Up until recently, American’s policy for AAdvantage award tickets within the US & Canada has been that you can’t have connections of over four hours. The one exception has been when the next flight isn’t within four hours, in which case you can take the next flight that operates in the market (and to be clear, we’re talking about the actual next flight, and not the next flight with award space).
It looks like American has loosened up on the rules for connections to smaller markets with less service as of July.
Via JonNYC at TravelingBetter:
Domestic Stopover – Definition (back to top)
Revised/1915/02AUG/TVV – Transborder travel allows 18 hours. Added note 2 for codeshare fares.
Revised/1920/14JUL/TVV – Add 18 hour rule to AA awards
For travel within US/Canada and applicable to all AA revenue and AA award travel, no stopover occurs if a passenger takes next available flight;
- Within 4 hours
- Within/between US/CA and PRVI (except as specified below in 18 hours section)
- Within 18 hours
- For tickets issued on/after July 01, 2014
- Travel between US50/CA and ACK, AEX, ALO, ANC, ART, ASE, BFL, BIS, BOI, BPT, BRO, CRW, CWA, DBQ, EGE, ELM, ERI, EUG, EVV, EYW, FNT, GCK, GEG, GGG, GRI, GUC, HDN, IPT, JAC, JLN, LCH, MLB, MLU, MQT, MTJ, MVY, RAP, RDM, ROW, SPI, SUX, TOL, TVC, TXK
- Travel between US and CA.
- For tickets issued on/after July 02, 2014 – between US/CA and Hawaii/Alaska
Note 1: 18 hour rule does not apply to All Partner award travel.
Note 2: Many codeshare fares AA* operated by US in the same markets allowed an 18 stopover prior to the dates listed above. When changing itineraries with codeshare flights, check the past date stopover rule to determine what is applicable.
So what this means in practice is that your connection on an award ticket on American/US Airways metal can now be up to 18 hours if you’re traveling:
- Between the US and Canada
- Between the US/Canada and Alaska/Hawaii
- Between the US/Canada and any of the following airports: ACK, AEX, ALO, ANC, ART, ASE, BFL, BIS, BOI, BPT, BRO, CRW, CWA, DBQ, EGE, ELM, ERI, EUG, EVV, EYW, FNT, GCK, GEG, GGG, GRI, GUC, HDN, IPT, JAC, JLN, LCH, MLB, MLU, MQT, MTJ, MVY, RAP, RDM, ROW, SPI, SUX, TOL, TVC, TXK
Ultimately this isn’t a life changing, but it is a nice addition in case you want to stop somewhere enroute for up to 18 hours. In many cases award tickets won’t automatically display this way online, so you may have to call in order to book a ticket with an extended connection.