I’m doing a lot of mileage running this year with the target of hitting the Executive Platinum status on American, so I had one of those crazy Panama runs booked. But as the date was getting closer, I decided I wanted to go for a shorter period of time, and didn’t really want to go on the weekend I booked.
I knew about American’s schedule change policy, which states that schedule changes over 2 hours will allow you to cancel a flight for free. But as I had booked through Citi with my ThankYou points for 1.6 cpm because I have a Citi Prestige, I wasn’t sure what their schedule change policy was. According to the Citi ThankYou terms & conditions regarding travel:
Airline tickets are NON-REFUNDABLE and NON-CHANGEABLE unless permitted by the terms of the fare and, if permitted, are subject to airline rules, penalties up to the full amount of each ticket and, in the case of a changed ticket, fare difference charges
Nothing about schedule changes. But it looks like if your fare permits it, you can change a booking but will have to pay penalties determined by the fare and the fare difference. According to some other posts on FlyerTalk, international flights would be charged a $50 fee for changes or cancellations.
I waited for a schedule change to happen, and magically, there was one that changed my arrival time in Panama by 6 hours! I first tried calling American to get the ticket cancelled. They were able to verify that there was an eligible schedule change, but due to the ticket being booked through Citi, they told me I had to go through Citi to deal with the ticket.
So time to call Citi! I called the ThankYou points customer service number and described my issue. I was transferred to the schedule change department, but you can call that number directly at 1 (866) 204-9145. This is what I found out:
Citi ThankYou’s policies is that a 61 minutes schedule change allows a full refund.
So thankfully, we were able to process a cancellation of the flight and a full refund of my ThankYou points. Unfortunately, the refund did not happen automatically, and I had to call in a couple weeks later to actually get my points back. But yes, you can get refunds on schedule changes, with a policy that could actually be better than some airlines.