American Airlines expanded its new use-it-or-lose-it rule on
nonrefundable fares for international flights.
Effective for tickets issued on or after Sept. 17 for travel on
or after Oct. 1, the rule applies to trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific,
Mexico, Central America and South America nonrefundable fares for
travel originating in the United States only. It also will apply to
Caribbean, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands nonrefundable fares
originating in either direction.
The new nonrefundable fare rule, under which travelers as of
Jan. 1 will have to pay $100 to stand by for a same-day flight,
also has been expanded for tickets issued as of Sept. 17. It now
also applies to customers traveling to or from the Caribbean,
Puerto Rico or the U.S.V.I.
AA also made a change in standby policy on refundable discount
fares. For travel between the United States and the Caribbean,
Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, free standby will apply
only to earlier or later flights for the day that the customer is
In other AA news:
" The carrier announced a new program to offer its Web fares via
travel agencies. Under the terms of the new EveryFare program, AA
will provide traditional (non-Internet) travel agencies in the
United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S.V.I. and Canada the option to
access and sell its Web fares, which were previously offered only
on its own Web site and other Internet distribution channels.
In exchange for the access, travel agencies will provide AA with
long-term distribution cost savings through a creative cost-sharing
arrangement. AA initially will give agencies an allowance credit of
approximately $4 per flight coupon. Agents then pay to AA an amount
equal to their own GDS fees based upon their own choice of GDS
services and products. The allowance paid agencies will gradually
decline during the term of the contract to allow program
participants time to seek lower GDS fees.
" AA said it will save millions by cutting back on free meals
and lodging for stranded passengers. The airline also has capped
the amount of compensation it will offer passengers to voluntarily
give up their seats on oversold flights. AA said this could lead to
more involuntary bumpings as passengers will be less willing to
wait for later flights.
Meal vouchers are no longer offered to customers on domestic
flights when a delay or cancellation occurs but customers won’t be
required to stay overnight. International passengers are offered
meals for delays longer than four hours that are caused by problems
within AA’s control. All passengers will receive $10 for breakfast
or lunch and $20 for dinner. Hotel rooms will be given for delays
or cancellations within the airline’s control.
If a passenger is bumped, the compensation will be up to $200
and a seat on the next flight. The amount will double if there is
no alternative available. For voluntary bumping, the compensation
will be no more than $300 for domestic flights, $500 for
transcontinental flights and $800 for Hawaiian, Alaskan and
" Effective Nov. 1, the carrier will offer free in-flight
entertainment to customers on all audio/video-equipped flights.
Passengers may use their own headsets or purchase them for $2