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Irregular operations (IRROPS) are a normal part of flying, and if you fly enough, it’s something that you’re likely to experience. I’ve had a few instances in my times of travel where my flights have not run as scheduled.

an airplane on the tarmac

New American Airlines policy on rebooking

Now reporting from View from the Wing, USA Today and others indicates that American has sent out an internal memo detailing a change in the procedure on how passengers will be rebooked in IRROPS situations. In all cases, agents are encouraged to rebook passengers on American flights first, then Joint Venture partners (British Airways, Iberia, Finnair, JAL), codeshare partners and oneworld alliance members and only then on other carriers (if appropriate / possible)

  • Passengers with Concierge Key or Executive Platinum status (or their equivalent oneworld status) will be rebooked in a way to get to their final destination as soon as possible, even if it requires rebooking on flights from other airlines
  • Passengers with other elite status (Platinum Pro, Platinum, Gold or equivalent onewordl status) will be rebooked on other airlines ONLY if their American flight is delayed by more than five hours
  • Passengers with no elite status with American should only be rebooked on American (or a joint venture partner)

So if you don’t have any elite status on American Airlines, you better hope that your flight isn’t delayed!  As always, kindness and a calm demeanor can sometimes help and you may get a phone or gate agent that will stretch the rules for you, but according to the official policy, you may be out of luck!  Agents can make exceptions but need authorization – examples of exceptions include customers with disabilities; no hotel available for overnight delays; traveling for a funeral or surgery.

Readers – what are your best (and worst!) irregular operations / rebooking stories? Leave them in the comments

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