How To Cancel an American Airlines Flight [Points or Cash Ticket]

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Sometimes things happen that are outside of our control that can put a dent into our travel plans. The process of canceling a flight can be both expensive and complicated.

If you happened to book your flight with American Airlines and need to cancel, you’re in the right place! Here’s all the information you need to navigate their cancellation policy and determine what policies apply to your situation.

American’s Cancellation Policy: Flights Paid With Cash or Points

All customers have 24 hours from the time of their original booking to cancel their reservation without being charged a cancellation fee, regardless of the fare selected.

Ticket Type Cancellation Fee
Basic EconomyNot Permitted
Non-Refundable$200 for domestic flights and up to $750 for international flights depending on fare class
Refundable$0
Award Ticket$150 (waived for Executive Platinum members)

Basic Economy Ticket

American Airlines will not allow you to cancel a basic economy ticket unless it is canceled within 24 hours from the time it was purchased. However, there are some circumstances where you can cancel and request a refund if American changes your flight schedule by 61 minutes or more; if you have military orders or very morbidly – if you or your traveling companion dies.

Non-Refundable Ticket

For domestic flights, American charges a $200 cancellation fee on paid fares, and up to $750 for international flights depending on the fare class.

After you pay the cancellation fee, you can apply the unused value of your American Airlines ticket toward a future trip as long as your new trip begins no later than one year from the ticket’s original issue date, and you canceled the original ticket before the departure of the first flight.

Hot Tip: Non-refundable tickets can still be refunded in the event of the death of the passenger or passenger’s traveling companion or because of military orders. Supporting documentation is required.

Refundable Ticket

If you’ve purchased a refundable ticket, cancellations can be made anytime before the departure of your flight and the refund will be issued to your original credit card within 7 days (it should appear on your statement in 1-2 billing cycles).

Award Ticket

If you booked a ticket AAdvantage miles, canceling the ticket will cost $150 for the first award and $25 for each additional award reinstated at the same time for the same account. Award change and reinstatement fees are waived for Executive Platinum members using miles from their account.

Hot Tip: Looking for even more information about canceling award tickets? Explore our guide on canceling award tickets, including information on over 30 carriers, to learn more.

American’s Flight Change Policy

As with cancellations, all customers will have 24 hours from the time of their original booking to change their reservation without being charged a fee, regardless of fare selected.

Ticket Type Change Fee
Basic EconomyNot permitted for domestic flights and up to a $750 fee for international flights
Non-Refundable$200 for domestic flights and up to $750 for international flights depending on fare class
Refundable$0
Award Ticket$0

Basic Economy

American does not allow flight changes for those with basic economy tickets within the U.S., Canada, Central America, and the Caribbean. American does allow changes if you’re flying between the U.S. and Europe for a fee of up to $750.

Non-Refundable Ticket

After your 24 hour grace period has passed, American charges a $200 change fee for domestic flights and up to $750 for international flights. If you are changing your flight to a more expensive fare then you’ll need to pay that price difference as well.

For same-day changes, American charges $75-$150 for economy tickets, but business and first-class passengers on paid fares can utilize same-day changes for free.

Refundable Ticket

If you’ve purchased a refundable ticket you can make changes to your itinerary without needing to pay any additional fees. If you’re changing to a more expensive option, you will need to pay the difference in price. If you’re changing to a cheaper flight, the difference in fare will be refunded to your original method of payment.

Award Ticket

American lets you change your award ticket for free, provided that the origin and destination remain the same.

How to Cancel a Flight on American

Step 1: Log into your account on American’s homepage and select “Your Trips.”

American Airlines My Trips
Image Credit: American Airlines

Step 2: Once you’ve selected the trip you want to cancel, select “Cancel Booking.”

Step 3: The next screen will ask you to confirm that you want to cancel your booking. After you click “confirm” then your booking will officially be canceled, and you’ll receive a voucher for any remaining funds after any potential cancelation fees.

How to Use an American Travel eVoucher

You can retrieve your eVoucher number and PIN number by clicking on the link sent to you via email. On the payment screen, enter both the eVoucher number and PIN number exactly as they appear on the retrieval page.

