American Airlines’ New Fare Codes: What You Need to Know

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In anticipation of American’s Premium Economy offering, there are several important upcoming changes you need to be aware of as American Airlines changes some fare codes for bookings.

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Important Dates

  • A scheduled change with the new fare codes will occur on November 12, 2016.
  • The new fare codes will be used for travel on or after January 11, 2017.

On domestic flights…

“F” class will change to “J” class.

Why This Is Important: This is important for British Airways Avios bookings, which currently view domestic First Class as “F’ on a 3 class plane. Now, with the move to “J” class, you shouldn’t have to use the First Class tier pricing, but instead the Business Class option with British Airways.

For example, a Zone 1 award within the domestic United States using British Airways Avios currently costs 7,500 Avios in economy and 30,000 Avios in First Class. That’s a huge gap, especially considering the domestic First Class service is sub-par. Now, since domestic First Class will be re-coded as “J,” you’ll only have to pay 15,000 Avios for the domestic First Class service. That’s still double the price of economy, but certainly not as bad as 30,000 Avios, for example.

“A” class will change to “D” class.

Why This Is Important: “D” class will become the new code for miles and cash-copay upgrades, SWU upgrades and mid-tier First Class purchased tickets. Remember, you can search for “A” space using a service such as ExpertFlyer.

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“P” class will change to “I” class,

This is currently used for discounted Business Class. Nothing really important to note here.

“R” class will be added as a discounted Business Class purchased ticket code

This is the same code for complimentary 500-mile upgrades into Business Class on a 3-class equipped plane for AAdvantage elites. In reality, this code isn’t being “added,” but simply being used here just like it is used on revenue tickets on 3-class planes.

Important Notes

  • No changes will occur to domestic 3-class planes (mainly used on JFK-LAX/SFO, and MIA-LAX) and 2-class international planes.
  • The domestic 2-class premium cabin will still be called First Class, even with the “J” booking code replacing “F.”
  • As an important note, there’s nothing you need to do regarding any of this – your ticket will automatically be re-issued. This is simply FYI.


Have questions? Comment below and I’ll answer them!

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