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Best way to change flights on AA?

Des Moines, Iowa
posts: 1
Best way to change flights on AA?

I have a Friday flight booked in December from Charlotte to Des Moines with a connection in Chicago. I'd like to change my Chicago-Des Moines leg from Friday to Sunday. American wants to charge $200 change fee + $119 fare increase for the Sunday flight. Any ideas on how to get around this?

Thanks for any help.


Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
posts: 37,774
reviews: 81
1. Re: Best way to change flights on AA?

Assuming the fare is not refundable, there isn't one. When you bought your original ticket, you got your fare with some restrictions. That means any change you want to make will cost the $200. The fare increase is an availability issue. For the flight you want to take Sunday, there simply isn't a fare that doesn't cost $119 more than what you paid for Friday.

Had you paid a flexible fare, then you might not be subject to the $200 change fee. However, those fares would be more expensive to start.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 40,459
reviews: 54
2. Re: Best way to change flights on AA?

That is common for all airlines. Have a read through the T&Cs for your ticket purchase which will state what rules and regs you agreed to when you clicked "buy."

Here is the relevant section from their "Reservations FAQ"

>>Q: What is the difference between a fare difference and a change fee?

A: A fare difference is the difference between the fare you have already purchased and the fare for the new flight that you booked. A change fee is the fee you are charged in order to change your nonrefundable reservation. While these combined travel options offer no change fees, fare differences may apply.<<

posts: 46,960
reviews: 90
3. Re: Best way to change flights on AA?

American wants to charge $200 change fee + $119 Any ideas on how to get around this?


Don't purchase a ticket type where you agreed to pay a $200 change fee, and don't purchase a ticket type where you agree to pay the difference.

In the former case that would be by paying probably an extra $25 or so for that type of ticket which doesn't have a specific change fee, in the latter you'd have to buy a full fare economy ticket which would cost a lot more than an extra $119.

London, United...
posts: 20,003
reviews: 23
4. Re: Best way to change flights on AA?

Fly on Friday?

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 8,137
reviews: 77
5. Re: Best way to change flights on AA?

In the future when you buy tickets, AA has a refundable option. It costs more of course but not as much as the change fee. That way you would only have the fare increase. But fir this time if you want to change the flights you'll have to pay.

posts: 46,960
reviews: 90
6. Re: Best way to change flights on AA?

It's also worth saying this applies to any airline, not just American, there are different types of tickets, if you want one with particular facilities such as no change fee, buy the appropriate type.

Nashville, TN
posts: 4,868
reviews: 8
7. Re: Best way to change flights on AA?

If you want to make that change, you'll need to pay the fees. Remember, you're now not only changing the dates, but also the conditions of the ticket.

You origianally purchased a straight R/T from Charlotte to Des Moines, you're now changing to a multi-city return. Remember that on a R/T ticket, routing can be changed at any time as long as they get you from point A to point B. On the new multi-city option, the airline has to route you through Chicago

Fortaleza, CE
posts: 8,292
reviews: 378
8. Re: Best way to change flights on AA?

Bottom line is you can't get around fees unless, perhaps-- and it's a big if-- it was due to medical reasons and you can present a physician's statement that you'd be unable to fly one day but could another. Would seem a stretch in this case (the last time we were able to do it, Delta waived the change fee but not the difference in fares).

Just one of those things you get by buying a non-refundable ticket. In most cases, it still is a good idea financially to buy it that way.

9. Re: Best way to change flights on AA?

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