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American Airlines Vacations - 2022 Guide

American Airlines Vacations - 2022 Guide

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American Airlines Vacations can save you the trouble of planning and organizing your trip while saving you money in the process.

American Airlines Vacations specializes in providing high-value vacation packages for travelers with a range of interests and budgets.

In many cases, you can bundle your flights with a hotel, car rental or entertainment packages to save money. In other cases, you can book cruises or any type of vacation as you would with a traditional travel agent.

American Airlines Vacations

Vacationers can save hundreds of dollars or more by bundling, especially if you're a traveler who doesn't enjoy the hassle of planning your own trip details. However, if you have a bit of flexibility with your travel plans and enjoy hunting for deals, you will likely be able to find a better price on your own.

Pros

  • Potentially save money on trip packages
  • Access to ongoing promotions
  • Option to pay with American Airlines miles
  • Earn bonus miles through your booking
  • Buy now, pay later option
  • Booking support

Cons

  • Earning hotel points typically requires you to book directly with the hotel, so you may not earn hotel points this way
  • Less flexibility with bundled packages
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Is American Airlines Vacations worth it?

American Airlines Vacations can be a source of savings for some people.

This is especially true if you are booking a flight and hotel together or you are someone who doesn’t enjoy the planning aspect of vacations. As you will see in our examples, you can sometimes save money by combining your flight and hotels.

One area to look out for, however, is car rentals. Because American Airlines Vacations has such a limited number of car rental vendors, it may make more sense to book your car rental separately (and take advantage of promotions while you're at it).

Also, remember that comparing the package price to the individual prices is only one way of comparing to make sure you're getting the best deal. You should also consider:

  • Because American Airlines Vacations has a limited number of hotel partners, you may find a better deal by booking your hotel separately with a non-partner hotel.
  • You lose out on points and elite status benefits by booking your hotel through AA Vacations rather than directly with the hotel.
  • You may get a better deal by using your airline miles to get free flights and your hotel points to get your hotel for free.

What can you book with American Airlines Vacations?

The AA Vacations website has a list of curated vacation options that cater to people who want romantic vacations, luxury vacations, all-inclusive vacations and more. Here are some of the different types of trips that you can book with American Airlines Vacations.

Flight + hotel

Flight + car rental

All-inclusive packages

One of the most common types of American Airlines vacation packages is a combination of flights and a hotel stay. Once you put your destination into the vacation search, you'll get a list of different hotel options to choose from. You can compare the different hotel options and see which one might be right for you. You'll be given the standard room and can choose to upgrade if you prefer.

rooms

Savvy traveler tip: For your flights, you'll want to check the flight’s fare class to determine if you earn AAdvantage miles (and how many) as well as whether you’ll be eligible for any flight upgrades. Most economy-class flights we’ve observed on the American Airlines Vacations site are in G or Q fare classes.

{"backgroundColor":"gray","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeIcon--root ShortcodeIcon--margin-bottom\"\u003E\n \u003Cspan class=\"ShortcodeIcon--icon ShortcodeIcon--medium ShortcodeIcon--blue ValuePenguinIcon--airplane\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003Cp class=\"ShortcodeIcon--content\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003ESavvy traveler tip:\u003C\/strong\u003E For your flights, you'll want to check the flight\u2019s \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" rel=\"nofollow\" title=\"aa.com\" href=\"https:\/\/www.aa.com\/i18n\/aadvantage-program\/miles\/earn\/special-fares.jsp\"\u003Efare class\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E to determine if you \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" rel=\"noopener\" target=\"_blank\" title=\"American Airlines AAdvantage: In-Depth Guide to Earning and Redeeming Miles\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/american-airlines-aadvantage\"\u003Eearn AAdvantage miles\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E (and how many) as well as whether you\u2019ll be eligible for any \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"American Airlines Upgrades: Our Detailed Guide\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/how-to-get-american-airlines-upgrades\"\u003Eflight upgrades\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E. Most economy-class flights we\u2019ve observed on the American Airlines Vacations site are in G or Q fare classes.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

American Airlines Vacations may book you into a "Special Fare"

American Airlines Vacations may book your airfare using a Special Fare, which means you can earn miles and Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) based on the distance flown rather than how much you spend. This is a nice benefit of booking your flights through American Airlines Vacations rather than on your own, as regular consumers have little to no access to these types of fares.

