American Airlines has introduced a new rebooking policy that will help travelers who are late – slightly late – to the gate and miss a flight.
As first reported by the blog A View From The Wing, late-arriving fliers are now able to be confirmed on the next flight if they arrive at an airport gate agent after check-in cutoff, but prior to 15 minutes after flight departure.
The airline will let customers be confirmed immediately on the next flight with space available at no cost, but only if they make it to the airport within that short window of time.
The policy went into effect on April 20.
“(This) policy update will help reduce mishandled baggage and lengthy priority lists, while providing an elevated customer experience,” American Airlines said in a statement to A View From The Wing.
The policy is for all customers across all ticket status designations. The next flight out must have seats available, and American reserves the right to use a different connecting city than the original to get you to your final destination, as well as changing airports within the same city (i.e. flying you into Washington Dulles instead of Washington National).
According to the blog, most U.S. domestic flights’ check-in cutoff is 45 minutes prior to departure, although in practice you may be able to get an agent to check you in closer to departure. If you arrive too late to check in, or even just a few minutes after the flight departures, you can get on the next flight.
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