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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 Jan 10, 20, 6:32 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
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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choose to bundle your travel components into one package price we can offer you an unbeatable value by combining our unpublished low rates on flights with specially negotiated rates on hotels, activities and transportation.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?

(Change late 2019) Yes. You can "pay" with money (cards, etc.), AAdvantage miles or a combination of both. Miles may be used to pay for any portion of the vacation package up, and including, all of it. At this time there is no way to distinguish the breakpoint between the land portion and the air portion of the package, except by calling. And even this is a mixed bag.


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)?

(Change late 2019) This is now unknown due to recent changes that allow miles to be used for any portion of the vacation package, up to all of it. Packages that are booked part with miles and part with dollars since the recent change have not been reported here at this time for indication of what impact this change has had on EQM/EQD..


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 won’t 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 select AA Vacations (where there is a * next to the booking code when looking at the flight details).

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 select American Airlines Vacations® packages. For Vacations, special fares are marked with an asterisk (*) after the booking code in the AAVacations.com booking path,
  • 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, R 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 for international travel and $69 for domestic travel. This can also be paid with miles.


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, unless the total duration of the trip is less than three days, then it is length of trip. 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 AAdvantage® 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 25, 15, 9:59 am
  #1  
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FAQ: aavacations.com / AA Vacations flight & vacation package questions, discussion

i find the rates for an aa vacation IAD-ATH with hotel in biz class to be at a decent price. i wish to book this 4-5 months out. due to my age and health,( me 78 yo, wife 70yo). i worry if there is a need to cancel. travel; insurance is not a real option, as the cost for me and if would be probably over $5000 for real insurance.

i cannot find any real information regarding cancellations on the website. where is the real legal document regarding cancellations?

Last edited by slawecki; Oct 25, 15 at 10:06 am
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Old Oct 25, 15, 10:16 am
  #2  
 
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$5,000 for travel insurance??!?!? Where are you getting a quote from? Try SquareMouth.com and you should get much more affordable rates. This is a site that will show you many insurance providers, along with a good matrix showing what the various coverages are.

In general, unless you buy a refundable fare, you won't be able to get a refund on the flight portion of your trip. The amount travel insurance would cost though would be much cheaper than buying a refundable fare.
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Old Oct 25, 15, 10:20 am
  #3  
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I googled "AAvacations cancellation" and these were the 1st two results returned:

https://www.aavacations.com/waiver.asp

Code:
With the purchase of the Cancellation and Change Waiver, travelers may 
cancel and/or change either the land and/or air portion of their package. Some 
hotel room categories and airfares may be non-refundable and are not covered 
by this Waiver. Optional activities (transfers, sight-seeing, theme park passes, 
rail passes, etc) are non-refundable even when the waiver is purchased. In 
addition, some airfares may be available only in connection with land 
arrangements and those requirements are not covered by this Waiver. 
Administrative Service Charges (ASC) on certain airfares may still be applicable 
even if waiver is purchased. 
 
If one traveler purchases the Waiver, it is mandatory for all other travelers 
booked in the same reference number to purchase the Waiver. This includes both 
adults and children. The Cancellation and Change Waiver may only be purchased 
when the initial reservation is made. 
 
Cancel - the waiver covers cancellations, for any reason, up until scheduled 
departure time. The waiver also covers revision fees. Restrictions may apply as 
outlined in land revisions of terms and conditions. When making your reservation 
on-line, you will be given the option to add this valuable protection in the 
booking process. Please read the terms and conditions associated with the 
package you are purchasing before selecting the Cancellation and Change Waiver 
option and completing your reservation. When two or more parties travel 
together and stay in the same room, a cancellation will result in a refund on air 
and land only if the room is cancelled completely. If one person still stays in 
the room then there is no refund of the land cost to the canceling party. 
Cancellation should be advised as early as possible. 
 
Change - changes resulting in an increase to the air or land price will be at the 
expense of the traveler. Changes from one tour destination to an alternative tour 
destination or adding another tour to an existing itinerary are subject to the 
rules/restrictions of the new tour. 
 
Reminder: Some airfares may remain non-refundable even with the purchase of 
the waiver.
https://www.aavacations.com/faq.asp?...-FAQ-ALL-13-42
that one yielded this:
What is the Cancellation and Change Waiver?

The Cancellation and Change Waiver will protect you in the event that your plans change. The waiver covers cancellations, for any reason, up until scheduled departure time. The waiver also covers revision fees. Restrictions may apply as outlined in our Terms and Conditions.

Last edited by JDiver; Feb 19, 16 at 10:46 am
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Old Oct 25, 15, 10:33 am
  #4  
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Are there cancellation terms for AA Vacations? I'd read rhem closely.

