American Airlines Eliminates Close-in Booking Fees

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American Airlines Eliminates Close-in Booking Fees

American Airlines Eliminates Close-in Booking Fees

American Airlines charges a $75 fee for award tickets or mileage upgrades within 21 days of departure. This fee didn’t affect everyone. It was waived for those with AAdvantage Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum status.

Now that seems to have changed, effective immediately. American Airlines has eliminated AAdvantage close-in booking fees altogether.

You can see this already when doing an award search online on the American Airlines website. Results for flights within 21 days will just show a charge of $5.60 for taxes and fees. here’s a quick search for flights tomorrow from JFK to LAX:

American Airlines has confirmed this change to TPG, saying that American Airlines is “always looking for ways to make AAdvantage award redemption easier for our customers, and this update offers more flexibility when booking award travel and requesting mileage upgrades.”


It’s strange that there was no official announcement for this new development, considering that it would be great news to many customers. But judging from what other major airlines have done, there might be some type of “catch” to make up for this enhancement.

Based in NYC. Points/miles enthusiast for years and actively writing about it for the last two years at Danny the Deal Guru. I'm always looking out for deals. Making a few bucks is always nice, but the traveling is by far the best part of this business.

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  1. In my eyes getting rid of the $75 close-in booking fee makes the 5K “Economy Web Specials” even more enticing

  2. Lovely… I just confirmed an AA award three days ago within the 21-day window. Here is to hoping they can waive it!

  3. @RobertF

    I think those fees aren’t discoursing because people will pay them. $75 extra to book a business class seat (on top of the miles or miles and co pay for mileage upgrades) isn’t going to stop most people at least for international business or transcon business or first.

    I am thankful though because $75 x 4 for mileage upgrades is a lot when you consider the $350 x 4 co pay on top of a paid fare. When my family went to Buenos Aires on the great AA 772 business seats we paid for premium economy (70% more than economy) just in case so the $75 x 4 was annoying. Next time I probably will just pay for business and use my transferable points at 1.25-1.5 to bring the cost down and earn miles on the trip.

  4. The close-in fees have always been mystifying to me from an inventory management perspective. Consider the grocer who has ripening avocados. We know they’re going to be garbage soon, so let’s make them more expensive, thus discouraging people from buying avocados. In much the same way, the moment the door closes, extra seats are worthless. Wouldn’t it make more sense to encourage last-minute redemptions, get the miles off the books and fill the plane?

    I’m neither an economist nor in in the airline industry, so I’m probably just missing something obvious.

  5. Yet another devaluation of my Million-Miler AAdvantage Gold status. First, being able to check two bags for free was reduced to one bag… then, possession of an inexpensive credit card rendered the same benefit useless… and now, the elimination of the close-in fee for everyone rendered that benefit useless; yet no new benefits were added to Gold status to take the place of those now worthless Gold benefits. I assume the same goes for higher AAdvantage status as well.


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