Book with American Airlines — AA Flight Reservations

Barkley Hound
12 min readNov 11, 2021


  • Airline: American Airlines
  • Alliance: Oneworld
  • Category: Legacy domestic and international airline
  • Frequent Flyer Program: AAdvantage
  • Tagline: “The World’s Greatest Flyers Fly American” and “Going for Great”
  • About/Mission Statement: “American Airlines and American Eagle are dedicated to providing you with safe, dependable, friendly air transportation. They also provide numerous related services. Their goal is to make every flight something special for their customers.”
  • Daily Flights: Nearly 6,700 (Including codeshare partners)
  • Fleet: 952
  • Main Hub: Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)
  • Destinations: Nearly 350 destinations worldwide (Including codeshare partners)

American Airlines Fare Classes

American Airlines offers eight fare classes with select amenities at a wide range of price points.

Economy Basic

American Airlines entry-level basic economy fare used to be just a seat and little personal item. However, they recently changed their baggage policy where you are allowed to bring 1 piece of standard carry-on luggage.

Lowest Fare

For all destinations that American offers, you will have the option to select the Lowest Fare. This will give you the standard prices for the economy (which they refer to as “Main Cabin”), premium economy, business, and first-class (if available on the flight).

Flexible Fare

This fare type is available for Main Cabin and premium economy, business, and first-class.

If you think you might need to change your flight for any reason then it may be worth considering this Flexible fare, which allows you to change your flight without incurring a service fee (although the difference in fare would still apply).

Fully Flexible Fare

This fare type is available for the Main Cabin only (and the benefits are included as standard for business and first-class fares).

Passengers are permitted to change their flight up until the same day of travel without incurring a service fee, though any fare difference will still apply. You will also be eligible for standby if available on an American Airlines flight.

Main Cabin (Economy)

Amenities include: For all destinations that American Airlines offers, you will be able to select the Lowest Fare option. This will give you standard prices for the economy (which they refer to as “Main Cabin”), premium economy, business, and first-class (if available on the flight).

Main Cabin Extra

Upgrade to Main Cabin Extra and you’ll enjoy more space with extra legroom and early boarding (after elite members), with preferred group 5 boarding.

Premium Economy

Amenities include:

  • Wider seats
  • Premium dining
  • On-demand entertainment with larger screen and noise-reduction headphones
  • Amenity kit
  • Pillow and blanket created exclusively by Casper
  • Wi-Fi available to purchase

Business Class

Amenities include:

  • Wider seats and more legroom
  • Premium dining
  • On-demand entertainment with larger screen, noise-reduction headphones, and streaming available
  • Pillow and blanket created exclusively by Casper
  • Wi-Fi available to purchase

First Class

Amenities include:

  • Wider seats and more legroom
  • Premium dining
  • On-demand entertainment with larger screens or personal device, noise-reduction headphones, and streaming available
  • Pillow and blanket created exclusively by Casper
  • Wi-Fi available to purchase

Flagship Business — International

“A premier experience for the long haul,” Flagship Business is available on international flights to Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and South America. Here’s what it includes:

Flagship Business — Transcontinental

Available on flights from Los Angeles to New York, San Francisco to New York, and Los Angeles to Boston, you can “Travel coast-to-coast in luxury.”

Flagship First — International

Available on flights to Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America when traveling on a B773 aircraft.

Flagship First — Transcontinental

American Airlines offers Flagship First-an option for first-class travel on certain flights. Available only on flights from Los Angeles to New York, San Francisco to New York, and Los Angeles to Boston, this option allows you to enjoy the rich experience that American Airlines has to offer.
Available on flights from Los Angeles to New York, San Francisco to New York, and Los Angeles to Boston, you can travel “Coast-to-coast in comfort” with Flagship First.

What is American Airlines’ carry-on allowance?

