Home Topics Finance When you're ready to travel, should you still fly American Airlines?

When you’re ready to travel, should you still fly American Airlines?

If you have flown with American Airlines in the past, you may be wondering if the airline is still a good option in times of COVID-era travel. Here’s what you need to know about American Airlines policies and what to expect when you’re ready to travel again.

What To Expect When You Fly American Airlines This Year

American Airlines has been in business for over 90 years. Over the years they have seen many changes and changed the way they do business. If you ask, “Should I fly American Airlines after everything that happened to COVID?” The answer is yes.

American Airlines changed some of their policies to make them more flexible, such as:

No change fees

American Airlines Change fees eliminated For all fares except Basic Economy in 2020. If your travel plans change, there are no additional fees – you just have to pay the price difference for your new ticket.

For example, if the price of your new ticket is higher, you will pay the difference. If it is less, the airline will give you credit. This policy applies to flights originating in the Americas to many major destinations worldwide, including Asia, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North America, South America and the UK.

Fly standby for free

American Airlines has also adjusted its standby rules. Travelers can now fly to the same destination in standby mode on the same day of departure without incurring additional fees. This policy applies to domestic travel including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Basic Economy Ticket upgrades available

For travelers who book Basic economy Seats now have the option to add upgrades, including priority boarding and seat upgrades.

AAdvantage Elite members receive all benefits regardless of seat purchase

An advantage Elite members You can take advantage of the Elite regardless of the ticket price you buy. Previously there were reduced benefits for the basic economy.

It’s easier to get status

American Airlines adjusted its elite status qualifications for 2021. These new requirements for Elite Qualifying Dollars or EQDs, Elite Qualifying Miles or EQMs, and Elite Qualifying Segments or EQSs enable travelers to reach Elite status faster.

Here’s what you can expect for the new status requirements:

The usual status requirements are as follows:

As you can see, fewer EQDs, EQSs, and EQDs are required, which is beneficial for travelers who may not start flying again until later in 2021.

All of these more recent American Airlines policies are noteworthy as the airline used to be less flexible and these COVID changes give travelers a greater incentive to book with American Airlines.

How does American Airlines compare to other airlines?

You may be wondering if these new guidelines make American Airlines a better option than other airlines, or what other airlines are doing to encourage travel.

The American No Cancellation Fee policy covers both North and South American origin flights. This makes it a better option for many Delta and United itineraries that are more geographically limited. Both United and Delta do not allow change fees for all ticket types, including basic economy, for travel booked through March 2021 – just like American Airlines.

Southwest Airlines has no change fees; This policy was introduced long before COVID-19. It also offers two free checked bags on all flights. These two advantages are a big reason why so many travelers book air travel with this airline. However, the international flight options are far less extensive than the American ones.

In terms of elite status requirements, Southwest and United have also updated their requirements for 2021. Delta has extended medallion status through January 31, 2022 and has also announced that the medallion qualification miles will be extended from 2020 to 2021. Southwest Airlines Extended Companion Pass Benefits Through June 30, 2021, A-List and A-List Preferred member status will be extended through December 31, 2021.

The final result

Consider your ticket type before booking. You may want to avoid booking a basic economy ticket so you don’t have to pay change fees if your travel plans change. However, when you’re ready to travel again, American Airlines is ready for you. They have tweaked their policies to be more flexible to help travelers feel more comfortable in the COVID era.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our tips for that best travel credit cards of 2021including the best for:

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