Your flight is within the United States.
- Your flight is to/from the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Canada, or Central America.
- Your flight (incl. all international itineraries) starts in the United States.
Note. The cancellation fee waiver does not apply to Basic Economy tickets, which can neither be cancelled nor changed unless they’re under a travel waiver.
American Airlines Cancellation Fee
What is American Airlines’ cancellation fee?
The cancellation fees charged by American Airlines are as follows:
- Basic Economy ticket Cancellation not permitted after 24 hours unless your flight ticket falls under a travel waiver.
- Non-refundable ticket USD 0, subject to applicable fare difference.
- Refundable ticket USD 0
- Award ticket USD 0
How to Cancel American Airlines Flight
Can you tell me how to cancel a flight on American Airlines?
You can cancel your American Airlines flight:
- By phone (+1-866-399-0587)
- Online / mobile app
- Through your travel agent
A Step-by-Step Guide to Cancelling Online
How can you cancel an American Airlines flight online?
You can cancel an American Airlines flight online if you purchased your ticket directly from American Airlines’ website, app, or sales office. Follow the steps below to cancel your ticket online:
Step 1. Go to American Airlines’ homepage, AA.com
Step 2. Access your trip by clicking on the Manage trips/Check-in and filling out your first and last name, your 6-letter confirmation code/record locator in the boxes, as shown below.
Step 3. After entering the required information, click on the Find your trip button.
Step 4. The flight you want to cancel will show up on your screen. Select it and click on the Cancel Booking button.
Step 5. On the next screen, you will be asked to confirm whether you want to cancel your flight booking. After you click on the Confirm button, your booking will be officially cancelled.
You can also make flight cancellations by logging in with your AAdvantage number or with American Airlines’ mobile app.
After you cancel your flight booking:
- Your flight reservation will be cancelled.
- You will receive a confirmation email.
- You will receive a travel eVoucher/Trip Credit for future use.
- If you want a refund, you must apply for it via the online refund request form (explained under How to Get a Refund on an American Airlines Flight below).
- If the online refund is no longer possible, call +1-866-399-0587 or an American Airlines Service Center in your area and ask for a refund. Your refund will be issued per the standard refund deadlines shown in your ticket’s fare conditions.
- If you booked your ticket through a travel agent, contact them directly for a refund.
How to Get a Refund on an American Airlines Flight
If you’re cancelling your flight within the 24-hour grace period, your money will be automatically refunded to your account. However, in other cases, the refund will not be credited unless you cancel your flight and apply for a refund.
- Online cancellations. You can cancel your flight online if you purchased directly from American Airlines.
- Third-party cancellations. If you purchased your ticket from a third party, you must contact them directly to cancel your flight and ask for a refund.
As explained earlier, you can cancel your flight online via Manage trips/Check-in or over the phone by calling American Airlines at +1-866-399-0587.
If you’re cancelling your ticket online, after cancelling you must fill out an online refund request form to receive your refund. Otherwise, you may not receive it.
Online refund application process. After clicking on the online refund request form, enter your ticket number and last name (see the screenshot above), and click on the Submit button. You will be shown your itinerary and asked to mention the reason for requesting a refund. You may then be asked to select a travel voucher or proceed with the refund.
For purchases made by credit/debit card, refunds are typically processed within 7 working days and can take 1 – 2 billing cycles to reflect on the statement. However, due to a heavy backlog, refunds could longer. If you want to check the status of your refund, use the same link (above) and follow the same steps.
Other Ways to Cancel American Airlines Flights
If you can’t cancel your American Airlines reservations online, speak with a customer service representative on phone.
American Airlines Cancellation Number
What is American Airlines’ cancel flight phone number?
American Airlines’ cancellation number is +1-866-399-0587. This number is open 24/7 and toll-free if you’re calling from the United States or Canada.
How to Cancel an American Airlines Flight Booked with Miles
If you’re an AAdvantage member, you can cancel your American Airlines flight booked with miles either by phone or online via AA.com. To have your miles reinstated, you must cancel your award ticket before your flight’s departure as explained below.
If you’re cancelling your ticket online, your refund will be automatically requested and your miles (along with eligible fees and taxes) will be automatically re-credited to your account (without any fee) in most cases. However, you must use the miles within 1 year of your original ticket’s issue date.
To cancel your award ticket online, follow the steps below.
- Go to AA.com and click on the Log In button to log into your account.
You’ll be able to view all your upcoming trips.
- Select the trip you want to cancel by clicking on the View/Change option.
- Choose the Cancel trip option and follow the prompts to cancel your flight.
After you cancel your award flight, you’ll receive an email confirming the cancellation. To check whether your miles have been recredited, log into your account and access the available Flight Credits in your wallet.
How to Avoid Paying for Cancellations on American Airlines
- Use the 24-hour cancellation policy. The U.S. DOT mandates all airlines to provide a 24-hour window for passengers to change their minds. American Airlines allows you a full refund as long as you purchase at least 48 hours before your flight departs. This applies to all types of reservations, except group reservations.
- Book a nonstop flight. If your nonstop flight is rebooked to an itinerary with a flight connection, you can cancel your flight without paying any cancellation fee.
- If your flight is significantly rescheduled, call the airline and ask what options you have to change or cancel your ticket.
- Use flight cancellations to your advantage. If your non-refundable flight gets cancelled, American Airlines will book you on a different flight. If the flight doesn’t suit you, ask for a refund or book a flight that suits you.
- Make use of your Elite status. If you’re an American Executive Platinum member, you can change or cancel your award ticket free of charge.
- Special circumstances. If special circumstances prevent you from catching your flight—such as a critical illness or death of a family member, your own illness, etc., ask American Airlines to reschedule your flight—it’s worth a try. You will need supporting documentation, however.
Frequently Asked Questions on American Airlines Cancellation Policy
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