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FAQ: aavacations.com / AA Vacations flight & vacation package questions, discussion

FAQ: aavacations.com / AA Vacations flight & vacation package questions, discussion

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Old Feb 1, 18, 2:20 am   -   Wikipost
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AA Vacations / aavacations.com Flight and Ground Packages
Trust American Airlines to offer you the perfect package at the best price, guaranteed! When you choose to bundle your travel components into one package price we can offer you an unbeatable value by combining our unpublished low rates on flights with specially negotiated rates on hotels, activities and transportation. So, whether you're looking for a quick flight plus hotel weekend getaway or an all-inclusive package complete with flight, hotel, ground transportation and tickets to local attractions, you can rest easy knowing the entire trip is covered by our Lowest Price Guarantee.
Link to AA Vacations site website

FAQ

Q. Do these earn AA EQM, Award Miles (RDM) and EQD (EQ Dollars in 2017)?

These generally book into discount paid fare buckets, so "Yes" at this time. There are a few promotional offers that do not earn EQM; these will clearly say so, so read thoroughly. See:

Special fares: Earning Award Miles and Elite Qualifying Credits on aa.com (link)

Earning AA Elite Qualifying Miles / EQM on AA, oneworld, partners 2016

and this for the changes affecting Award Miles coming in the latter part of 2016.

Earning AA Award / Redeemable Miles / RDM on AA, partners later 2016


Q. Can I upgrade these with AA upgrade instruments (e500 "stickers", miles and copay, SWU)?

Currently, yes. These would follow the standard AA upgrade rules.


Q. Can I use AAadvantage Award Miles to "pay" for a vacation?

Yes. You can "pay" with money (cards, etc.), AAdvantage miles or a combination of both. However, miles may not be used to pay for the airfare portion of the vacation, only the ground portion.


Q. If I use AAdvantage Aware Miles to pay for part of my vacation, does this impact upgrades or EQM/RDM for the flights?(RDM)?

No. Because the miles are used only for the land portion of the vacation (hotel, car, any added trips, etc.) the air portion retains its original rules with regard to upgrades and the earning of EQM/RDM.


Q. So, what kinds of fares are ineligible for earning AA miles?

"Exceptions (aa.com)

There are certain airline ticket types that are not eligible for mileage accrual regardless of the booking class. These include, without limitation, the following:

Q Are there any types of tickets that wonít earn award miles?

Yes, tickets that currently do not earn award miles, elite-qualifying miles or elite-qualifying segments will not earn award miles in the future. This includes:

  • All tickets issued as AAdvantage awards

  • Other free ticket promotions including free or reduced rate tickets

  • Companion tickets

  • Charter flight tickets

  • Travel agency/industry reduced rate tickets

  • Infant tickets

  • Extra seats or items occupying a purchased seat

  • Unpublished fare tickets, including consolidator fares

  • Tickets issued subject to special provisions

Q. What about EQM and Award ("Redeemable") Miles earning later in 2016?

AA has specified a set of "Special Fares", which includes AA Vacations:

Some fares (such as bulk or consolidator fares) earn award miles and Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) at a modified rate based on a percentage of the distance flown as determined by the booking code.

Special fares are often purchased through a specialized agent, third party or as part of a package including air transportation and lodging.

Examples:
  • Bulk fares

  • Cruise fares

  • Consolidator fares

  • Discounted or inclusive tour packages

  • Vacation packages, including American Airlines Vacationsģ (AAV) packages

  • Other tickets where the fare isn't disclosed, excluding bookings made through priceline.com or hotwire.com where the carrier isn't disclosed before buying
Note that the Special Fares page also says, "AAdvantage elite member bonuses will be applied in addition to the percentages shown for award miles."


Q. What fare classes do First and Business packages book into?

Typically A for international First, A or P domestic F, and I or D international Business.


Q. What if I'm flying on a flight on a partner airline?

AA Vacations most often books into AA "code shares" / AA marketed flights. In that case, you'll earn miles as if flying on American. If it doesn't, you'll earn per the agreement AA has with the partner airline. Start here to look them up.


Q. What advance purchase restrictions are imposed?

Most advance purchase, minimum stay, etc. normally imposed by the airline don't apply; the restrictions are those imposed by AA Vacations. (Detailed Fare Rules for your fare generally do apply, however.)


Q. Are the trips or fares refundable?

Generally not fully refundable. Hotels and ground activities are generally not at all, and air will depend on the fare bucket and detailed rules. AA vacations does offer protection, but hotels etc. may not be included.

