Using airline miles for award flights is one of the best ways to travel for less, however if you have to change or cancel an award ticket you’re often hit with high fees. Each airline program has its own award ticket fee policy and may charge you for anything from date or destination changes, refund/redeposit of miles on cancelled tickets, phone booking, and close-in booking. In general airline award fees range from $0 to $150+, but it’s a good idea to know exactly what you'd have to pay before booking so you’re not surprised by any fees if your plans change.
Planning ahead is often the best way to keep fees to a minimum and you’re less likely to have to pay close-in booking fees or change fees if your plans were not set in stone. Of course you’ll want to keep these fees to a minimum to save money on award flights, but in either case when you are using miles for a free flight you sometimes just have to bite the bullet and pay certain fees (such as phone booking) to get the flights you want.
Often times these fees are buried within the airlines website, so I have created a master list of airline fees across the majority of larger airline programs. Included in the table are the most common date and destination fees, cancellation fees, close-in booking fees, and phone booking fees, however some programs have unique policies that don’t fall into these clear-cut categories. There are also links to the airline's own webpage where the fees are outlined in their verbiage.
As the list will be a work-in-progress I’ll continue to add more information to complete the list. If you see any mistakes, missing information or have helpful information or experience with an airline on the list, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will make updates. This chart will hopefully work in conjunction with the complete list of airline stopover and open-jaw rules so you can easily look up necessary information to help you book awards.
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