American Airlines Carry-On Allowance

These are applicable for all fare types and cabin classes

  • 1 personal item: FREE
  • 1 standard carry-on: FREE

Size Restrictions

Personal: 18″ x 14″ x 8″
Standard: 22″ x 14″ x 9″

American Airlines Flight Change and Cancellation Policies

change my seat on American Airlines?

Go to “My trips/check-in” from the homepage and enter your name and record. From there, you can choose seats. If seats are unavailable, check back later or you can change seats when you check-in. If you’re unable to choose seats when you book, check back closer to departure or we’ll assign you a seat when you check-in.

American Airlines Name Change/Corrections by Phone

Call American Airlines Booking Number at 800–433–7300 or (806) 853–55–67(US & Canada), (800–633–3711 for Spanish assistance) to change your reservation with a representative over the phone. A change fee applies.

AA Same-day flight changes

Yes. If you want to change your ticket at no cost, it must fall within the rules of the same-day confirmation policy and the new flight must depart within 24 hours of your original scheduled departure (earlier or later).

Same-day flight change allows you to confirm a seat on a different flight on your day of departure on any American Airlines and/or American Eagle flight where eligible seats are available. … You can make the change on, at the airport (at the self-service kiosk or ticket counter) or call Reservations.

change flight dates on American Airlines?

You can make the change on, at the airport (at the self-service kiosk or ticket counter) or call Reservations. If you still want to try for a different flight, same-day standby lets you standby for an earlier American or American Eagle flight (with the same routing on your day of departure).

Cost to cancel an American Airlines flight?

With a non-refundable ticket, the American airline charges a Cancellation fee of $ 200 for domestic flights and $ 750 for international flights. You can still avoid the Cancellation fee if you cancel your ticket within 24 hours from the point of booking.

Baggage Policies and Fees:

American Airlines offers a variety of fares. First-class customers can bring two to three bags that weigh up to 70 pounds (depending on the aircraft), business-class passengers can check two bags that weigh up to 70 pounds, and economy-class flyers can check one bag at no charge, Premium Economy passengers can carry two bags weighing up to 50 pounds, and Main Cabin passengers can bring two bags that weigh up to 50 pounds (but they may have to pay for the second bag).

Seats and Legroom

American Airlines provides a range of fare classes and various airplane configurations, which can affect the amount of legroom available to customers. Flagship fares offer the most spacious and comfortable experience, while first and business-class seats provide more legroom than Main Cabin seats. To find out what the exact pitch and width for your flight is, look up your plane type on the American Airlines website. You can also use sites like SeatGuru to research your exact plane layout ahead of time to find the most desirable seats. American Airlines received 3.5 stars for legroom on TripAdvisor, which has over 70,000 reviews of the

Amenities and Entertainment

American Airlines passengers in all classes can enjoy free entertainment on most flights, plus they can purchase Wi-Fi on select aircrafts. Passengers can stream movies, music, TV shows, and more (including Apple Music and Apple TV+) from their personal phones, tablets, or laptops or from their seatback entertainment system on select flights. Passengers can also learn new skills or even a new language, thanks to Skillshare and Rosetta Stone, available on the Lifestyle channel.

American Airlines change fees

American Airlines has revamped many of its change and cancellation fees, allowing customers more flexibility. For tickets issued on or after Aug. 31, 2020, American Airlines has permanently eliminated its change and cancellation fees for flights to/from the U.S., Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

For tickets issued on or after Nov. 19, 2020, American also permanently eliminated its change and cancellation fees on international flights originating from North and South America to Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, South America and the United Kingdom.

With either amendment, all fares except basic economy apply. Fare differences will apply, but if your new booking is cheaper, you’ll receive a travel credit for a future trip.

Same-day flight changes are available on select flights for a $75 fee. Meanwhile, same-day flight changes between New York (JFK) and London (LHR) will incur a $150 fee. Customers can stand by for a same-day flight on flights within the U.S., to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for no charge.

What is American Airlines like?

