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Airport Booking Strategy

Canceled Flight? This Airline Will Let You Rearrange Your Own Trip

If your flight on American Airlines is canceled or delayed, forget calling customer service or waiting in line at an airport. You can now rearrange your trip yourself, using American’s newly launched “dynamic reaccom” (read: re-accommodation) tool online, on the mobile app, or at an American Airlines kiosk.

Canceled Flight: Using American’s ‘Dynamic Reaccom’

In your canceled flight notice, American will include an option to choose a new flight. Head to the “dynamic reaccom” tool and enter your particulars to view available options (which will be within the same cabin class). One possibility American offers with “dynamic reaccom” is flying to a new destination that’s within 50 miles of your original one. Once you choose a new flight or destination, the tool will automatically issue your new boarding pass and redirect any checked baggage.

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So far, this new system is only available for American and American-managed itineraries with current partner airlines, which American hopes to add more of. You can use the tool with many but not all American fares: The most notable exception is frequent-flyer award travel.

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At many levels, this is a surprisingly good airline innovation: It allows you to avoid long lines at customer service desks or long phone times spent on hold. But, as any long-time frequent flyer will tell you—when repairing a busted trip itinerary, there’s often no substitute for a savvy airline agent, if you can find one.

Still, American’s new system will probably allow you to repair a broken trip more efficiently than you could before now—and other airlines could join the trend.

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Consumer advocate Ed Perkins has been writing about travel for more than three decades. The founding editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, he continues to inform travelers and fight consumer abuse every day at SmarterTravel.

By Ed Perkins

A nationally recognized reporter, writer, and consumer advocate, Ed Perkins focuses on how travelers can find the best deals and avoid scams.

He is the author of "Online Travel" (2000) and "Business Travel: When It's Your Money" (2004), the first step-by-step guide specifically written for small business and self-employed professional travelers. He was also the co-author of the annual "Best Travel Deals" series from Consumers Union.

Perkins' advice for business travelers is featured on MyBusinessTravel.com, a website devoted to helping small business and self-employed professional travelers find the best value for their travel dollars.

Perkins was founding editor of Consumer Reports Travel Letter, one of the country's most influential travel publications, from which he retired in 1998. He has also written for Business Traveller magazine (London).

Perkins' travel expertise has led to frequent television appearances, including ABC's "Good Morning America" and "This Week with David Brinkley," "The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," CNN, and numerous local TV and radio stations.

Before editing Consumer Reports Travel Letter, Perkins spent 25 years in travel research and consulting with assignments ranging from national tourism development strategies to the design of computer-based tourism models.

Born in Evanston, Illinois, Perkins lives in Ashland, Oregon with his wife.

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