AA Vacations - not checking in at Hotel

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Old Sep 24, 15, 2:57 pm
  #1  
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AA Vacations - not checking in at Hotel

I will be traveling to cologne Germany from Oct 9th to 14th for an annual trade show. Cheapest airfare on AA from Miami to Dusseldorf (city outside of cologne) is about $8000 in business.
I have found however on AA vacations, Flight + Hotel that same flight I want for $2900 business class including a 3*Hotel in Dusseldorf.

I do not want to stay to far out from Fair grounds, so my 2 questions are

1) Should I get that package, and not check in into my hotel, is there a penalty for that? I am assuming that it would be just like missing a leg of a multi city trip that should I not use the hotel, my return leg to Miami would be terminated.
Is that the case?

2) Assuming #1 is correct, would it be ok to arrive in Dusseldorf, check in at hotel the 9th, leave for Cologne and comeback on the 14th to check out.

There's a world of difference in ticket prices, was just thinking if there's any way I could take advantage of that AA vacation prices, without any penalties.

What do you guys recommend? I am pretty sure there is a big negative in doing what I am thinking of doing, since I know you can never outsmart those big companies .

Looking forward to your replies and suggestions.

Thanks
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Old Sep 24, 15, 3:49 pm
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Usually there is no requirement to use the hotel but you can doublecheck t&c just in case.
At the very worst you can check in and just call to check out.
I ve never seen such a drastic difference in price - make sure your package flights/cabins etc are what you expect.
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Old Sep 25, 15, 4:30 am
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Be sure to check the flexibly differences between the fares. The vacation fare could be hugely restricted in terms of any changes. Not using the hotel is fine, but to be safe, check in in Dusseldorf, go to your room, mess up the bed, and then make your way to Cologne, returning to check out on your way to the airport in DUS. No big deal.
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Old Sep 25, 15, 5:04 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Not using the hotel is fine, but to be safe, check in in Dusseldorf, go to your room, mess up the bed, and then make your way to Cologne, returning to check out on your way to the airport in DUS. No big deal.
Most hotels will automatically check out a guest if they believe that the guest is no longer staying at the hotel. So, the scenario where you mess up the bed and leave will generally only work for 2 nights.

Another option would be to place the Do Not Disturb sign on the room for the entire length-of-stay. However, this option is not foolproof. Some hotels are required by local law to conduct a welfare check if there is no contact with the guest.

For the record: I have no knowledge about innkeeper laws in Dusseldorf. You certainly might be correct that this is "no big deal". But, unless you've done this in Dusseldorf, I'm not sure that's a given. Additionally, different hotels might have different policies relating to this issue.
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Old Sep 25, 15, 7:48 am
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I think for the purpose of booking the lower-fare ticket, even showing up at the hotel is probably unnecessary, since the systems to AA are not linked, so it would be unusually convoluted for this to affect the return flight.
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Old Sep 25, 15, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
I think for the purpose of booking the lower-fare ticket, even showing up at the hotel is probably unnecessary, since the systems to AA are not linked, so it would be unusually convoluted for this to affect the return flight.
They may not be linked in an automatic sense, but the hotel, upon not seeing guest, might contact AA (since AA vacations may have given the hotel the guest's booked itinerary) to find out if they flew or not, wondering whether the guest will be late (rather than a total no-show). So IMHO still better to not leave the hotel wondering where you are and if you might arrive later, and either actually check in, or else call them and explain to them that you're "surrendering" the reservation because you're going to another city.
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Old Sep 25, 15, 1:17 pm
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Its interesting, but OP is right. I just plugged in 10/6-10/15 MIA-DUS and AA.com shows flights at $1k for Y and ~$8k for J. But, on the AA Vacations site price comes out to $3161. MIA-ORD in A, ORD-DUS in I, DUS-ORD in I, and ORD-MIA in A.

Also note that I found similar prices ex-SEA. May be multiple origins that work for the pricing. Looking in to 2016 I found a couple dates for SEA-DUS trip over 2 days that came out to $2100 for J class.

And, another note that found similar pricing SEA-BCN - ~$2190 R/T SEA-JFK (A) JFK-BCN (I) BCN-JFK (I) JFK-SEA(A)
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Old Sep 25, 15, 8:08 pm
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Be sure to check the flexibly differences between the fares. The vacation fare could be hugely restricted in terms of any changes. Not using the hotel is fine, but to be safe, check in in Dusseldorf, go to your room, mess up the bed, and then make your way to Cologne, returning to check out on your way to the airport in DUS. No big deal.
way over thinking this. There is no connectivity between hotels and airlines. And no need to check out of a hotel. If you want to check in, no problem. But no reason to return and check out. They don't care.
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Old Sep 26, 15, 12:26 am
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I have been doing this for a year now (into MUC for offsite client meetings). You're fine. I haven't checked into the hotel once! The hotel portion is prepaid so the hotel gets paid regardless if you are there or not. Plus, the hotels have no way to respond back to AA.

You're fine.
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Old Sep 26, 15, 2:01 am
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As this is specific to American Airlines, we're relocating this thread.

