American Airlines Will Rebook You For Free, If You're This Late For Your Flight
Photo Credit: Gustavo Fring

Photo Credit: Gustavo Fring

American Airlines Will Rebook You For Free, If You're This Late For Your Flight

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Nasha Smith
Nasha Smith Apr 30, 2021

Welcome back to travel! Whether you’re just getting back in travel mode or have been at it, this editorial, brought to you in partnership with American Airlines is for you.

American Airlines is taking some of the stress out of travel by implementing a new policy that allows travelers arriving a few minutes late for their flight to rebook at no extra cost. 

According to View From The Wing, in the event that a passenger arrives after check-in has closed but within 15 minutes after the flight’s departure, American Airlines can rebook them on the next flight with availability for free. Check-in for domestic flights typically closes 45 minutes prior to departure. 

The airline is hoping that this move will help “reduce mishandled baggage and lengthy priority lists, while providing an elevated customer experience.”

Under this new policy, airline agents must use the same booking code or the lowest one available. The agent is also not allowed to overbook a flight for a late passenger. The new, rebooked flight must have seats available for sale. The intended destination must remain the same however, the passengers can be sent to co-terminals. This means that if a passenger is traveling to Houston, they may be routed to either George Bush Intercontinental Airport or William P. Hobby Airport. The passengers can also be re-routed via an alternative hub in the case of a connection. 

The latest change in policy by American is only applicable to passengers who arrive after the check-in cutoff time and within 15 minutes after that flight departs. Those who arrive after that time will be guided by the airline’s standby policies. 

It was just last fall that American eliminated standby fees for all travelers. According to the airline passengers are allowed to “fly standby for free on earlier domestic flights, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to the same destination on the same day.” But standby is not available if you have already checked bags, the exception being AAdvantage elite status members.

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