You may use up to 8 eVouchers at one time. If the total price of the ticket exceeds the value of your eVouchers, you may use a credit card for any remaining balance.

Final Thoughts

In summary, if you’re worried that you may need to cancel your flight and want to make sure you can get a refund, a refundable ticket is going to be your best, albeit more expensive, option.

Having to deal with canceling a flight can be difficult enough as it is, but knowledge is power (as are cards that provide compensation). Be certain to review fare rules closely so that you know what your options are both at the time of booking, and if you end up needing to cancel.


Frequently asked questions

What happens if I cancel my American flight?

That depends on what fare type you’ve purchased and whether or not you’ve purchased a refundable ticket.

If you’ve purchased a basic economy ticket, you are not permitted to cancel the ticket for a refund after the 24-hour grace period from when your ticket was purchased.

If you have a non-refundable ticket you will be required to pay $200 for domestic tickets and international ticket fees range from $200 to $750 (depending on the length of the flight, location, and type of fare). Afterward, you will receive the remainder of your fare, minus the fee, in the form of an eVoucher for use on a future American flight.

If you have a refundable ticket you can cancel anytime before the departure of your flight and you will be reimbursed on your original method of payment.

Can I cancel an American flight within 24 hours?

Yes, all customers will have 24 hours from the time of their original booking to cancel their reservation without being charged a cancellation fee, regardless of fare selected.

What happens if you cancel a non-refundable flight?

To cancel a non-refundable ticket you will be required to pay between $200-$750 depending on the length of the flight, location, and type of fare. The remaining fare will be given to you as an eVoucher for future use on an American flight.

When do American eVouchers expire?

Your eVoucher will expire exactly 1 year after its issue date.

Will American waive my cancellation fees?

A waive of fees really will depend on your reason for canceling the flight. If it’s due to an immediate family member’s death or sickness, or military orders, American may waive your cancellation fees, but they may ask for proof.

If you believe you have a legitimate reason to have your cancellation fees waived then it never hurts to call and ask!

Jarrod West

About Jarrod West

Born and raised just outside of Cincinnati, Jarrod became fascinated with using points and miles as the perfect way to visit dream destinations without breaking the bank. Thanks to points and miles, Jarrod was able to spend 3 months traveling Europe financed nearly entirely with points and miles; while flying in premium cabins and staying in 5-star hotels along the way. To date, Jarrod has traveled to 16 countries and 22 US states.

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30 comments

  1. I cancelled my non-refundable flight be didn’t receive any voucher or notice about getting a credited back the difference between the fare and $200 fee. Is this supposed to happen automatically?

    Reply

    • Katie Seemann October 31, 2019

      Hi Jon,

      I would recommend calling American Airlines to get your voucher. I wouldn’t trust that it will happen automatically.

      Reply

  2. If you purchased two tickets and cancelled. Do you have to use your vouchers together or can each of you use on vouchers separately.?

    Reply

  3. If you have to cancel two tickets, do they charge you $200 per ticket? Or just a one-time $200 fee for both? Thanks!

    Reply

  4. Is there any way to get a full refund when we had to cancel our flight through no fault of our own. We were flying to meet a new cruise ship in Copenhagen. The cruise line cancelled our cruise because the ship wasn’t going to be ready for at least another month.

    Reply

    • Andrew Kunesh December 23, 2019

      Hey Kathy, you may be able to get a free refund for your ticket if you call American Airlines and explain the situation. They may ask for documentation from the cruise line so be prepared to provide that. However, do note that there’s no guarantee that this will work out as American has no obligation to refund your tickets, instead, it would be out of goodwill. Thanks and good luck!

      Reply

  5. Hi. If I purchase a refundable ticket with an eVoucher, and request a refund for the ticket before the flight, will the refund be to a new eVoucher?

    Reply

    • Hi Dow,

      Unfortunately, eVouchers are not refundable. Usually, the funds from a refundable flight that is canceled are returned to your credit card. But if you pay for the flight with an eVoucher then you will not receive a refund, unfortunately.

      Thanks for reading!

      Reply

  6. I have a voucher for a canceled flight. I’d like to book a new flight but the fair is about half of my voucher. If I use the voucher will the balance still remain for future use?