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Old Sep 26, 15, 3:20 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
I think for the purpose of booking the lower-fare ticket, even showing up at the hotel is probably unnecessary, since the systems to AA are not linked, so it would be unusually convoluted for this to affect the return flight.
Having done this a lot, it is indeed not a problem.

The bigger problem with these "vacation package" deals is that the hotel can't find the guest reservation -- a problem that isn't a problem when not even trying to check into the hotel that comes with the package.

Over a huge number of "vacation packages" booked to access flights at a lower price than would be the case if booking just the flight, I've never had a flight cancellation arise as a result of no-showing at the hotels that were part of a package that combined flight with hotel and/or car rental. And when it comes to such packages sold by various airlines and OTAs, at least some of the major ones even allow the name for the hotel guest to be different than the name for the flying passenger.

I've done this thing for so long and so often with AA/DL/UA that I wouldn't even hesitate to no-show on the hotel or car aspect of the booked package deal. Rather it's often my default approach when dealing with next day or same week departures. If I don't find any need to check into the hotel, for any or no reason, I just skip the package hotel and just use the desired elements of the package as I find suitable for myself -- all with the knowledge that the flights are generally booked on restricted fares when it comes to changes/cancellations. Sometimes these packages are even booked to access hotels for the relative cheap and to ditch the flights. I've done that a lot too.

Last edited by GUWonder; Sep 26, 15 at 3:26 am
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Old Sep 26, 15, 5:36 am
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
They may not be linked in an automatic sense, but the hotel, upon not seeing guest, might contact AA (since AA vacations may have given the hotel the guest's booked itinerary) to find out if they flew or not, wondering whether the guest will be late (rather than a total no-show). So IMHO still better to not leave the hotel wondering where you are and if you might arrive later, and either actually check in, or else call them and explain to them that you're "surrendering" the reservation because you're going to another city.
AA would not give out passenger information to a hotel, or anyone else. It's pretty much impossible for me to find out if my wife is on a certain flight, never mind a hotel. And I can't think of many hotels that would be so pro-active!
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Old Sep 26, 15, 5:51 am
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AA Vacations cheap business class

Originally Posted by mikelat View Post
Its interesting, but OP is right. I just plugged in 10/6-10/15 MIA-DUS and AA.com shows flights at $1k for Y and ~$8k for J. But, on the AA Vacations site price comes out to $3161. MIA-ORD in A, ORD-DUS in I, DUS-ORD in I, and ORD-MIA in A.

Also note that I found similar prices ex-SEA. May be multiple origins that work for the pricing. Looking in to 2016 I found a couple dates for SEA-DUS trip over 2 days that came out to $2100 for J class.

And, another note that found similar pricing SEA-BCN - ~$2190 R/T SEA-JFK (A) JFK-BCN (I) BCN-JFK (I) JFK-SEA(A)
Yep, dunno what it started happening (I've never really followed) but very very cheap business class fares being offered by AA Vacations.
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Old Sep 26, 15, 7:20 am
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Originally Posted by yessam1277 View Post
I will be traveling to cologne Germany from Oct 9th to 14th for an annual trade show. Cheapest airfare on AA from Miami to Dusseldorf (city outside of cologne) is about $8000 in business.
I have found however on AA vacations, Flight + Hotel that same flight I want for $2900 business class including a 3*Hotel in Dusseldorf.

I do not want to stay to far out from Fair grounds, so my 2 questions are

1) Should I get that package, and not check in into my hotel, is there a penalty for that? I am assuming that it would be just like missing a leg of a multi city trip that should I not use the hotel, my return leg to Miami would be terminated.
Is that the case?

2) Assuming #1 is correct, would it be ok to arrive in Dusseldorf, check in at hotel the 9th, leave for Cologne and comeback on the 14th to check out.

There's a world of difference in ticket prices, was just thinking if there's any way I could take advantage of that AA vacation prices, without any penalties.

What do you guys recommend? I am pretty sure there is a big negative in doing what I am thinking of doing, since I know you can never outsmart those big companies .

Looking forward to your replies and suggestions.

Thanks
To answer #1, there is no penalty for no-showing at the hotel that was bundled with the flight deal on a vacation package. At least in general practice with AA vacation deals.

To answer #2, I wouldn't suggest wasting time doing the check-in and then return to check-out thing; I wouldn't even check-in as in practice there is no penalty for not using the hotel in the package.

Package deals to access cheaper flight prices has been part of the airline and TA/OTA picture for at least the past 15 years. It's more widely the case for economy class than premium class travel, even as the various types of cabins have been part of the picture (at least for in-person or over-the-phone group/package bookings via some channels) for vacation/tour bundles.
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Old Sep 26, 15, 8:01 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
I've done this thing for so long and so often with AA/DL/UA [...]
Regarding AA specifically, can you confirm that your flights booked into normal revenue classes?

On an itinerary I'm looking at there are asterisks next to the booking classes (D*, I*). The small print associated with the asterisk was hard to find but there is something saying I wouldn't get any mileage credit if I used AAdvantage miles to pay or part pay for the vacation, which I'm not intending to do. (I want to add my BAEC number and tier points and Avios.)
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