Change of AAdvantage Policy on Phone Fees
One of my biggest frustrations with AAdvantage is having to pay a phone booking fee on awards that cannot be booked online. It is one thing to charge a fee when I choose to book an award via telephone, but when I have no choice, it is really frustrating.
Thankfully American Airlines is adopting the current US Airways policy of not charging a phone fee for awards that aren’t bookable online. They also are increasing the cost of the phone fee for awards that can be booked online. According to the AAdvantage website:
Effective February 3, 2015, the Reservations Ticketing Service Charge will be waived for award bookings that cannot be booked on aa.com.
Effective February 16, 2015, a Reservations Ticketing Service Charge of $30.00 for domestic itineraries and $40.00 for international itineraries will be applied by AA Reservations when ticketing award bookings that can be booked on aa.com.
This is a great savings for bookings on Qatar, Etihad, Cathay Pacific and a number of other American Airlines partners whose space doesn’t show on aa.com.
It also makes AAdvantage cardholder reduced mileage awards much more attractive. See this Dan’s Deals post for suggestions on how you can route through certain cities to save even more money with reduced mileage awards. This is a fantastic development and makes the reduced mileage awards much more attractive!
One Other Change
As part of the alignment US Airways miles can also be used to book anytime awards on American Airlines and vice-versa. Previously only saver space was bookable with the other airline’s miles.
We will probably see a few more of these minor alignments happen before the final merger in the “2nd quarter of 2015”. I for one am very happy about the phone fee policy, since I got hit with that charge a number of times in the past year!
I am also taking another look at the reduced mileage awards, since they now represent an even greater value. Also, if you don’t check baggage, you could dump the final destination and use them for reduced price awards to many of the American Airlines hubs.
HT: Dan’s Deals