The popular American Airlines Vacations 20,000 mile bonus is back and definitely worth a look. Travelers are eligible to earn 20,000 AAdvantage miles, in addition to the typical 1,000 mile AA Vacations bonus when booking a travel package to South America. This particular promotion is a great value for flyers planning a paid trip to many parts of South America in the near future.
Great Values – AA Vacations
After receiving the email announcement from American, I decided to run some sample itineraries to see what kind of value we’d see. I found that Bogota, Colombia presents the best value, likely due to it’s proximity to the United States. First, I ran a search for October travel originating in Miami, which means a nonstop flight into Bogota. I also toggled my search to include only 4 star hotels or higher. AA Vacations packages typically require a 3-night stay, so I went with that. Here were my first few results for flight and hotel packages:
Alternatively, results for hotels in the 2.5-3 star range came in around $550 for the entire flight/hotel package. Booking the cheapest hotel is a good option if you plan to “throw it away” and stay at the hotel of your choice. To put this into perspective, here is the best pricing for nonstop flights on the same dates from Miami to Bogota:
With AA Vacations you’re getting 3 nights in a 4 star hotel for ~ $150 plus 20,000 more miles than you’d typically earn booking the flight directly with American.
NYC – Bogota
Next I ran a search originating in New York, with travel to Bogota. I limited my search to 4 star properties or higher. Properties at the 2.5-3 star level came in around $100 less for flight and hotel. Again, this is a good option if you plan to throw away the hotel portion. Using a throw away hotel would also be smart if you’re traveling with another person. Instead of booking for two, each flyer could book separately, earning a 20,000 mile bonus. The second hotel could be the cheapest option and thrown away.
For comparison, here’s your flight options for the same dates if you were to book separately:
The Fine Print – AA Vacations 20,000 Mile Bonus
All vacation packages must be booked by September 30th to qualify for the 20,000 mile bonus. Exact terms and conditions can be found here. Furthermore, flyertalk has a great thread answering many FAQ’s including elite qualifying miles, and much more.
This is a great reminder to always check your options before booking a paid flight. Often times promotions are out there that radically multiply the amount of miles you’ll earn. For some additional perspective, buying 22,500 AAdvantage miles would cost you $504 at the moment. For a few hundred dollars more, many flyers, especially along the East Coast could enjoy a long weekend in Colombia, and earn 20,000+ miles. Don’t forget to look for bonuses before booking your next paid flight!