"There are two types of protection available: We offer the Cancellation and Change Waiver (Pre-Departure Protection) which allows you to cancel and/or change either the land or air portion of their package without penalty. Trip Protector (Post-Departure protection) from Allianz Global Assistance can provide protection for your trip expenses, your health and your belongings."

A waiver is usually $129.


Q. What is the shortest time I can book an air-hotel package for?

It appears three nights is the shortest period allowed by aavacations. However, those three nights do not need to be at a single property.


Q. Can I book a ten day package with only three days of prepaid hotel?

Sure. You'll have to call to do so, however.
You can change the dates of the hotel to be different from those of the flights in the "More Search Options" section of the search. You can also book multiple rooms here too, specifying the number of guests per room. I don't think you can book hotel to be in a different city though. A hotel in a different city (or continent, even) can be booked, but must be done over the phone.


Q. Is only one hotel offered?

No. A variety of properties is generally offered, but this will of course affect pricing.


Q. Does the hotel have to be in the destination city?

No. You can book a property in another city if it's offered by AA Vacations.


Q. What happens if I don't use the ground part (hotel, car, etc.)? Will they cancel my return flights?

Nothing. You can use it or forget it. No flight cancellations ensue. See AA Vacations - not checking in at Hotel Some purposely book the cheapest pricing for their trip knowing they're choosing a "throwaway hotel" they won't use.

Though one AA Vacations agent actually said "always book with us and just book the cheapest hotel for 3 days and throw it away", don't you say it's your intent.


Q. Will AA Vacations cause problems for me?

If you disclose your intent to AA Vacations to "throw away" (not stay at) the hotel, they can not sell you the package. So, don't.


Q. Will the hotel cause problems for me?

Not likely; they're paid for a prepaid stay whether you stay or not, as they get to keep the money and have "your" room to sell.


Q. Will I earn points at the hotel? Will they recognize my status?

Many chains don't recognize third party bookings for points or stay credit, but will usually recognize your status. Properties will treat as prepaid booking.


Q. Are there ever deals or promos?

Indeed. There are often sales and promotions; look for them on the site.


Q. What if I want to book open jaw or customize?

Calling can do that. There's a $39 call fee, unless it's not able to be booked online. Others have said you can generally calculate the price of an open jaw itinerary by adding half the price of pricing for vacations to the arrival and departure cities and adding those.


Q. Can I put these on "hold" while I think about it since these include air fare?

No. But: Refund of Air Ticket Portion Within 24 Hours of Purchase

Within 24 hours of booking, you are allowed to cancel your refundable or non-refundable air ticket for a full refund (and no change fees and/or difference in fare) subject to the following rules:
  • You must call 800-321-2121 within 24 hours of purchase to cancel the air ticket reservation and request a refund of the air ticket.
  • The reservation must have been booked at least 7 days before scheduled departure.
  • This policy does not apply to hotel or other non-air portions of the package. Standard cancellation policies will apply to all non-air components of the package.
  • Refunds are only issued for tickets booked on aavacations.com or with American Airlines Vacations Reservations.

Q. My AAdvantage credit card earns double Award ("Redeemable") Miles on AA purchases. Will AA Vacations purchases earn 2x miles?

No. What transactions are eligible to earn double AAdvantageģ miles?

Eligible American Airlines purchases are items billed by American Airlines as the merchant of record booked through American Airlines channels (aa.com, American Airlines Reservations, American Airlines airport, in-flight and city ticket counters). American Airlines tickets purchased through other channels or that are a component of any other cruise or tour package do not earn the additional mile purchase bonuses. Products or services that do not qualify for the additional bonus miles include car rentals, hotel reservations, American Airlines Vacations packages, purchases of American Airlines AAdvantage miles, duty free purchases and or AA Cargo℠
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Updated by JDiver 19 Feb 2016
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Old Oct 18, 18, 5:44 pm
  #331  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 74
Right now AAvacations is offering $130 off and also another deal for 20,000 bonus points. Any thoughts on whether these deals would stack? The $130 offer says not combinable but $130 off is an immediate deal whereas 20k points is typically credited after flying... so I am curious whether you could get both.
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Old Oct 19, 18, 5:52 pm
  #332  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Oakland
Programs: AA Explat, UA former 1K + PremExec, DL
Posts: 1,114
The dates don't match up... $130 off is for after 1/2019 whilst 20K ends Dec 26.
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Old Oct 22, 18, 10:01 am
  #333  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 74
Originally Posted by fanger View Post
The dates don't match up... $130 off is for after 1/2019 whilst 20K ends Dec 26.
That's not true... the 20k bonus only says book before Dec 26th. The flight can be for anytime so long as you purchase by that time.
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Old Oct 25, 18, 4:53 pm
  #334  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: San Francisco
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 278
Best deal I've found on AAV (or anywhere): R/T SFO/LHR in J for $2,421. Direct flights on BA were available, but went for the LAX 77W connection and upgraded the longhaul legs to F. Cancelled the nearly $5k itinerary I'd just booked on AA.com right before
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Old Oct 26, 18, 10:37 pm
  #335  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 92
How does AA Vacations post on a credit card (specifically Amex)? Would it qualify as an airfare purchase? I'm thinking of the Aspire card but other Amex cards have similar bonus categories and no bonus for "travel" as a broad category.

