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Can you cancel an American Airlines flight? Yes — and in fact, you have a variety of options to get the job done. While making travel plans these days can be unpredictable and many times out of your control, the airline has simplified policies to add flexibility for passengers.
Here's what you need to know about canceling an American Airlines flight plus tips to help you nix your flight if you booked with cash or miles.
American Airlines cancellation policy
It can be difficult to comb through terms and conditions to understand airline policies. Here's a summary of the main points of the American Airlines flight cancellation policy:
All tickets: may be canceled for a full refund within 24 hours of purchase when booked at least two days before departure.
Refundable tickets: may be canceled for a full refund by requesting a refund online or by contacting reservations.
Nonrefundable tickets: no refund after the 24 hour grace period. However, if you cancel a flight before departure, you can apply the unused value of eligible fares toward a future trip, so long as the new flight takes place within one year of the original ticket issue date.
Currently, you're allowed to make changes to your trip once only.
Keep in mind that this policy only applies to purchases made directly with American Airlines. If you bought your ticket from a travel agent or website, you must contact the agency directly.
American Airlines cancellation fees
American Airlines doesn’t charge fees to cancel. The airline has eliminated cancellation fees on nonrefundable domestic, short-haul international and select long-haul international flight tickets for premium cabin, premium economy and main cabin fares.
This does not include basic economy fares booked on or after April 1, 2021, which are nonrefundable and non-changeable (meaning — you won’t even get a flight credit for canceling a basic economy booking).
Canceled nonrefundable fares are remitted in the value of the original purchase as flight credits. Although cancellation fees are waived, you may still owe any difference in ticket price if you rebook on a more expensive flight.
If your new flight is less expensive than the value of your original ticket, American will then issue you a trip credit for the difference.
How to cancel a flight on American Airlines
To cancel a flight, contact reservations within the U.S. or Canada by calling 800-433-7300. Alternatively, you can cancel an American Airlines flight online at aa.com.
First, navigate toward your trips from the homepage and enter your flight confirmation code. Then, follow the prompts to locate your flight booking and cancel.
Once you’ve canceled your flight, you’ll receive an email confirmation from American, which will include your ticket number.
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Be sure to keep this email as a reference to rebook your next flight.
» Learn more: What to know before buying travel insurance
How to change or rebook your American Airlines flight
If you need to make changes to a current flight, you can call reservations or access your reservation online. Here's how to change your flight online:
Go to aa.com and look for "Manage trips/Check-in" on the homepage. Enter your record locator number and look for the "Change trip" option to make your desired changes.
AAdvantage members can login to their account and change reservations in "My trips/Check-in." After logging in, simply find the "Change trip" option.
Keep in mind that you can only make online changes up to two hours before your flight if your travel was booked through American.
If you don't see the "Change trip" option after entering your trip, you must call reservations.
When you’re ready to rebook a flight that was already canceled, you can do so online (log into your account and find your "Wallet") or call reservations.
It's helpful to have your record locator number, as well as your ticket number. Your ticket number may be found in the cancellation email sent to you by American when you canceled your flight.
How to get an American Airlines refund
For flights booked with cash
If you need to request a refund, there’s no need to contact customer service, which doesn't handle refunds. If you do, you'll be directed to the refund website.
To save time, go directly to AA.com/refunds. There, you’ll have the option to request a refund or check the status of a pending refund. At this time, the airline doesn't offer a phone number and must be contacted through the website or by mail.
Keep in mind that requesting a refund requires that you cancel your reservation first.
To request a refund, you’ll need the ticket number and the last name of the passenger. Once you enter your info, the refund department will advise you of eligibility and options.
If you need to contact the refund department after you have requested a refund:
Go to AA.com/refunds and scroll down to the bottom of the page.
Under "Customer Service," click on "Contact Refunds."
Here, you will have the option to voice your concerns about a refund but don't use this form to request a refund, it is for other communications with the refund team only.
You can also fax the refund department at:
International fax: 480-693-2759
For flights booked with miles
American also notes that you shouldn't use the refunds page for award flights. If you cancel your award flight on the American Airlines website before the first flight departs, your miles will be reinstated and a refund for the taxes and fees will be automatically requested. Call customer service if you have any questions about reinstating miles from a canceled award flight.
» Learn more: How to get an American Airlines refund
Final thoughts on canceling an American Airlines flight
American offers flexible choices for rebooking or changing your flight, including no change fees, but it's helpful to understand the cancellation policy as well. Before you cancel or make changes to your American Airlines flight, make sure you know all of your options.
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