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How do the hotel prices compare?

American Airlines Vacations doesn't show the breakdown of the cost of the flights versus the cost of the hotel stays. This makes it a bit trickier to compare the hotel prices and booking your hotel stay with the hotel directly or with another travel agency. Below, we have several different examples that show that prices are competitive with booking directly with the hotel.

But savvy travelers will always compare prices to make sure that this packaged price truly is the best deal before booking. Remember, too, that American Airlines Vacations only partners with a subset of hotels — your best hotel option may not even be displayed on the American Airlines Vacations page.

Savvy traveler tip: Most of the hotels that are available as part of an American Airlines vacation package are independent and non-chain hotels. So you won't be able to use points to book them and won't earn points or receive any elite benefits. Even if you do find a chain hotel, most hotel chains will not honor any elite benefits because American Airlines Vacations bookings are third-party bookings.

{"backgroundColor":"gray","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeIcon--root ShortcodeIcon--margin-bottom\"\u003E\n \u003Cspan class=\"ShortcodeIcon--icon ShortcodeIcon--medium ShortcodeIcon--blue ValuePenguinIcon--airplane\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003Cp class=\"ShortcodeIcon--content\"\u003E \u003Cstrong\u003ESavvy traveler tip:\u003C\/strong\u003E Most of the hotels that are available as part of an American Airlines vacation package are independent and non-chain hotels. So you won't be able to use points to book them and won't earn points or receive any elite benefits. Even if you do find a chain hotel, most hotel chains will not honor any elite benefits because American Airlines Vacations bookings are third-party bookings.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

One thing that you will want to be aware of when using American Airlines Vacations is that many of the chosen hotels will add resort fees on top of the published prices.

bed

In the above example, you'd have to pay $91.20 directly to the hotel when checking in on top of your vacation package price. So be aware of extra fees when you are deciding if American Airlines vacation packages are worth it.

Flight + hotel

One of the most common types of American Airlines vacation packages is a combination of flights and a hotel stay. Once you put your destination into the vacation search, you'll get a list of different hotel options to choose from. You can compare the different hotel options and see which one might be right for you. You'll be given the standard room and can choose to upgrade if you prefer.

rooms

Savvy traveler tip: For your flights, you'll want to check the flight’s fare class to determine if you earn AAdvantage miles (and how many) as well as whether you’ll be eligible for any flight upgrades. Most economy-class flights we’ve observed on the American Airlines Vacations site are in G or Q fare classes.

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American Airlines Vacations may book you into a "Special Fare"

American Airlines Vacations may book your airfare using a Special Fare, which means you can earn miles and Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) based on the distance flown rather than how much you spend. This is a nice benefit of booking your flights through American Airlines Vacations rather than on your own, as regular consumers have little to no access to these types of fares.

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How do the hotel prices compare?

American Airlines Vacations doesn't show the breakdown of the cost of the flights versus the cost of the hotel stays. This makes it a bit trickier to compare the hotel prices and booking your hotel stay with the hotel directly or with another travel agency. Below, we have several different examples that show that prices are competitive with booking directly with the hotel.

But savvy travelers will always compare prices to make sure that this packaged price truly is the best deal before booking. Remember, too, that American Airlines Vacations only partners with a subset of hotels — your best hotel option may not even be displayed on the American Airlines Vacations page.

Savvy traveler tip: Most of the hotels that are available as part of an American Airlines vacation package are independent and non-chain hotels. So you won't be able to use points to book them and won't earn points or receive any elite benefits. Even if you do find a chain hotel, most hotel chains will not honor any elite benefits because American Airlines Vacations bookings are third-party bookings.

