US Airways has a Move-up policy that allows anyone to move up to an earlier flight within 6-hours for $75 (on domestic flights, more for international).
But what about American Airlines and how would a US Airways elite’s experience be different flying American than US Airways?
Beginning 24 hours prior to departure, you can request a same-day flight change or same-day standby on aa.com through the check-in window. Just select each passenger who is requesting a flight change or standby and pay the $75* per passenger charge.
Over the Phone
For same-day flight change only, beginning 24 hours prior to departure, you can call Reservations and our agents will provide information for available flights departing on the same day as your original flight. The $75* charge can be paid over the phone via credit card.
Once you arrive at the airport, you can check in for your new flight at Curbside Check-In, Self-Service Check-In, or our ticket counter.
At a Check-In Kiosk
Beginning 24 hours prior to departure, the Self-Service Check-In machines will provide a list of available flights for the same day as your original flight. Just choose the flight and pay the $75* charge. You will complete the check in process, receive a boarding pass for your newly confirmed flight and a receipt for the charge.
At the Ticket Counter
For same-day flight change only, beginning 24 hours prior to departure, our agents can provide a list of available flights for the same day as your original flight. Just choose the flight and pay the $75* charge. You will receive a boarding pass for your newly confirmed flight and a receipt for the charge.
This fee is not waived for elites, but is much less restrictive than US Airways’ policy.
They do waive fees for going on standby for elites (normally the same fee as confirming into an earlier flight).
Their website does not list US Airways elites specifically as getting the benefits, but they have listed “oneworld Alliance Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby member regardless of frequent flier status or fare type”. I flew American before US Airways left Star Alliance and confirmed that still applied to US Airways elites even though they did not list us.
I’m a US Airways Chairman and I was put on the top of the standby list, so their systems are prioritizing elites from US Airways as well–though I’m not sure whether they had to manually adjust that or if the system did it automatically.
NOTE: I am just explaining what the official rules are so there’s a chance the rules can be bent when flying. I haven’t flown American enough as a US Airways elite to find a trend.
Tips and Things to Know:
1. Some of the American gate agents told me since my ticket was booked through US Airways, they did not physically have the ability to put me on standby. This was false, since other gate agents at the airport were able to do that for me. I mentioned it to a US Airways gate agent and she said “they sometimes lie about that to US Airways elites”. I have no idea if these agents are mistaken or trying to mislead, but that information is incorrect. I had no problem going standby on a US Airways itinerary for an American leg.
2. If you are booked through a US Airways ticket and are a US Airways elite, US Airways gate agents can still confirm you into an earlier flight on American. I have no idea how long this will last, so YMMV. The first time I was told I could not fly standby, I went over to the US Airways counter and asked about it. The agent told me that was false, but I might want to try a US Airways gate agent before I try an American gate agent. There were no seats available for me when she tried, but she told me she did it many times before. I assume the US Airways’ 6-hour rule applies to this.
As the airlines continue to combine, their policies will continue to converge. The agents’ ability to bend the rules in different directions will probably be limited (depending on whose policies they decide to ultimately adopt). So please be polite with the agents and understanding if a rule they broke for you last week is unbreakable this week!