I had heard several recent rumors that this was coming, here’s the first confirmation I’ve seen that American will now allow same day travel changes for international flights.
Just off the phone [with American’s Executive Platinum] desk and they advised of new policy eff[ective] today that will enable pa[ssengers] to make same day changes to int[ernational] long-haul flights for $150 (waived for [Executive Platinums and their] companion). This is strictly for [American] flights only, no codeshares, no other carriers incl[uding] US [Airways].
This change is not yet listed on American’s same day change website page. That still indicates same day travel changes are limited to “flights in the U.S., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada and the Caribbean”
In the main this is helpful for those limited number of routes with multiple international flights a day, like Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and New York JFK – London or New York JFK – Paris.
American Airlines Boeing 787
I haven’t seen the internal rules for changes, but (assuming all that is required is the same origin and destination cities and not the same routing) it could also be helpful to same-day confirm for planes that American has flights from multiple cities, for instance one might same-day confirm onto a Chicago – Tokyo flight rather than connecting through Los Angeles.
Presumably, as with domestic itineraries, the flight you want to confirm a change onto will have to have availability in the special “E” fare bucket (which can be searched at ExpertFlyer.com).
I don’t know what the original reason for restricting same day changes to domestic flights only was. Perhaps:
- The difficulties with checked bags and their having to fly with the passenger.
- Concerns over interfacing with DHS systems to gain authorization for passengers to travel
I don’t know at what point any such issues were resolved. Positive bag matching hasn’t been a requirement for domestic flights in a decade (concomitant with bag screening) but passengers still have to travel with bags internationally.
Whatever issues at American that led to the international exclusion, those have apparently been scratched. And we can now same day confirm changes when traveling internationally. I’m surprised by the hefty fee, but pleased that it’s waived for Executive Platinum members.