Some news came out yesterday about some changes that American Airlines made to fees. In addition, one of the most valuable point redemptions for domestic flights has come back again online. So, a good day for AA and US!
Good News For American airlines and US Airways Awards
Updated Telephone Booking Fees With American Airlines
One of the most annoying parts of booking award tickets is when the award cannot be booked online and you must call in to get the reservation. I would much rather be able to do everything online and skip the telephone reservations. It becomes even worse when the airline charges you to book an award over the phone that you have no choice but to do so. That is what American Airlines has done – until yesterday! To book any partner that was not bookable online (like Etihad, for instance), you had to phone in and then receive an additional charge on the reservation of $35 (for international) and $25 (for domestic).
Effective yesterday, telephone booking charges for partners not bookable online will be waived. That is a great help! However, the flip side is that awards that are bookable online but are phoned in will see a fee hike – from $35 to $40 for international and $25 to $30 for domestic. But, since that is only for awards that can already be booked online, that should not be a big deal for most travelers.
US Airways Awards Again Bookable With Avios Online
Since the shift recently with US Airways to align their fare classes with American Airlines, travelers have not been able to book US Airway flights online using British Airways Avios. Since that is one of the best domestic redemptions out there – the short-haul reward requiring 4,500 Avios one way – that was of huge concern to many travelers. Many people had to phone in to get it ticketed, but that was not easy either.
The good news is that they are again bookable online with Avios! So, go ahead and book those flights to/from US Airway hubs around the US! I love that Reagan National (Washington DC) and Philadelphia are bookable in this fashion as they are two of my favorite cities on the East Coast. Being able to get to Washington DC so cheaply is huge and can be a lot of fun!