What are your AA Schedule change options?

Recently had a purchased an American Airlines to ticket from SFO – ORD. (Rare for my to pay cash for a ticket, I’ll be honest.)

FYI I booked my ticket from Expedia to get a few extra points. There was a schedule change not long after I booked my ticket to depart 1hr20min earlier.

Original ticket:

AA197 Thursday

SFO 5:50PM -> ORD 11:59PM

Schedule change:

AA1047 Thursday

SFO 4:30PM -> ORD 10:46PM

Background story: I actually wanted to change my ticket to the following morning if possible so I didn’t have to arrive late in Chicago and pay for a hotel for just a few hours.

What are my options here?

AA is a bit more particular than Delta for example with changes. However, because the schedule change was over 1 hour I was eligible for a two options, I called in and was told either:

  • Change to another flight on same day
    • For same day, only the red-eye flight leaving that night would work, but I didn’t want to do a red-eye.
  • Full refund
    • Really my only option here other than taking the original flight.
    • To initiate the refund I had to call an agent who cancelled the ticket, then I had to go to the website and request a refund through there. The process was a bit weird.
    • The agent walked me through it after I kept asking where to navigate. I’m glad I did because it’s not obvious. (Of course, the airline doesn’t want to give refunds.) Go here to get an AA refund if you can’t find the link. Had to select schedule change as the reason and enter my e-ticket number.

Refund came in about 2-3 days later. Pretty quick, no issues there. Also keep in mind you don’t need to cancel the ticket right away. I know about the schedule change months in advance, but I didn’t cancel till the week before. I wanted to keep my options open, so I left the ticket until I really knew I didn’t want to fly that itinerary anymore.

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