AAA Travel

6.4

Overall Score

No User Reviews

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Founded in 1900, AAA originally started with California-based car enthusiasts providing one simple service. Today, AAA is made up of 54 million members spread throughout the United States and Canada. AAA Travel makes it possible for customers to book hotels, cars, flights and cruises. It also provides special hotel offers such as Disney hotel and ticket packages. With the help of its travel blog, customers can find inspiration for their next European vacation, ideas on how to travel smarter in San Francisco or cruise tips for traveling with families. Customers can choose from nearly 200 detailed maps and TourBooks which include the U.S., Canada and Europe. AAA Travel generated $3.8 billion in sales during the year 2013 and also made the top 10 booking companies listed by sales according to Skift. 

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#7 AAA Travel Logo AAA Travel

6.4

Overall
Score

0 User Reviews

The Good

  • Network
  • Accommodations
  • Sorting tool
  • Travel insurance
  • Rewards program

AAA Travel specializes in providing high quality, and sometimes even luxurious, vacations at a discounted rate. Each year, they help thousands of people travel the world without breaking their budget. The AAA Travel network includes hundreds of participating airlines, hotels, and other travel providers helps ensure low rates for the best value.

Travelers that navigate to the AAA Travel site will quickly notice that that it is easy to book all necessary travel accommodations. The interface is organized and can even takes travelers through a step by step process to assist users in booking their next vacation. Accommodations that can be booked online through the AAA Travel platform include:

  • Hotels - hundreds of brands/chains available
  • Cars - rent cars at a discounted rate
  • Flights - sort through airline providers to find the cheapest airfare
  • Cruises - reserve cruise accommodations online

With hundreds, if not thousands, or applicable results in any given search, AAA Travel has created a helpful sorting tool to cut down on research time. Travelers can filter find what they need and want for their next vacation and make sure it works with their schedule and financial needs.

For travelers that cannot guarantee to be able to take part in every aspect of their trip, travel insurance can provide users with the peace of mind they need while booking. Another plus travelers receive by booking trips with AAA Travel is AAA's travel protection plan. Customers of AAA Travel will receive several benefits including:

  • Breakdown service - Miles of free towing
  • On the road assistance - Emergency fuel and delivery
  • Reards plan - Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Membership
  • Assist in booking - Travel consultants
  • Refunds - Lost Baggage coverage

In addition to being able to earn refunds or protect travel, travelers who use AAA Travel will be able to use the AAA credit card to take advantage of AAA Travel's rewards program. This rewards program allows users to earn points that can be redeemed for a number of items. AAA Travel offers two different credit cards:

AAA Credit Card with Worldpoints Rewards

  • Worldpoints Rewards can redeemed for:
    • Cash
    • Travel
    • Merchandise
    • Fraud protection
    • Online access to account information
    • Supplemental auto rental collision damage deductible insurance
    • Earn one percent cash back on all net retail purchases
    • Member redemption is "On Demand" allowing members to request a cash back check in $25 increments
    • When members spend $2,500, they will be eligible to redeem $25AAA Cash Rewards Credit Card

For travelers that are on the move, finding access to a laptop or desktop can prove to be difficult. AAA Travel also has a mobile app available for Apple and Android users. Travelers will be able to access maps and exclusive mobile discounts. If something happens while they are traveling in their car or a rental, they will be able to take advantage of roadside assistance. There is also the passbook feature to manage all travel. The design of the mobile app was created to make it as easy as possible for customers find AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels, restaurants and attractions. The mobile app also gives customers the ability to create and share itineraries between desktop and mobile devices.

Even though AAA is known for their roadside assistance, their travel branch has grown significantly through their social media approach. This is particularly helpful for travelers who prefer receiving updates from sources other than email or regularly visiting AAA Travel's website.For example, its YouTube channel gives customers everything from a behind-the-scenes look at hotel inspections to a quick Memorial Day travel forecast. Users can ask questions or receive help through any of their social media platforms, including: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

For users traveling with kids, there is a feature that can provide additional savings and maximize leisure for the whole crew. Customers who choose AAA Travel will also be able to take advantage of AAA's Disney Alliance. By choosing AAA Travel, customers will be able to use benefits, services and vacation packages for Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Cruise Line, and Adventures by Disney.

The Bad

  • Certain features for members only
  • Fine print

AAA Travel cannot be used by just anyone. While AAA Travel has a variety of services and deals for travelers, it is not a recommended choice for customers who use a different insurance service. Deals and travel protection are only for current members of AAA. To join, customers must switch their vehicle insurance coverage and pay the following annual dues which vary from club to club. The new primary member will need to pay anywhere from $48-$96 and a new associate member will be charged anywhere from $21-$51.

AAA Members do not just get to take advantage of their car services. Travelers who are not already customers of AAA who want the detailed travel protection will need to pay the fees and take care of the related paperwork. If travelers do not become members of AAA, they will have coverage for the following (this list is not comprehensive):

  • Miles of free towing
  • Emergency fuel and delivery
  • Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Membership
  • Travel consultants
  • Lost Baggage coverage

Customers need to be aware of the fine print attached to AAA Travel's service such as travel protection. For example, AAA membership insurance promises does not apply to electric vehicles. AAA Travel's services and deals are limited compared to its competitors since much of its business comes from its insurance sales. Customers in search of a wide variety of cruise specials and vacation packages will most likely end up needing to contact a AAA Travel agent for more information since the website does not go into much detail about its deals.

The Bottom Line

The AAA Travel agency is probably best used by current AAA members. Otherwise, travelers will need to purchase a membership which may act as duplicate and unnecessary insurance. The online business has a simple approach when it comes to booking hotels, cars, flights and cruises which can be helpful to travelers who prefer a straight-forward approach to online travel booking. Those interested in using AAA for their travel booking needs can expect the following from the platform:

  1. Complete travel management
  2. Rewards Program
  3. Limited Travel Insurance
  4. Disney Connections
  5. Cost for membership

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