American Airlines Cancellation Policy

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.

Note

  • 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:

  1. Cancel your ticket (except Basic Economy)
  2. 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.

Note

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 
  • Canada
  • Puerto Rico
  • Mexico
  • The Caribbean
  • Central America
  • All long-haul international flights, i.e., all flights originating in North or South America and flying to:
    • Australia
    • New Zealand
    • Asia
    • Europe
    • 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). 

Exceptions 

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: 

  1. By phone (+1-866-399-0587)
  2. Online / mobile app 
  3. 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).

Note

  • 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. 

  1. 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.

AAdvantage members
  1. Select the trip you want to cancel by clicking on the View/Change option. 
  2. Choose the Cancel trip option and follow the prompts to cancel your flight.
Choose change or cancel trip

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

Yes, you can cancel your American flight without penalty if you meet the following conditions:

  • You booked your flight at least 2 days before its departure 
  • You cancelled your flight within 24 hours of booking

American Airlines’ 24-hour cancellation policy applies to any type of fare you may have purchased—including Basic Economy—but it does not apply to group bookings. 

However, the following may not be refunded:

  • Sale related non-refundable taxes
  • Reservations related service charge 

That depends on what type of ticket you’ve purchased and whether it is refundable. 

  • If you’re holding a Basic Economy ticket, you’re not allowed to cancel and apply for a refund after the 24-hour grace period. 
  • If you’re holding a refundable ticket, you can cancel your flight before departure and the amount will be refunded to your original payment method.
  • If you’re holding a non-refundable ticket, a cancellation fee of USD 200 will be charged for domestic flights and USD 200–750 for international flights, depending on your fare type. You will receive the refund in the form of an eVoucher, minus the cancellation fee. 
  • If you’re holding an award ticket, you can cancel it free of charge. The award ticket’s value will be credited back into your account for future use. 

If you don’t qualify for a refund, you can postpone your flight and fly anytime up to December 31st —at no additional cost. This applies to all American Airlines flight tickets purchased between March 1st – March 31st (incl. Basic Economy).

If your new flight is more expensive, you must pay the fare difference, and if your flight is cheaper, the fare difference will be credited to your account for future use.

The fastest and most convenient way to cancel your American Airlines flight is online.  To cancel your American Airlines flight online, go to www.aa.com, click on Manage trips/Check-in, enter the required information to find your flight/itinerary, and follow the onscreen prompts to select your flight and then cancel it.  

You can also cancel your American Airlines flights by logging in through your AAdvantage number or the mobile app. 

You can get a full refund on your American Airlines cancellations if: 

  • You cancel your ticket within 24 hours of purchasing it and you booked your flight at least 2 days before departure (taxes and service fee may be deduced). 
  • Your flight is cancelled and you cancel the new flight offered to you.
  • Your flight schedule changes by 61 minutes or more and you had booked far in advance, and you cancel the flight.
  • Your flight’s schedule change results in an overall delay of 4 hours or more and you cancel the flight.
  • Your nonstop flight is rebooked to an itinerary with a flight connection, and you cancel the flight.
  • Your ticket is refundable and you cancel your flight.
  • A close family member/co-passenger is critically ill or dies and you cancel the flight. 
  • You receive a sudden military deployment order and you cancel the flight.
  • You cancel an award ticket  
  • Special circumstances prevent you from catching your flight.

Your American Airlines refund should typically be processed within 7 working days. However, due to a heavy backlog, it might take longer.

You can cancel your flight on American Airlines online or by phone. You can cancel it online if you had purchased your ticket directly from American Airlines’ website, app, or ticket office. You can also cancel on phone by calling American Airlines. However, if you had purchased your ticket from a travel agent, you must contact them directly to cancel your flight. 

To cancel your American Airlines flight online, go to American’s homepage (AA.com), click on Manage trips/Check-in, enter the required information to find your flight/itinerary, select your flight, and cancel it by following the prompts. 

Yes, American Airlines has a 24-hour cancellation policy which allows you to cancel any ticket within 24 hours of purchasing it as long as you booked it at least 2 days prior to departure. The 24-hour cancellation waiver applies to all types of tickets except group bookings. 

That will depend on why your flight was cancelled. If your flight is cancelled (or delayed) due to reasons: 

  • Within American Airlines’ control or if your flight was diverted to another city and you’re not boarded by 11.59pm local time to your final destination, American Airlines will pay for your overnight hotel accommodation at your connecting airport, subject to hotel availability. 
  • Beyond American Airlines’ control, such as weather, then you must arrange your hotel accommodations, as well as meals and incidental expenses. Alternatively, you can ask for a refund for the unused portion of your ticket and fees. 

American Airlines has recently introduced Trip Credits to compensate passengers who cancel their tickets. These credits have been set in place to replace eVouchers that were being used earlier. After you cancel your ticket, your Trip Credit will be generated automatically and sent to you by email. The amount of credit will be equal to the unused portion of your ticket minus any applicable fees. Trip Credits, like eVouchers, bear a ticket number and are valid for 1 year from the date of issue. 

You can use up to 8 Trip Credits at a time and if the total cost of your ticket exceeds the value of Trip Credit, you can pay the balance with your credit card. However, you’re not allowed to combine an eVoucher with a Trip Credit, nor use both when purchasing a product or a service. To redeem a Trip Credit and rebook your flight, you’ll have to call American Airlines and provide your cancelled ticket number.

Yes, you can cancel any type of ticket (incl. Basic Economy but excluding group reservations) as long as you do it within 24 hours and your flight’s departure is at least 2 days later. 

If your American Airlines flight has been cancelled, you will receive a text notification on your registered mobile phone and email ID. You can also check the status of your flight online from American Airlines’ website via the Flight status tab or through the mobile app. 

That depends on why your flight was cancelled—due to reasons within American Airlines’ control or outside its control. If your flight was cancelled due to reasons within its control, you’ll be boarded on the next available flight subject to seat availability. If you’re not boarded to your final destination by 11.59pm local time, you’ll be provided hotel accommodation at the connecting airport free of charge, subject to availability. 

If your flight was cancelled due to reasons beyond American Airlines’ control, such as extreme weather conditions, you will have to pay for your accommodation, meals, and expenses. You also have the option to ask for a refund for the unused portion of your ticket and fees. 

American Airlines ticket cancellation policy by fare type is as follows:

  • Basic Economy tickets purchased after April 1, 2021, cannot be cancelled outside of the 24-hour window unless your flight schedule has been affected by at least 4 hours, a family member or a  co-passenger is seriously ill or dies, or you receive a sudden military deployment order.
  • Non-Refundable Tickets (domestic and international) can be cancelled without incurring a cancellation fee, as long as you cancel before departure and use up your ticket no later than 1 year from its original issue date. The only exception is if the passenger/co-passenger dies or receives military deployment orders, in which case the ticket can be refunded but subject to supporting documentation. 
  • Refundable tickets can be cancelled before departure and are eligible for a refund. 
  • Award tickets can be cancelled before the departure without attracting a cancellation or redeposit fee. 

You can find the Cancel trip option after logging into your American Airlines account. It appears in the Your Trips section. After accessing your flight, click on the Cancel trip button and follow the prompts to cancel your flight. 


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