With No American Airlines Status, You’ll Be Stuck During Delays or Cancellations

If flight delays weren’t already enough of a pain, American Airlines has made some policy changes to make it even more miserable. They are reducing options for travelers whose flights are delayed or canceled. Under a new policy, passengers without status in the airline’s frequent-flyer program will not be rebooked on other airlines except in special circumstances.

american airlines delays cancellations policy

Until now, American Airlines only had some loose guidelines for rebooking passengers. Agents had broad discretion on rebooking passengers who aren’t automatically put on the best available flight because of their frequent-flyer status.

Here’s what you should expect if your flight is delayed or canceled:

  • Top Elites (Concierge Key, Executive Platinum, Emerald Platinum Pro) and those in first class on transcontinental flights, get first dibs.  Agents are advised to do everything possible to rebook them on American or partner flights, but the goal is getting them to their destination the fastest,  even if on another airlines.
  • Passengers with the next tiers of frequent-flyer status (Platinum, Gold) will be put on other airlines only if their American flight is delayed more than five hours.
  • Passengers with no status are not to be put on another airline.

The policy does list several exceptions to the rules: unaccompanied minors, customers with disabilities, no hotel availability for overnight stays, special occasions including funerals, weddings, surgery and cruises.

HT: USA Today

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