American Airlines flies to 350 destinations around the globe. While the airline has many destination choices, you should still consider other important factors before booking your flight.

Making reservations: You can make them online or by phone by calling 800–433–7300, and both of these options are available 24/7. You can also make reservations at most reservations offices, travel centers, and ticket counters; however, there may be a fee for this depending on where you’re located.

Check-in: Usually, you can check-in for your flight online or from the airline’s mobile app between 24 hours and 45 minutes before your flight’s departure (90 minutes for international flights). At most airports, you can also check-in at an airport ticket counter, curbside check-in counter, or self-service kiosk. When checking in or checking bags at the airport, make sure you do so at least 45 minutes before departure for domestic trips and at least 60 minutes before international trips. Some international airports may require an even earlier check in time, so make sure to double-check the requirements in advance.

Boarding: American Airlines recommends all customers arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare. Boarding begins 30–50 minutes before departure and ends 15 minutes before. Families with children under 2, as well as people with disabilities or other special needs, can ask for early boarding.
Airline status and ticket type typically determine boarding order, with exceptions for active-duty U.S. military members and certain credit card members, such as with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® or the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®.

In-flight experience: Is American Airlines comfortable? The experience of an American Airlines flight varies depending on the type of ticket purchased. First-class and business-class seating typically offers more comfort, space, and privacy. Some long-haul flights even offer lie-flat seats. The Main Cabin Extra option offers travelers a more spacious seat with a pitch between 33 to 39 inches compared to the 30 to 32-inch pitch in economy class. Regardless of ticket type, flights with WiFi access offer passengers a free library of movies, music, and TV shows that can be streamed from personal devices.

Loyalty program: The American Airlines AAdvantage program is a solid loyalty program. NerdWallet values AAdvantage miles at 1.2 cents per mile. Basic members will earn 5 miles for every $1 spent with American Airlines. Achieving elite status will offer travelers more perks and higher earning rates (up to 11 miles per $1 spent). American Airlines offers three award redemption options — MileSAAver, AAnytime, and Web Special — with MileSAAver and Web Special awards providing great miles-saving opportunities.

  • Executive Platinum Really is Top Tier
  • American’s 100,000 mile flyer level is true top tier elite status.

American has their revenue-based special ‘Concierge Key’ program but that doesn’t put a designated member above Executive Platinums in the upgrade queue the way United’s Global Services does.

American doesn’t privilege fare paid over status. This is especially important to me with all of my DC trips, where a Delta or United Silver member on a government YCA fare trumps a top-tier member flying on a mid-priced fare.

Delta’s top tier takes 125,000 miles and doesn’t even offer complimentary upgrades on New York — Los Angeles/San Francisco routes as a published benefit (it’s an unpublished day-of backpedal). American still offers complimentary upgrades on the ‘good’ domestic flights.

Best ways to earn American Airlines miles

The quickest way to earn American Airlines miles is by earning the bonus on one of the top American Airlines credit cards.

You can earn American Airlines miles with cards like the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®, which currently has a bonus of 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening. This card also comes with benefits that mimic American Airlines status perks, like a free checked bag and preferred boarding.

