In April of next year my partner and  I are going to be traveling to Italy. We’re flying from Minneapolis to Rome. On our way home I couldn’t find any American Airline award seats available that weren’t on British Airways (click here to find out why I hate booking award seats on British Airways). Therefore, I decided we’d catch a cheap flight from Italy over to Barcelona, Spain, spend a few days there and then head back home to Minneapolis.

Yesterday I found 2 business class award seats available from Milan, Italy to Minneapolis. The best part is that none of the connecting flights were on British Airways! The bad news is that when changing an award seat with American Airlines that alters your departure city you have to pay a fee 🙁 . Since we hadn’t booked our flight from Italy to Barcelona yet, I figured we might as well pay the fee since it’s either do that or still buy an airline ticket over to Barcelona so we can keep our original departure city. I guess at this point I’d rather just pay the fee so we can stay in Italy the entire time. How much is the fee? $150 per ticket! There was also an increase in taxes, so we ended up paying a grand total of $340 in fees for 2 tickets. Remember, I had to pay the fees because our original departure city back home was supposed to be from Barcelona, Spain to Minneapolis.

Here’s what we should have done: Booked our flight from Minneapolis to Rome (which we did) and then since we couldn’t find an award seat back home yet, we could have waited just a couple of months to see if award seats opened up that flew out of Italy and back to Minneapolis (of course avoiding British Airways at the same time). However, I’m really antsy about booking the departure and return flights both in the same day. I like to make sure everything is planned! had no seats opened up to fly out of Italy, then we could have found a nearby country/airport since the trip isn’t for 7-8 months from now. Oh well, lesson learned. I’ll know for next time.


Here’s a break down of the fees you would have to pay if you change your award flight with American Airlines:

Award Change Platinum Members Gold Members All other Members
Ticketing award less than 21 days from departure No Charge No Charge $75
Change the origin or destination of a MileSaaver award ticket No Charge $150 $150
Change the origin or destination of an AAnytime award No Charge No Charge No Charge
Change to a different type of award. This requires reinstatement of miles and booking a new award. Reinstatement fee: No Charge $150 $150
Close in change: A confirmed change to your outbound departure date (for both AAdvantage MileSAAver and AAnytime award tickets) where the new outbound date is within 21 days of the original booking date No Charge No Charge $75