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Changes to Same Day Flight Changes (American Airlines)

This post discusses the changes made to Same Day Flight Changes (SDFC) effective July 7th, 2018.

SDFC allows you to change to a flight similar to yours with open space within 24 hours of the last departing flight. The new flights must connect in the same cities and generally you aren’t allowed to have a layover more than 4 hours.

Prior to July 7th, 2018 if there were spots available in the E fare bucket you could change to that flight. This was easy to verify with an Expert Flyer (or similar) subscription, which helped avoid having to call the EP desk and check the availability of SDFC.

The cost for a SDFC change is $75.00, but that fee is waived for Platinum Pro (PP), Executive Platinum (EP) and Concierge Key (CK). The new process appears to be significantly improved but does have a few downsides.

The biggest change will be you can now do an SDFC change on the website or mobile app if you’ve been upgraded. Previously, availability would rarely show if an upgrade had been processed. However, this will only show flight options that have the same upgrade inventory available as you are currently booked.

Next, you can now be added to the airport standby list by calling into an agent. Previously this could only be done at the airport. It appears the new process will enforce some new rules, likely that caused problems before. This includes not allowing SDFC if you have already checked bags or are past the checkin time at the ticket counter.

It also looks like you will no longer be able to change your flight more than once. I would do this frequently if I was trying to leave earlier in the day. For example, if I was booked on a 6:00pm departure but I wanted to leave earlier I might SDFC to a 12:00pm departure and then once availability on the 8:00am flight opened up I would SDFC to that.

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