A day after Delta announced a new policy that would automatically credit travelers' accounts when they miss or skip a flight through April, American is following suit – sort of.
American, Delta, and all airlines are getting hammered by calls for change and cancellation requests due to coronavirus. While they've pleaded with passengers to wait until 72 hours before departure to call in, many travelers still aren't getting through in time before the flight they want to change or cancel takes off.
American emailed flyers on Monday to let them know they're cutting them a break.
“If you have travel through the end of March 2020 and are having difficulty getting through to our Reservations team, American will honor all changes and applicable ticket value if you don’t take your flight as planned,” American wrote.
It's great that American is cutting its travelers some slack. This takes the pressure off to reach the airline in order to change or cancel a flight. American says you can simply call back in later with your six-digit confirmation number and e-ticket number to book a new flight.
It appears that this change applies even to Basic Economy fares. American did not specify whether award fares booked with AAdvantage miles are eligible.
That said, it's not quite as generous as Delta's policy, which will automatically issue an eCredit if a traveler misses a flight through April.
It's not the first time American (or United) have pulled a copy-cat move from Delta as the coronavirus outbreak puts travelers on edge. Delta was the first major U.S. airline to grant free change or cancellation for previously booked tickets. United and American eventually followed suit.
Even in times of crisis, Delta leads and its competitors often follow.