American has charged $25 per domestic ticket and $35 per international ticket to book award tickets by phone. That meant a lot of paying $35 for me, since only 9 of the 24 airlines you can book with American Airlines miles are bookable on aa.com. (Where to search all AA partners’ award space.)
If I added even a single segment on a carrier like LAN or Etihad to my award, I had to call in to book, and there was no way to avoid that $35 fee by pointing out the award is not bookable online.
Effective yesterday, the fee is being removed if you cannot book the award online. From the AA award fee page:
Effective February 16, if you can book online and you don’t, the phone fee is going up $5.
That’s a fantastic trade for me because I assure you I do not call airline phone agents unless absolutely necessary.
Right now the personal and business American Airlines cards are each offering 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months. This makes those bonus miles just a tiny bit more valuable.
What had amounted to a de facto partner booking fee is gone. Good work, American!