The Brave New World of new fees


May 14, 2008

An eagle-eyed American Airlines platinum flier brought to our attention that the Fort Worth-based carrier has announced several changes to its AAdvantage frequent flyer program.

Starting June 21, members booking an award ticket online will now have to pay a $5 processing fee.

American announced several other changes on Thursday.

For bookings made on or after Oct. 1, certain kinds of tickets --mostly seats in the premium cabin or "anytime" tickets -- will require more miles, and you can no longer pay to make up for being short on miles to use for award tickets. (You'll have to buy additional miles from the carrier instead.)

And flyers will need more miles to book award tickets to Hawaii during the most popular times.


$5 to book an award online? It's a bit rich to charge our customers for something that is 1. supposed to be "free" and, 2. saves AA money (vs. the old way of booking by phone).