    Reply

    • Hi Liz,

      The amount left over will remain on the eVoucher. You’ll just need to be sure to use the rest of it prior to the expiration date.

      Reply

  7. From what I’m reading, “refundable” fares with American Airlines will still encounter the change/cancellation fee, unless it’s a “Fully Flexible” Main Cabin seat. If it’s just “Flexible” main cabin, “Flexible” business, or “Flexible” first… the fare is refundable (will be returned to your credit card), but will still encounter the change fee. I’m looking at a Flexible First ticket now, and the fine print says “refundable (fee may apply)”.
    Exact language for the Flexible First is : “Changes or refunds allowed (fee may apply)”. Sadly, I cannot find anywhere on AAs website that says the fees will be waived, except for “Fully Flexible Main Cabin” fares.

    Reply

  8. rosa gonzalez January 23, 2020

    If they changed the flight departure and I have a non refundable ticket can I get a full refund?

    Reply

    • Katie Seemann January 24, 2020

      Hi Rosa,
      Yes, according to AA’s terms, you can get a full refund if they make a schedule change of 61 minutes or more.

      Reply

  9. If I book a business class mileage ticket and need to cancel the morning of, I can get my miles back for $150 or if I change the departure to the next day there is no fee (also would be doing this morning of original departure).

    Reply

  10. Paula Bertram January 30, 2020

    I purchased a non refundable ticket for two passengers on the same reservation. One passenger may have to cancel. Can just the one passenger cancel get a voucher without affecting the other passenger or does the entire reservation have to be canceled?

    Reply

  11. I have two First class tickets for the end of February. Just found out that we need to change plans. I believe we can cancel with zero fees, but want to make sure.

    Reply

    • Hi Michael,

      Yes, if you’ve purchased a refundable ticket, cancellations can be made anytime before the departure of your flight and the refund will be issued to your original credit card within 7 days (it should appear on your statement in 1-2 billing cycles).

      Reply

  12. We bought three first-class AA tickets (that appear to be non-refundable) with Chase UR points a few weeks ago, but now they’re available through both BA and AA for way fewer miles, and the cash price has gone down more than $100 per ticket. Is the $200 cancellation fee for each ticket or per booking? And do you know if Chase/Expedia offer any kind of guarantee when ticket prices go down?

    Reply

    • Christine Krzyszton February 11, 2020

      Hi Ramona. Fare decreases are handled differently depending on the airline. One common element, however, is that the cancellation/change fee does apply, which is the case with AA. The $200 fee you’re asking about for the AA tickets is per ticket so the flights would each need to decrease by more than that for there to be any benefit.

      Reply

  13. I purchased a ticket for my 95-year-old aunt, that is now hospitalized and unable to market the flight on 2/17. Is it better that I don’t cancel so I don’t have to pay the $ 200 cancellation fee? I realize I won’t be refunded the cost of the fare.

    Reply

    • Hi Diane,

      If the ticket you purchased was less than $200, then yes it would not make sense to pay the cancellation fee. If your flight was was more than $200, then you might want to consider paying the fee as, after the fee is paid, you can apply the unused value of your American Airlines ticket toward a future trip.

      You might also want to reach out to American Airlines, explain your situation, and see if they would be willing to waive the cancellation fee. It never hurts to ask!

      Reply

  14. Kat Thompson February 17, 2020

    I booked a flight last night (main cabin non-refundable) for a flight today. I then cancelled this morning. Does the 24-hour rule still apply with AA when you have booked a flight less than 7 days in advance?

    Reply

  15. Kat Thompson February 17, 2020

    Did you really delete my question?

    Reply

    • Christine Krzyszton February 17, 2020

      Hi Kat. I see your question in our queue waiting for our writers to answer. Usually takes a couple of days. Thank you for your patience.

      Reply

  16. Can I cancel my AA flight within 24 hours of purchase and rebook with award points without any problems?

    Reply

    • Hi Liz,

      That should not be a problem as long as your trip is more than 7 days away and there is award availability for the flight. If you need assistance with this I suggest you contact American Airlines directly at 1-800-433-7300.

      Reply

Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

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