How to Change Your Flight on American Airlines

By Brenna Swanston

Switching or canceling a flight reservation when life gets in the way

How to Change Your Flight on American Airlines

Everyone who books a plane ticket plans to board that flight as scheduled, but hey – life happens. Sometimes travelers can't make their flights as planned, and they need to change the ticket.

Those traveling with American Airlines can change their flight reservations, but it incurs a service charge. They can call American Airlines to change their ticket at any time of day at the following numbers:

  • English: 800-433-7300
  • Spanish: 800-633-3711
  • Hearing and speech impaired: 800-543-1586

Ticket change services are also available in Portuguese, Japanese, and Mandarin Chinese during limited hours.

Just call and request a ticket change, but prepare to pay for it. The fees vary depending on the specific ticket, but generally, changing a ticket incurs a $200 fee for domestic flights and up to $750 for international flights.

Same-day flight changes and standby

It costs less to change a flight reservation to a different time on the same day (either via same-day flight change or standby) than it does to change the ticket to a different day altogether. Customers can request a same-day flight change or standby online at aa.com, at a self-service kiosk or at the ticket counter.

For those flying in the main cabin, same-day changes to flights within the United States or to Canada or the Caribbean incur a $75 fee. For transatlantic travel from John F. Kennedy International Airport and London Heathrow Airport, same-day flight changes cost $150.

These fees apply as long as the alternate flight reservation:

  • Takes off from and lands at the same airports as the original ticket
  • Is for the same departure day as the original flight
  • Is through American Airlines or American Eagle

Same-day flight change fees are waived for customers:

  • Flying business, first class or unrestricted economy class
  • With American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum status
  • With AirPass tickets
  • With first and business class award tickets
  • With

    MileSAAver and AAnytime award tickets

Customers can stand by on an earlier flight between the 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands for a $75 fee. The alternate reservation must meet the same standards as for a same-day flight change.

The standby fee is waived for the same customers who receive complimentary same-day flight changes, as well as those:

  • with oneworld Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby status
  • who are active U.S. military personnel
  • who are active U.S. military dependents traveling on orders

Canceling a flight

American Airlines customers have 24 hours after purchasing their ticket to cancel it for a full refund, provided they booked the ticket at least two days before departure.

If the ticket was bought directly from American Airlines, request a refund online or contact American Airlines' reservations desk, and the refund should be credited within a week. If it was purchased through a third party, customers have to call the third party to get refund details.

Flights booked through American Airlines' reservations service are considered nonrefundable, so customers can get a full refund on these tickets only within 24 hours of purchase. Otherwise, the only situations that entitle a nonrefundable ticket purchaser to a refund are:

  • A schedule change that results in a change of 61 minutes or more
  • Death of a passenger or passenger's traveling companion
  • Military orders

However, nonrefundable ticket values can be applied toward future flights as long as:

  • The new trip begins within one year of the original ticket's issue date
  • The customer canceled the original ticket before the first flight departed