It’s still smart to book your flight with one of the better travel insurance credit cards on American Airlines Reservation. As I have saved hundreds since my card’s delay insurance claim paid me last year for American Airlines cancellation. Yet airlines also have surprisingly nice policies when their schedules change. The cost of modifying or canceling charged and rewarding flights vary by airline. But since the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, these measures have become significantly laxer.

Changing or canceling an American ticket protected by a travel exception may also be the easiest and cheapest way to change an American Airlines flight. These privileges are usually issued in the case of poor weather, natural disasters, or other situations that American Airlines plans to see a lot of significant delays or cancellations. These exemptions normally allow you to change or cancel your flight free of charge, but the details can vary depending on the travel exemption issued—usually restricted to select airports and specific dates.


American Airlines has recently modified the flight change process by announcing the removal of change charges on both domestic and short-haul international flights, including flights to and from these destinations:

  • Any of the 50 states of the U.S.
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • The Caribbean Sea.
  • Puerto Rico
  • Virgin Islands, U.S.

This current law extends to all tariffs, except for the basic economy. And it’s worth remembering that while American Airlines’ adjustment strategy has been more flexible, you’re going to have to pay the difference in ticket rates when you change your flight. And only once you can make a move.

When it comes to granting tickets, here’s an in-depth look at American Airlines’ strategies for adjusting awards and cancellations. In short, there is no longer a charge to cancel the award flight. And now you can change the reward flight as late as the day of departure without charge.


Any improvements have already been made to the method of canceling an American Airlines flight due to a pandemic. You can make changes (such as cancellation or change of itinerary) to your trip once.

  • You can cancel a flight that was released and chose to rebook later.
  • You may earn a refund for the value of your ticket and can use this credit for every American Airlines flight.
  • Your trip must be finished by Dec. 31, 2021.

You can change it now, or you can cancel and rebook it later. Only note that although the adjustment fee is forgiven, you do owe the difference in the ticket price when you rebook your flight. If your current ticket is cheaper than the first one, you’ll get a fare differential in the form of travel credit.

In addition to strengthened rules for paying flights, cancellation policies for award flights have also expanded significantly. You will now cancel award tickets as late as your departure date (you used to have to do so at least 60 days in advance). You can cancel and redeposit your miles for free!


Fees and fines for changing the itinerary or canceling a flight have been even more tolerant as a result of a coronavirus pandemic. That said, certain tickets can also incur a modification or cancellation fee.

Next, realize that it’s currently the rule that you have 24 hours from booking to cancel your flight free of charge. As long as you book your flight at least two days before your date of departure, American Airlines will send you back 24 hours.

If your ticket is not entitled to a travel exemption, but you do need to adjust or cancel it, you have a few options. Most American Airlines tickets can be changed or canceled for a fee. The only categories of tickets that can’t usually be modified are simple economy tickets; but, even these tickets can be altered or canceled in special circumstances—which we’ll discuss below.

If you don’t have a special case that would help you to stop these costs, here’s a chart showing what you would have to pay to cancel your American Airlines flights:

  • Simple Economy: No changes are allowed
  • Non-refundable: $200 local, up to $750 foreign

As mentioned above, travel coupons are the standard when an American Airlines flight is canceled. You can get a voucher equal to the amount of your paying flight minus the cancellation fee.

Of course, refundable tickets are zero liability, since your credit card would be automatically charged if you plan to cancel. However, the price is always exponentially higher than a non-refundable ticket, so it’s never optimal. Using American Airlines Miles is an excellent solution for those with travel plans that are not set-in-stone, particularly now that Americans are waiving all cancellation fees for award tickets!

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