American Airlines Policy May Negatively Impact Coach Passengers
Earlier this week, Gary Leff at View From the Wing wrote about a new American Airlines Policy that could potentially affect many travelers. As explained by Gary, when major airlines run into issues that prevent them from making scheduled flights, they often place passengers on another airline’s flight pursuant to agreements between the airlines. For example, if a mechanical error prevents a United flight from keeping to it’s original schedule, it may place passengers on Delta flights with empty seats as an accommodation to the passengers. American Airlines has now limited the situations in which it will provide these types of accommodations to it’s passengers.
American Airlines will not re-accommodate passengers on non-partner or affiliated airlines if such passengers are flying coach and have no elite status. In other words, this rule does not apply to you if you hold status or are flying in premium cabins. There are also several exceptions for things like unaccompanied children and situations where time is of the essence.
In light of this policy, it might make more sense to fly United or Delta if you’re flying economy. Another way to insure yourself against this issue is to use a credit card that offers generous trip delay benefits. Also consider trip insurance.