American Airlines Flight Delay Policy

Flight Delay

american airlines flight delay policy

American Airlines is known for providing refunds for flights that are delayed by more than four hours, although there are some limitations.

Flight delays have always been a disappointing and unavoidable aspect of traveling, but recently, they appear to be worsening rather than improving. If you’re concerned that your travel plans might be affected by delays from American Airlines, it can be beneficial to be prepared in advance. Here’s what you can do if your travel plans get disrupted and how to prevent such disruptions in the first place.

American Airlines Flight Delay Reasons and Causes

The policy of American Airlines is easy to understand when it comes to defining a delay. However, the policy does not make any promises to provide additional compensation to passengers.

Airline Fault

If the airline is responsible for the disruption or if you are redirected to a different city, your expenses might be taken care of. Whether you board your next flight before 11:59 p.m. local time on your scheduled arrival day determines if this will happen. If the changes don’t meet these conditions, the airline will cover the cost of your stay at a hotel that they have approved.

Bad Weather, Strike, and Other Reasons

If something happens that American Airlines cannot control, like bad weather, a strike, or other problems in the city, passengers have to pay for their own hotel, food, and other expenses.

Tarmac Delays

When it comes to flights within the country, the airline has a policy of not keeping passengers on the plane for more than three hours while it’s on the ground. International flights have a maximum duration of four hours.

In both cases, the airline guarantees that passengers will receive enough food (like crackers or biscuits) and water within two hours after the plane leaves the gate (for departures) or lands (for arrivals).

What Should You Do if Your Flight is Delayed?

Great news! American Airlines has been ranked in the top three most punctual airlines by The Official Airline Guide. This means that you have a lower chance of experiencing a delay compared to most other airlines.

However, there are still times when things go wrong. This can be caused by factors such as bad weather, flights being overbooked, or strikes by airline workers. If you’ve recently been informed that your flight is delayed, there’s no need to worry.

Search for Alternative

If your flight is significantly delayed and needs to be changed, American Airlines will help you book a new flight on the next available one with open seats. They will also make sure your bags are sent to the correct destination when you check in for your new flight.

However, going quickly to the nearest help desk in a state of confusion and overwhelming airline employees will not improve your situation. Instead, try to remain calm. If your flight is delayed for a longer period, use the American Airlines app, website, or an airline kiosk to check if there is an earlier flight that you can switch to.

The app lets you see any changes or updates to your trip, while the website allows you to view any changes to your flight and accept itineraries proposed by the airline. Both tools let you plan a new flight if needed.

Head to a lounge

Using an airport lounge benefit from your credit card, ticket class, or membership won’t make your journey faster, but it can be helpful if your flight is delayed by a few hours. You can enjoy a comfortable and relaxing time, often with snacks and drinks, until it’s time to board the flight.

If you don’t already have access to an airport lounge, don’t worry, there’s still hope. You can buy a day pass to access many American Airlines lounges.

Ask for a Refund

If your flight is delayed for more than four hours and you choose not to take the other flight options offered by American Airlines, or if there are no other options available, the airline will give you a refund for the remaining value of your ticket. This refund will also include any additional fees you paid for things like choosing a seat or checking baggage.

This is more than just a credit or flight voucher. It is a real refund. If the airline offers a credit or miles as compensation for the inconvenience, remember to ask for it.

Request for Room

If the airline is responsible for the delay and your flight doesn’t depart before 11:59 p.m. on the day you were supposed to arrive, American might pay for your overnight accommodation.

The best thing to do is to go to the nearest help desk. They can help you understand your options and get authorization from Americans. If the delay is caused by bad weather, you will probably have to handle it yourself.

What Can You Do to Avoid Flight Delays in the Future?

It’s always better to prevent delays if possible. So, do some research and make the necessary preparations in advance to reduce the chances of any problems. You can prevent delays completely by following these tips when booking.

Look for Another Flight

If the current trends at your favorite airport don’t look good, you might want to think about booking your flight from a nearby airport instead. If flights are often delayed at a specific time of day, it’s best to avoid booking flights during that period.

Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance cannot guarantee that your flight will be on time, but it can provide reassurance and financial coverage for situations such as flight cancellations or long delays. For example, it can help cover the expenses of an additional night in a hotel if your flight is canceled or significantly delayed.

You have two options for buying travel insurance: you can either go directly to an insurance agency or use an insurance comparison tool. These aggregators make it easy for you to compare and choose travel insurance options from different providers. To ensure you have coverage for your trip, remember to buy it at least one day before you leave. You won’t be able to purchase it at the airport.

Book Direct Flight

If you have an itinerary with one-stop, which means you have to take two flights to reach your final destination, there is a higher likelihood of experiencing delays compared to a nonstop flight. If you have the choice, and you’re concerned about the chance of a delay, it’s a good idea to book a non-stop flight. This will increase the chances of you arriving on time.

Book Early Flights

Flights that are scheduled for earlier in the day are less likely to be delayed. The reason is straightforward: If a few flight schedules are disrupted, whether in the morning or afternoon, it can cause a chain reaction, resulting in more flight delays throughout the day.

To increase the likelihood of arriving on time, it is recommended to select flights that depart in the early morning.

Final Thoughts

When American Airlines experiences delays, it is important to take certain steps. First, you should check American’s website or app for information. If the delay is expected to last for several hours, it is recommended to speak with an agent to learn about your options.

If you want to avoid flight delays in the future, here are some tips: – Look into flight trends to understand which flights are more likely to be delayed. – Try to book direct flights and choose early departure times. – Consider purchasing travel insurance before your trip to protect your finances.


Does American Airlines provide refunds for flight delays?

Yes, American Airlines is known for providing refunds for flights that are delayed by more than four hours, including any additional fees you paid for things like seat selection or baggage check-in.

What happens if the flight delay is caused by factors beyond American Airlines’ control?

If the delay is due to reasons like bad weather, strikes, or other issues outside the airline’s control, passengers are responsible for their own expenses, such as hotel accommodations and meals.

How can I handle a flight delay with American Airlines?

If your flight is delayed, it is advisable to remain calm and use the American Airlines app, website, or kiosk to check for alternative flights with open seats. You can also head to an airport lounge if you have access or consider purchasing a day pass.

What should I do if my flight is delayed for more than four hours?

If your flight is delayed for more than four hours and you choose not to take alternative flight options, American Airlines will offer you a refund for the remaining value of your ticket, including any additional fees you paid.

How can I avoid flight delays with American Airlines in the future?

To reduce the chances of experiencing delays, consider booking flights from airports with better on-time performance. Additionally, opt for non-stop flights, book early departure times, and consider purchasing travel insurance for financial coverage in case of cancellations or significant delays.

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