American Airlines is bringing yet another big change to the way it handles overbooked flights in 2020. You may be very familiar with American's old method for handling overbooked flights if you fly with the carrier frequently. American's strategy up until recently had been to simply call customers on the phone to offer flight vouchers for overbooked flights. Airline representatives would then do another round of calls offering increased voucher amounts if nobody took the bait the first time around. That process went away when the carrier made it possible for passengers to accept overbooking vouchers via the American Airlines app back in May of this year.
It was a pretty big deal when American Airlines unveiled a new feature within its app that allows passengers to deal with overbooked flights before they show up for their flights. The app now allows travelers to volunteer their seats, scoop up travel vouchers and book replacement flights all in one place. American Airlines has everything to gain by offering a more convenient way for passengers to accept vouchers for overbooked flights.
In fact, a big motivating factor behind the creation of the app update was American's desire to take more risks when it comes to overselling flights more often. The carrier is now in a better position to generate revenue because passengers have a consistent, predictable way to give up their seats when they discover that they are booked on overbooked flights.
This may all be old news to you if you've been using the American Airlines app to get travel vouchers for overbooked flights since the feature was rolled out in the spring. However, there is something new coming down the pipeline that you need to know about if you're an American Airlines customer. We now have word that the airline intends to switch from offering just vouchers to also offering miles. The change is expected to kick in at some point in 2020.