Also, can AA gift cards be used toward a purchase of an AA Vacation? The checkout screen indicates "gift certificates" can be used by calling in - not sure if that's the same thing.
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Old Oct 27, 18, 12:43 am
  #336  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 92
Originally Posted by WantOnlinePoker View Post
How does AA Vacations post on a credit card (specifically Amex)? Would it qualify as an airfare purchase? I'm thinking of the Aspire card but other Amex cards have similar bonus categories and no bonus for "travel" as a broad category.

Also, can AA gift cards be used toward a purchase of an AA Vacation? The checkout screen indicates "gift certificates" can be used by calling in - not sure if that's the same thing.
Originally Posted by 777lover View Post
Canít speak to Chase but AMEX is very clear on it. No.
Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
Yea, and for Chase of course a vacations package counts as "Travel." There are dedicated threads in the Amex and Chase forums for what types of spend trigger the bonuses.
Found the answers above. Searching the thread for credit card bonus or category didn't get there for me so if someone tries those terms in the future hopefully this post will come up. Looks like gift cards don't work, at least as of 2017. If anyone has a newer DP, please share - thanks.
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Old Oct 27, 18, 10:19 am
  #337  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 44
Originally Posted by WantOnlinePoker View Post
Looks like gift cards don't work, at least as of 2017. If anyone has a newer DP, please share - thanks.
I booked an AAVacation earlier this month (Oct 2018). I called in to use AA gift cards. Reservations lady said she didnít think she could accept them. She put me on hold for about a minute and came back and confirmed that they donít accept AA gift cards ďanymoreĒ. Not sure how long thatís been the case.
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Old Oct 27, 18, 10:54 am
  #338  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: South Florida
Programs: AA EXP, HH Diamond, Marriott Platinium
Posts: 1,240
GC won't work but eVoucher (similar to GC numbers) will work, or if you canceled a ticket (IRROP/change of aircraft) and if you didn't request the refund, you can apply that credit to an AAV package. They will ask for the eticket number and they will call AA to verify the amount on it.
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Old Oct 28, 18, 1:30 pm
  #339  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: DEN/BDL/LGA/HPN
Programs: Marriott Ambassador; AA EXP 2MM; AS MVP, Hilton Gold, CH-47/UH-60/C-23/C-130 VET
Posts: 4,926
Trying to work through the math on purchasing from AAvacations vs AA for an LAX-HKG trip. AAvacations is $1200 with a N* special fare while AA is $1000. LAX to HKG is 7260.

So ... as an EXP using my Amex plat, I would earn

AAvacations

RDM: .5 X 7260 X 2 = 7260 + 120 percent EXP bonus (8712) for a total of 15,972
EQD .1 X 7260 X 2 for a total of 1452

AA.com

RDM with base fare of $800 x 11 == for a total of 8,800
Amex Plat with 5 points per dollar == for an additional 5,000
EQD $800
Total RDM 13,800

So, I earn 2,000 more miles through AAVacations but it costs 200 more. Also, as an EXP, I use my SWU's regardless.

Am I missing anything on my math?
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Old Oct 30, 18, 10:24 pm
  #340  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: Jose Cuervo Gold, Bud Light Platinum, Schwab 401K, VW Bug 2MM
Posts: 899
Cant find an answer to this. Can I choose preferred/econ+ seats later? the booking engine seems to only let me pick the basic seats.
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Old Oct 31, 18, 12:45 pm
  #341  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: South Florida
Programs: AA EXP, HH Diamond, Marriott Platinium
Posts: 1,240
Originally Posted by exmike View Post
Cant find an answer to this. Can I choose preferred/econ+ seats later? the booking engine seems to only let me pick the basic seats.
Yes, make sure you put your AA FF#, then log in on your AA account, keep in mind you may have to pay an extra fee if you don't have any status.
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Old Nov 5, 18, 1:32 am
  #342  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Phoenix, Arizona/Spokane, Wa
Programs: AA EXP, AS MVP 75k, HH Diamond, Hyatt Diamond, Marriott Gold, National Executive Elite
Posts: 380
A few questions that I don't see answers to within the thread.