{"backgroundColor":"gray","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeIcon--root ShortcodeIcon--margin-bottom\"\u003E\n \u003Cspan class=\"ShortcodeIcon--icon ShortcodeIcon--medium ShortcodeIcon--blue ValuePenguinIcon--airplane\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003Cp class=\"ShortcodeIcon--content\"\u003E \u003Cstrong\u003ESavvy traveler tip:\u003C\/strong\u003E Most of the hotels that are available as part of an American Airlines vacation package are independent and non-chain hotels. So you won't be able to use points to book them and won't earn points or receive any elite benefits. Even if you do find a chain hotel, most hotel chains will not honor any elite benefits because American Airlines Vacations bookings are third-party bookings.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

One thing that you will want to be aware of when using American Airlines Vacations is that many of the chosen hotels will add resort fees on top of the published prices.

bed

In the above example, you'd have to pay $91.20 directly to the hotel when checking in on top of your vacation package price. So be aware of extra fees when you are deciding if American Airlines vacation packages are worth it.

Flight + car rental

If you don't need to book a hotel for your destination, you also have the option to combine your flight and car rental.

You’ll first choose your flights from a variety of different options. You’ll see a price next to each flight — note that this is not the price of that flight but rather how that flight choice affects your overall package price. Then you’ll be presented with a variety of different rental car options. You can choose between different car classes as well as companies. In sampling packages, we only saw Avis and Budget offered as options.

car

All-inclusive packages

All-inclusive packages are one of the most popular types of vacation options. American Airlines Vacations maintains a landing page listing several all-inclusive vacation packages.

All-inclusive hotels do also show in the regular search results, simply select the "All inclusive resort" filter under "Property types" to see your options.

How does American Airlines Vacations compare for popular destinations?

American Airlines vacation packages can be a great way to use and earn American AAdvantage miles. Let's take a look at how the prices compare when booking on American Airlines Vacations as compared with booking your flight and hotel separately.

Hawaii

First off, let's look at a six-night stay for four people from Seattle to Honolulu, staying at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort.

You get $1,044.01 in savings for this particular package over booking separately.

Vacation packages to Hawaii
Booked Separately
American Airlines Vacations
Flights$2,072$5,333.83 (not including hotel resort fees)
Hotel$4,305.84
Total Cost$6,377.84$5,333.83
Savings$1,044.01

Caribbean

On the other hand, our sample Carribean vacation winds up being the better deal when booked independently, rather than through American Airlines Vacations. American Airlines Vacations charges $2,131.33 for a three-night stay for two travelers in Aruba at the Barcelo Aruba with flights from Miami, where booking independently only costs $1,948.54. By booking your trip through American Airlines Vacations, you would pay an extra $182.79.

Caribbean vacations
Booked Separately
American Airlines Vacations
Flights$352$2,131.33
Hotel$1,596.87
Total Cost$1,948.54$2,131.33
Savings($182.79)

Disney

Our next example is a family of four flying from Boston to Orlando for a Disney World vacation. In this example, we'll be staying at the Maingate Lakeside Resort in Kissimmee. In this scenario, booking through American Airlines vacations would cost an extra $61.12.

Disney vacations
Booked Separately
American Airlines Vacations
Flights$1,068$1,409.70
Hotel$280.58
Total Cost$1,348.58$1,409.70
Savings($61.12)

Ski Trip

Our sampling of a ski vacation through American Airlines Vacations shows a small savings when bundling. In this scenario, we have two people flying from Charlotte to Salt Lake City and staying at The Grand America Hotel.

You save $40.92 booking through American Airlines Vacations in this case, but note that Hilton will consider this a third-party booking. That means that you will not get any elite benefits nor earn Hilton Honors points on this stay if you book through American Airlines Vacations.

Ski vacations
Booked Separately
American Airlines Vacations
Flights$595$2,131.63
Hotel$1,577.55
Total Cost$2,172.55$2,131.63
Savings$40.92

Jamaica

Here's a look at a two-person, four-night trip from Cincinnati, Ohio to Montego Bay, Jamaica. This includes a standard gardenside room at the Legends Beach Resort in Negril, Jamaica (on the west coast of the island). Booking this particular stay is about $183.58 cheaper through American Airlines Vacations:

Jamaica
Booked Separately
American Airlines Vacations
Flights$1,346$1,545.46
Hotel$383.04
Total Cost$1,729.04$1,545.46
Savings$183.58

Las Vegas

Flying from Dallas to Las Vegas and booking a six-night stay for one person at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas comes out to $1,923.40 through American Airlines Vacations. You will save $178.63 with American Airlines Vacations compared to booking independently.

