The Guide to American Airlines Flights to the Caribbean

American is the domestic leader on flights to the Caribbean and Latin America, just be aware of higher fees.
Apr 12, 2022

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If you're planning to fly to the Caribbean, chances are American Airlines has a flight for you. American operates an expansive network of flights to the Caribbean of up to over 800 weekly flights to 35 Caribbean destinations. As a result, American has more flights to more destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean than any other airline.

While Miami is undoubtedly American's hub for Caribbean flights, you can currently fly American Airlines nonstop flights to the Caribbean from 10 different airports.

With a bit of planning, you can upgrade your experience too. By strategically picking your aircraft type, you can get perks — such as in-flight entertainment screens and lie-flat business class seats — usually only found on long-haul international flights.

Let's dig into what you need to know about American Airlines flights to the Caribbean.

Where in the Caribbean does American Airlines fly?

If you can think of a Caribbean destination, odds are that American Airlines flies there. American flies to 35 destinations across several islands, including:

  • Bridgetown, Barbados.

  • Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

  • Nassau, Bahamas.

  • Montego Bay, Jamaica.

  • Ocho Rios, Jamaica (coming November 2022).

  • Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.

  • Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

  • St. Croix, Virgin Islands.

  • St. Martin.

  • St. Lucia.

  • St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

  • San Juan, Puerto Rico.

  • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Fly direct

Many American Airlines flights to the Caribbean operate through Miami. However, American recently expanded its Caribbean flights to include flights from several non-hub airports.

You can now fly American Airlines nonstop flights to the Caribbean from the following airports:

  • Austin.

  • Boston.

  • Charlotte.

  • Chicago-O'Hare.

  • Dallas-Fort Worth.

  • Miami.

  • New York-JFK.

  • New York-LaGuardia.

  • Philadelphia.

  • Washington-Dulles.

The number of destinations served by these airports can vary widely. For example, American operates dozens of routes from Miami to the Caribbean but around a handful of routes from Chicago to Caribbean destinations.

Don't live in one of these cities? You can likely connect through one of these airports to get to the Caribbean in just one stop. For example, you can fly from Seattle to Bridgetown, Barbados — a journey of over 4,000 miles — with just one connecting stop in Miami.

Upgrade your flight experience

American uses internationally configured aircraft on some American Airlines flights to the Caribbean. By booking a flight on a Boeing 777 or 787 aircraft, you'll be sure to get in-flight entertainment screens at every seat. Plus, you can pay extra to book extra-spacious premium economy seats or lie-flat business/first-class seats.

For example, American Airlines operates an internationally configured Boeing 777-200 aircraft from Dallas-Fort Worth to San Juan. On certain dates, you can pay 20,000 AAdvantage miles for economy — or just 30,000 AAdvantage miles for lie-flat business class.

Or, you can fly from Philadelphia to Montego Bay on an American Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Some dates are as cheap as 12,500 AAdvantage miles in economy or just 22,500 miles for lie-flat business class.

That's a great deal. But, you can save a few miles — and unlock other transfer partner opportunities — by booking American Airlines flights to the Caribbean using British Airways Avios. On the same route to Montego Bay, you'll only need to pay 11,000 Avios for economy or 22,000 Avios for business class.

It may be faster to perform an advanced flight search to seek these special flights. For example, you can use a tool like the ITA Matrix to limit flight results to specific aircraft types.

Flight availability

American has recently added many new routes to the Caribbean — including Austin to Punta Cana and New York City to Turks and Caicos. However, not all of these routes operate daily.

The easiest way to search for flight availability is on American's website. You can start your search right on the homepage. Then, enter your route and dates and check the "Redeem miles" box if you want to search award prices.

On the results page, you can limit search results by nonstop flights or 1-stop itineraries to ensure you don't have to connect twice.

You can see up to a month of award prices at a time by clicking the "Calendar" link on the search results page. American will even highlight which flights are the lowest-priced options that month.

Booking American award flights to the Caribbean

Gone are the days of predictable award pricing. Like airfares, American Airlines award flights to the Caribbean vary in price depending on the route, date, and time you fly.

Dynamic award pricing

American Airlines still publishes an award chart. However, awards are effectively dynamically priced through American's Web Special Awards. So, for example, you may find AAdvantage awards to the Caribbean cheaper than the award chart price of 15,000 miles each way (12,500 miles each way during off-peak dates).

However, American may charge much higher award rates during peak dates and times.

Beware of high taxes and fees

Many Caribbean destinations charge high taxes and fees on arrivals and departures. These extra fees are included in the price you'll see when searching and booking cash fares. However, when booking award flights, you'll have to pay these taxes in addition to the mileage cost.

One of the priciest destinations in the Caribbean is Kingston, Jamaica. Taxes and fees on award flights can add up to around $165 round-trip. That's pretty expensive for a "free" flight.

Since these fees can add up, make sure you factor in taxes and fees when budgeting for your trip.

Checking in for your American Caribbean flight

American Airlines' check-in policies are a bit more strict when flying internationally. You can check in as close as 45 minutes before departure for domestic flights. However, for international flights, American closes check-in online and through the AA app 90 minutes before departure or 60 minutes before departure at the airport.

For your flight home, remember that American Airlines check-in cutoff times can vary at some international airports. You'll need to check in at least 90 minutes before departure at the following Caribbean airports:

  • St. Croix, Virgin Islands.

  • St. Kitts and Nevis.

  • St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

Earn points faster with a credit card

As you can see in the examples above, there are compelling award prices for American Airlines flights to the Caribbean. You can pay as little as 10,000 miles each way on some dates. If you don't have enough miles to take advantage of these award prices, credit card sign-up bonuses can help boost your AAdvantage account balance.

American Airlines card options (and their welcome bonuses) include:

If you want to fly American to the Caribbean

American Airlines boasts the most flights to more destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean than any other airline. So chances are that American has a flight to match your Caribbean travel goals.

The cheapest way to book American Airlines flights to the Caribbean is to use airline miles. AAdvantage offers dynamic award pricing that can drop as low as 10,000 miles each way. Or, you can fly to the Caribbean for just 7,500 Avios by booking through British Airways or Iberia.

Just watch out for some of the complications of international travel — from stricter check-in times to potentially high taxes and fees.

The information related to the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.


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