Does AA Vacations offer insurance at the end of booking, like aa.com does?

See InsureMyTrip.com for options, including the fine print. See SquareMouth.com as previously suggested.

Purchase an @:-) annual travel insurance policy; these are generally much more reasonable than TCII by the trip. My last purchase of such was 29 Dec 2014, it cost $295 iirc.
  • DAN (Divers Alert Network, a non-profit you can join as a non-diver) offers annual travel insurance at https://www.diversalertnetwork.org/a...%2Dinsurance/? and medevac (not available in FL, IN, NY, WA).

  • Another annual travel insurance source is Allianz: url]https://www.allianztravelinsurance.com/travel/seniors/annual-travel-insurance-over-65.htm[/url].
You may have or acquire a credit card that provides insurance. My Citi® AAdvantage® Executive MasterCard® offers $5,000 trip cancellation and interruption protection for travel purchased with the card.

Last edited by JDiver; Oct 25, 15 at 10:40 am
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Old Jan 14, 16, 12:19 pm
  #5  
nrr
 
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AA Vacation package VS flt only booking (?)

I've noticed you can book a flt + hotel for much lower price than just the flt--add in the $175 discount promo (valid until Jan 24), makes the vacation package even better. [You must explicitly invoke the discount--it is not automatic.]
Separate issue: you can pay all cash, or on a sliding scale, miles + cash; it is interesting to note, that in one of my "dummy" bookings, they SEEM to value 94,000 @ $500--will AA sell me 94,000 miles for $500.
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Old Jan 14, 16, 1:27 pm
  #6  
 
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This is pretty well-documented in this thread:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/premi...vacations.html
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Old Jan 14, 16, 3:30 pm
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by nrr View Post
I've noticed you can book a flt + hotel for much lower price than just the flt--add in the $175 discount promo (valid until Jan 24), makes the vacation package even better. [You must explicitly invoke the discount--it is not automatic.]
Separate issue: you can pay all cash, or on a sliding scale, miles + cash; it is interesting to note, that in one of my "dummy" bookings, they SEEM to value 94,000 @ $500--will AA sell me 94,000 miles for $500.
I did 2 AA Europe vacations recently and saved a lot of money! Vienna ORD LHR VIE in I on BA, including 5 nights at the Ritz Carlton Vienna for $4,300. Booked separately that would have been over $9,000. Also, a TPA LHR in J with AA including 5 nights at the Goring for $4,100. For the two trips with the promotions they offered I received over 110,000 AA miles. Terrific deals to Europe! But not really good for other continents.
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Old Jan 14, 16, 3:31 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by josmul123 View Post
This is pretty well-documented in this thread:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/premi...vacations.html
Also, very reduced F fares using AA vacations.
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Old Jan 19, 16, 5:16 am
  #9  
nrr
 
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AA Vacations site not synced with aa.com for passport, emergency contact, etc.

I purchased an AA (intl) VACATION (I also logged into my AA.COM acct in case I wanted to use miles + $ to pay for it). After everything was finalized and ticketed, I had to MANUALLY populate (nearly) every field to update: pp number, expiration date, name, contact info, etc.--the only number that was synced was my KTN number.
When I directly purchase an intl ticket on aa.com, all of the above fields are already populated--the contact info is the only one which must be reentered.
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Old Jan 19, 16, 5:23 am
  #10  
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I've updated the thread title to more accurately reflect its contents.

~Moderator
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Old Jan 19, 16, 5:23 am
  #11  
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Is there a question in there? Or is this just a report?
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Old Jan 19, 16, 5:48 am
  #12  
nrr
 
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Originally Posted by Microwave View Post
Is there a question in there? Or is this just a report?
Indirectly the question is WHY? But directly it is intended as an alert to those booking an AA VACATION, that the missing info would prevent on-line check-in, until properly entered.
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Old Feb 19, 16, 7:52 am
  #13  
 
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AA Vacation Packages - EQM and upg questions

I suck at searching and did try but too many results returned and I am on a very tight window to book a flight to Frankfurt. The standalone fare in coach is about $2200 on AA but I see a package with the same flights (includes a dump of a hotel that I wouldn't use) for $1200. Will I earn both qualifying miles and redeemable miles for the flights, and, can I request an upgrade either with a SWU or miles/co-pay?
And, BTW, for those who are good at searching - what should I have searched for?
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Old Feb 19, 16, 9:24 am
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Yes you will earn EQM's and are able to request upgrades. I have used AAVacations for 2 packages thus far and earned full EQM's, bonuses, and was able to request upgrades.
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Old Feb 19, 16, 2:04 pm
  #15  
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OK, sufficient interest and questions in this thread and the one linked to I've put up a wikipost with a FAQ.
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