Las Vegas
Booked Separately
American Airlines Vacations
Flights$390$1,923.40
Hotel$1,712.03
Total Cost$2,102.03$1,923.40
Savings$178.63

Are there other benefits to using American Airlines Vacations?

While it is fair to make the primary comparison on price alone, there are a couple of other benefits to using American Airlines vacation packages. These benefits may not outweigh a difference of hundreds of dollars, but it may tip the scale if the prices are similar.

  • Earn bonus miles — You always earn 1,000 AAdvantage miles with a booking through American Airlines Vacations, and there are often special offers where you can earn additional miles. You can also earn up to 30,000 more bonus miles when you book featured hotels. Purchases via American Airlines Vacations code as American Airlines purchases, so American Airlines credit cards will earn an additional bonus for making that purchase.
  • Installment options — When booking through American Airlines Vacations, you can use the Book now, pay monthly option to make monthly installment payments on your vacation. Your interest rate and terms vary on a variety of factors (including your personal credit score). However, while it may be cheaper than putting your entire vacation on your credit card, you'll need to be sure you can pay your full monthly balance on time each month to avoid falling into debt.
  • Book with miles — You can pay for your vacation with your AAdvantage miles, at a rate of 1 cent per mile. This is not the best way to use American AAdvantage miles, but it's not the worst either.
  • Special deals and discounts — American Airlines Vacations regularly has bonus offers which can either give additional bonus miles or discounts on certain types of vacation packages.
  • Booking support — American Airlines Vacations offers help with booking and support during your trip. They also offer the option to buy travel protection with every vacation package.

As an additional benefit currently, American Airlines elite members have a credit of up to $400 that they can use toward these vacation packages.

American Airlines travel agents

While booking a trip through American Airlines Vacations is primarily done online, AA also provides the option to call in and speak with a travel agent to modify or cancel a booking. Especially given the complicated travel climate, it can pay to have a professional travel agent working on your behalf.

Phone: Available daily from 7 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.

  • 800-321-2121 (U.S. and Canada – toll-free)
  • 817-786-4304 (Outside U.S. and Canada – charges apply)

You can also contact an AA Vacations travel agent after hours or if there's an emergency on your trip. There is no charge for contacting an American Airlines travel agent with questions regarding your American Airlines Vacations booking.

Good credit cards for American Airlines Vacations

There are a number of rewards credit cards that can help you earn and save on your American Airlines Vacations bookings. Co-branded American Airlines credit cards are great for earning rewards on your vacation package and can help maximize your American Airlines miles on your other purchases as well.

Welcome offer
Earning rate
Annual fee
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card
On Citibank's Secure Website
Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account openingEarn 2 AAdvantage® miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores, including grocery delivery services. Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases.$0
Show All Rows

How to book through American Airlines Vacations

  1. Select your destination and input your dates. Once you've decided where and when you want to take your trip, hit "Search" to populate your options. Here you'll also choose what type of package you're looking for, which can include flights, hotels and rental cars.
  2. Next, choose which hotels, rental cars, or flights are most suitable for your budget and preferences. During this step, you'll be able to see how each element affects your overall package price.
  3. Finally, you will be directed to checkout where you can view your completed package details, input your personal information and make your payment. Here you'll have the option to either pay for your vacation package in full, or make monthly payments over time.

American Airlines Vacations FAQs

How do I cancel an American Airlines Vacation?

If you wish to cancel your American Airlines Vacation, simply call 1-800-489-4810 for assistance. Note that there may be penalties for trip cancellations.

What kinds of packages does American Airlines Vacations offer?

American Airlines Vacations offers packages that include combinations of hotels, flights and rental cars.

Can I use American Airlines miles to purchase a vacation package?

Yes, you can use American Airlines miles to purchase a vacation package. However, you should be aware that this isn't the best way to get the most value out of your American Airlines miles.

Do I need a travel agent to book an American Airlines Vacation package?

No, you don't need a travel agent to book your American Airlines Vacation package. Simply go online to the American Airlines Vacations website to make your booking.

What is the American Airlines Vacations phone number?

If you wish to reach a travel specialist from American Airlines Vacations directly, you can call 800-321-2121 (U.S. and Canada – toll-free) or 817-786-4304 (Outside U.S. and Canada – charges apply).

The information related to Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).