1. Can I enter my AS number and earn miles on AS for the international portion of a AAV booking? (I know that I no longer can earn on domestic flights)
1b. If so, AS says that I would earn 100% plus 50% COS bonus for I fares. It shows as I fare on AA, just want to ensure nothing will change.

2. AA Vacations is having a promo where you earn an extra 20k AA bonus miles for Asia - Pacific bookings. I would qualify with the dates of purchase and travel location. However, can I still get that if I am crediting to AS instead of AA?

3. In the wiki it says that you can use more than one hotel per booking. I am looking at a 5 night stay where I would be in one location for 2 nights and another for 3 nights. The price seems much better on AAV than I can get seperate. How can I accomplish this?

Thanks for any help anyone can offer!

Last edited by JenniferNAz; Nov 5, 18 at 1:37 am
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Old Nov 5, 18, 6:12 am
  #343  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: South Florida
Programs: AA EXP, HH Diamond, Marriott Platinium
Posts: 1,240
Originally Posted by JenniferNAz View Post
A few questions that I don't see answers to within the thread.

1. Can I enter my AS number and earn miles on AS for the international portion of a AAV booking? (I know that I no longer can earn on domestic flights)
1b. If so, AS says that I would earn 100% plus 50% COS bonus for I fares. It shows as I fare on AA, just want to ensure nothing will change.

2. AA Vacations is having a promo where you earn an extra 20k AA bonus miles for Asia - Pacific bookings. I would qualify with the dates of purchase and travel location. However, can I still get that if I am crediting to AS instead of AA?

3. In the wiki it says that you can use more than one hotel per booking. I am looking at a 5 night stay where I would be in one location for 2 nights and another for 3 nights. The price seems much better on AAV than I can get seperate. How can I accomplish this?

Thanks for any help anyone can offer!
1. You can only apply one FF to the reservation, or just leave it blank and then request each segment separate (it may work, it may not).

2. No, you can't get the AAV bonus when you are using another FF, even when you buy for 2 people, the T&C will say this "Any bonus miles accrued will be awarded to the first travelerís AAdvantage account for each booking and...",
so you need to put your AA FF# and only the first one will earn the bonus.

3. You will have to call them, I have never done that but I did an specific route that I found on ITAMatrix (a longer layover) and calling was the only option in that case.
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Old Nov 6, 18, 1:55 pm
  #344  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Phoenix, Arizona/Spokane, Wa
Programs: AA EXP, AS MVP 75k, HH Diamond, Hyatt Diamond, Marriott Gold, National Executive Elite
Posts: 380
Originally Posted by fedechat View Post
1. You can only apply one FF to the reservation, or just leave it blank and then request each segment separate (it may work, it may not).

2. No, you can't get the AAV bonus when you are using another FF, even when you buy for 2 people, the T&C will say this "Any bonus miles accrued will be awarded to the first travelerís AAdvantage account for each booking and...",
so you need to put your AA FF# and only the first one will earn the bonus.

3. You will have to call them, I have never done that but I did an specific route that I found on ITAMatrix (a longer layover) and calling was the only option in that case.

Thank you for the response.

So, I called in and AAV doesn't seem to think I can add an AS FF# and earn credit on them. I was going to try HUCA and see if someone knows differently. I totally get that I won't get the bonus (bummer) and that I can only use 1 FF account (and therefore will miss out on the domestic portion of my itinerary if crediting to AS), but I want to be sure that the flights will be treated the same as other flights and that I can earn what I expected to on AS.

I was able to choose 2 different hotels by calling in, the only downside is that I had to have 3 nights at one hotel. So I have 2 nights at one hotel planned and was going to add a throwaway for the third night to make the 3 nights, but that isn't allowed, apparently.

Can anyone confirm that I can add my AS number and earn on AS for the international portion (I confirmed it is booking into I class)
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Old Nov 6, 18, 2:21 pm
  #345  
brp
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Posts: 32,432
Originally Posted by JenniferNAz View Post
Thank you for the response.

So, I called in and AAV doesn't seem to think I can add an AS FF# and earn credit on them. I was going to try HUCA and see if someone knows differently. I totally get that I won't get the bonus (bummer) and that I can only use 1 FF account (and therefore will miss out on the domestic portion of my itinerary if crediting to AS), but I want to be sure that the flights will be treated the same as other flights and that I can earn what I expected to on AS.
You should be able to go to the gate agent before each segment and have them change the FFN in the record. They might change it for all legs going forward (which you may not want) so, if taking this route, you'll have to check at each and every leg.

Cheers.
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