Best ways to use American Airlines miles

  1. Mainland U.S. or Canada
    You can book any short American Airlines flight 500 miles or less within the U.S. and Canada for only 7,500 American Airlines miles each way in coach. All other flights are 12,500 each way to/from anywhere in the U.S. or Canada except for Hawaii or Alaska.
  2. World’s best business class
    American Airlines charges 70,000 miles each way from the U.S. to Doha in business class. As long as things don’t change Qatar Airways will have a Qsuites equipped plane serving all its U.S. routes by August 2020. These are the U.S. cities where you’ll be able to find Qsuite award to/from Doha:
  • Atlanta (starting May 2020)
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami (starting August 2020)
  • New York
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington
  • January 10 to March 14
  • November 1 to December 14
  1. Business class to Japan or South Korea
    Anywhere in China, Japan or South Korea is considered the Asia Region 1 and you’ll pay 60,000 American Airlines miles each way in business class. This is a real treat when you consider you can book an award with Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines.
  2. Deals to Australia or New Zealand
    Speaking of mixing carriers, you can fly to Tahiti on Air Tahiti Nui or Fiji with Fiji Airways, then onward to Australia or New Zealand on Qantas. Some members of the MMS team have flown from Los Angeles to Nadi, Fiji, then to New Zealand for an incredible trip. You can do it too, for 40,000 American Airlines miles one-way in coach, 65,000 miles in premium economy or 80,000 miles for business class.
  • 40,000 miles each way in coach
  • 65,000 miles each way in premium economy
  • 75,000 miles each way in business class
  • 120,000 miles each way in first class
  • That’s a bargain for all the flying you can get, not to mention all the amazing adventures awaiting you in Africa.
  • Dec. 29th — Mar, 12th
    Aug. 11th — Nov. 18th
    Nov. 24th — Dec. 10th
    Off-peak dates from Hawaii are:
  • Jan. 7th — Mar. 19th
    Aug. 18th — Nov. 27th
    Dec. 3rd — Dec. 25th
  • September 9 to November 18
  • April 21 to May 20

Outside of peak times, you’ll pay 12,500 American Airlines miles each way in coach from anywhere in the mainland U.S. or Canada. Thanks to the Economy Web Specials, you also can find deals from 10,000 miles each way during peak season and even less in the off-season.

During these times, you can visit Europe for only 22,500 American Airlines miles each way, which is a great deal. You could visit places off the beaten path, like Croatia, Romania or Serbia or places that are usually expensive, like northern Europe and Scandinavia.

8. Anywhere in Africa
Here’s the best example of American Airlines’ zone-based pricing — all of Africa is one region. If you haven’t noticed, Africa is big, so take advantage. American Airlines doesn’t fly to Africa, so you’ll have to find a partner award flight and pay:

Who should avoid American Airlines?

While American Airlines is a popular airline choice, it may not be the right airline for all travelers. Should you avoid it? While that largely depends on your travel preferences, some travelers may want to consider other available options before selecting American Airlines:

Travelers who don’t live in or near a hub: If you don’t live near one of American Airlines’ hubs, you may find limited flight availability and may have to deal with more layovers to get to your destination.

Travelers who don’t like bag fees: Depending on ticket type purchased, American Airlines may charge fees for checked bags and oversized bags. Choosing an airline that offers more baggage allowance may make sense for those who like to travel with more luggage.

Travelers who value reliability: American Airlines doesn’t offer the best reliability when it comes to on-time flights and baggage handling. If this is a crucial factor for you, you may want to think about flying with a different airline.

What American Airlines Owes You for Cancellations or Delays

Perhaps the most notable change is to American’s responsibilities when there’s a cancellation or delay of more than four hours. In these cases, American Airlines has generally rebooked travelers on later flights-including on partner airlines and sometimes even competitors.

However, going forward, American Airlines clarifies that it only owes travelers a refund of the unflown portion of their ticket:

If we or our airline partner fails to operate or delays your arrival more than 4 hours, our sole obligation is to refund the remaining ticket value and any optional fees according to our involuntary refunds policy.

This may seem reasonable, but it can be a huge pain in practice. This policy now allows American Airlines to legally strand you at a destination and/or force you to book last-minute flights to get where you need to go.

Say you book a $200 round-trip flight to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Your flights down are uneventful. However, when it’s time to return to the U.S., mechanical issues lead to the cancellation of your American Airlines flight home. In this case, American Airlines can simply refund you $100 and leave you stranded in Cabo. To get home, you’d be left needing to buy a one-way international ticket-which is likely to be a lot more than $100-or use points and miles to save the day.

Originally published at on November 11, 2021.