How to Cancel an Airline Reservation Booked with Citi Thank You Points for Free due to a Schedule Change

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Good morning everyone.  A few weeks ago, I redeemed my Citi Thank You Points for an American Airlines flight that was a code share with Alaska Airlines.  By booking the American Airlines code share flight instead of the Alaska Airlines flight, I was able to get 1.6 cents per point (CPP) for my Citi Thank You Point redemption.  This redemption value is only going to be around until July 27, 2017, then all flights booked with Citi Thank You Points will only get 1.25 CPP in value.  At the time, I was very pleased with the redemption value, but then a few weeks later, my travel plans changed and I no longer needed that flight.

Luckily, a schedule change occurred and I was able to cancel my airline reservation for free and get my Citi Thank You Points redeposited into my account.  In this post, I will explain the process of cancelling an airline reservation and getting your Citi Thank You Points redeposited.

I don’t say this often enough, but I love Award Wallet.  Not only do they keep track of all my loyalty programs, but they also send me email alerts whenever I have a travel reservation change.  Below is the email I received from Award Wallet regarding my flight that shows that my flight had a schedule change and instead of departing at 6:30am, the new departure time was 7:50am.  I did not receive an email about the schedule change from American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, or the Citi Thank You Points redemption department.  Without this Award Wallet email, I would have never known about the schedule change unless I manually checked the airline reservation online.  Since most airlines will let you cancel or reschedule flights if there is a significant schedule change, this was my shot to cancel the airline reservation for free and have my Citi Thank You Points redeposited.

If you need a reason as to why you want to cancel your airline reservation, you can tell the rep that you have an important meeting in the morning that you cannot be late to or that you are connecting to a flight at the airport and your connection is too short or impossible to make.  Most of the time, the reservation agents do not ask why you want to cancel your airline reservation, but I have had good luck with both of those reasons in the past.

Award Wallet Schedule Change Email Alert

Since Alaska Airlines was the operating airline, I called them first to see what they could do.  Unfortunately, since I booked the flight as an American Airlines code share, they were unable to help me and told me to speak to American Airlines.

Alaska Airlines SLC-SFO Reservation

Instead of calling American Airlines (who would probably want to issue me a travel credit), I called the Citi Thank You Point department.  After explaining my situation and asking if it were possible to cancel the airline reservation, the rep transferred me to the Citi Thank You Point Exchange Department.  After repeating my story to that rep, I was again transferred to the Connexions Travel department (the travel agency that processes all Citi Thank You Point redemptions).  After repeating my story to that rep, I was told that I needed to speak to the Connexions Travel Schedule Change Department… but they were closed at the time I called.  I asked for their direct number and hours of operation and I have them here for you (this should save you 15-20 minutes on the phone):

Connexions Travel Schedule Change Department:
1-866-204-9145 (open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5pm MT)

I called their direct number during their business hours and got right through to a very helpful rep.  The rep said that since my flight changed by more than 60 minutes, I was able cancel the airline reservation for free.  The flight reservation was canceled later that day (the rep needed to contact American Airlines) and my Citi Thank You Points were redeposited into my Citi Thank You account within a few days.  I booked a round trip flight for my brother that included the same SLC-SFO flight segment and they were able to cancel his airline reservation for free and redeposit the Citi Thank You Points into my account as well.  I do not remember getting a cancellation email from American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, or the Connexions Travel Schedule Change Department, so you will need to manually check your Citi Thank You Point account to see when your Citi Thank You Points were redeposited.

TYP Travel Point Transactions

The whole process was pretty quick after I bounced around from the Citi Thank You Point departments to the correct Connexions Travel department.  If you have a flight that you want to cancel for free, wait / pray for a schedule change and then call in right away.  The worst thing that can happen is you wait too long after a schedule change and the flight has another schedule change that puts you back inside the 60 minute window.

If you have any questions about cancelling a Citi Thank You Point travel redemption, please leave a comment below and I will do my best to give you a quick, simple answer.  Have a great day everyone!

5 thoughts on “How to Cancel an Airline Reservation Booked with Citi Thank You Points for Free due to a Schedule Change

  1. Tom

    My wife and I had an AA flight delayed around 10 hours due to mechanical issues. We originally booked first class tickets with Thank You Points. We were rebooked on an earlier scheduled flight, which we were able to get on because it too was delayed, past the time of our originally scheduled departure. We were rebooked in the main cabin. Without contacting AA, we both received an email a couple of days later that a refund had been issued for $121.91 to each of us. They issued the refund by check, which they mailed to Loyalty Travel Agency LLC in Boise, ID. AA has been no help getting the refund to us. Loyalty Travel Agency hasn’t been much better. They said we should have a refund in 8-10 weeks. If anyone has any thoughts on speeding up this process, I’d love to hear it. Just another example of when this type of bookings work, they’re great. When they don’t, they can be a nightmare.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      That sounds like a nightmare, I’m sorry you are having to deal with this. I think this problem would occur if you used Chase UR or AMEX MR too, since they all use an outside OTA. Just keep following up until you get your refund. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

      Reply
  2. Albert L.

    Great post Grant!! I’m gonna have to call Connexions to cancel an AA flight. The schedule change is 40 mins earlier…I know the rule is 60 mins. Do you have any advice?

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      You might be out of luck unless you can convince the agent that the schedule change is messed up your trip. Tell them you are connecting and the connection is too short. Good luck!

      Reply

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