Tag Archives | baggage

American Airlines Devalues Award Chart, Improves South American Baggage Allowance

American Airlines Increases South American Baggage AllowanceToday, without advance warning, American Airlines devalued their award ticket chart and reduced many other benefits for travelers. These negative changes included:

  • Elimination of distance based Oneworld Explorer awards
  • Elimination of stopovers at the gateway city on AAdvantage awards
  • Creation of multiple tiers of AAdvantage standard award levels (at higher mileage levels)
  • Reduction of baggage allowances for some elites and on full fare and AAnytime awards

While these are all negative, most of these will not affect the vast majority of award travelers as the standard level awards are still the same. (These are the only awards that we book.)

However, the loss of stopovers at the gateway city is a real negative. You used to be able to stay at any AA gateway city (New York, Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles) for up to one year before continuing on to your final destination. We used this on our recent trip to Vancouver to spend a night in Dallas both on the way there and on the way back since traveling direct with small kids was just too much travel time. We’re also using this on our June flight to the US. We’ll fly EZE to JFK, stay 3 nights in NYC and then continue on to Boston all for the same award price. This is no longer allowed. You may now only stay up to 24 hours in the gateway city before continuing on the next flight. That sucks.

On the positive side (the only one), the baggage allowance on American Airlines to South America has been increased from one free checked bag to two free check bags. So, yes, all the Argentines traveling to Miami can now bring back two bags of Victoria’s Secret lingerie and not have to pay for the extra bag. This applies to tickets purchased after April 8, 2014, so unfortunately we missed out on this one for our next trip.

Making changes without notice is a real negative for American and goes to show that you should always use your miles and points whenever you can.

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Bringing My Stuff

I’m planning on being in Buenos Aires for a year or two, and since I heard that shipping anything from the US is a real pain in the ass, I’m planning on bringing everything I need with me. This includes all my clothes and personal items, as well as laptops, small electronics (Vonage router, wireless router, iPods, Wii, Wii Fit, iPod speakers, voltage converters), a PC and LCD screen. I’ve already sold a lot of my stuff on Craigslist and eBay, and the rest of my stuff is being put in storage.

I’m flying Delta and they allow you to bring up to 10 bags per person, but once you go over the fifth bag, that rate increases substantially (Bags 3-5: $150ea, Bags 6-8: $300ea, Bags 9-10: $600ea)  . I’ll probably try and bring no more than 5 bags and try to keep each one under Delta’s size and weight requirements, thus avoiding additional charges too (51-70 lbs: $80ea, 71-100 lbs: $150ea / 62-80 inches: $150 ea).  Still at 3 extra bags, I’ll probably plan to pay at least $450 at the airport.

I’m bringing my electronics and computers because I’ve heard that these items are quite expensive in Argentina, so it makes sense to bring what you can with you. Being that my work is pretty much all based on the Internet too, I need to have all the same things I would have at home.

I have a flight back to the US scheduled for December, so I’m hoping that anything else I need can be picked up then.

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