It is possible to avoid American Airlines phone booking fees if you know the award booking rules. The AA phone booking fee is $25 per ticket for awards that you have to call in to book. These tickets include Iberia, Cathay Pacific, and Japan Airlines. So, how do you avoid this $25 phone booking fee?
It is important to know these two American Airline award rules:
American Airlines does not charge a fee when changing your date of departure when you keep your origin and destination the same.
They also do not charge a fee if you switch Oneworld partners. For example, switching from AA to JAL or CX does not incur a fee because they are all Oneworld partners. However, switching from AA to Hawaiian Airlines incurs a fee because Hawaiian is a partner airline, but not a Oneworld partner airline.
Here’s an example that I recently performed for someone. I wanted to book a ticket on Japan Airlines, but didn’t want to pay the $25 service fee. Therefore, I did the following:
- Searched BA.com for JAL availability. I was lucky to find a date where AA and JAL were flying business class.
- Called the Aadvantage desk to verify JAL availability.
- Booked a business class ticket on LAX-NRT on AA metal on AA.com
- Quickly called the Aadvantage center after booking the ticket and even before the ticket was officially issued. I asked the agent to switch from AA to JAL on the same date.
- My ticket was booked for JAL without incurring the $25 AA phone booking fee.
I was able to do this method to avoid American Airlines phone booking fees. I am sure that this method would also work for Cathay Pacific, but AA currently does not fly to HKG until DFW-HKG starts flying. You should be able to book an AA ticket from LAX-DFW-HKG, then switch to LAX-HKG on Cathay Pacific. I’m sure there are other ways you can use this trick. Hopefully this trick helps you save a few dollars.Save at least $400 on your next trip using one of my favorite credit cards, Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard! 40K points with no fee first year. See the Credit Card Deals page for more offers. Thanks for your support!