International travel − Travel information − American Airlines

We recommend you arrive to the airport at least 3 hours before your scheduled departure for international flights.

Check if your destination has travel restrictions. If your destination requires specific travel documents, remember to bring a completed copy with you to the airport.

Preparations for international travel

International travel doesn’t have to be tricky – just make sure your travel documents and required paperwork are in order. When you travel internationally, you’re responsible to make sure you have the correct documents to enter and pass through any countries during your trip, and then make your way back home.

To start:

  1. Everyone traveling, regardless of age, needs their own set of travel documents.
  2. Always use the information exactly as it appears on your passport (to book and fill out any documents).
  3. Check with the consulate of every country you’re entering (or passing through) to make sure you meet all travel requirements.
  4. Some countries require proof of return or onward travel, a visiting address and sufficient funds for your stay.

Travel requirements and documents

Make sure to check entry requirements with the consulate of the countries you plan to visit before you travel. You’re responsible for bringing the correct documents for international travel. If you don’t have the required documentation and identification, you will not be allowed to board the plane and would be responsible for any resulting costs.


A passport is required for all international travel. If you’re traveling anywhere overseas, you need a passport to board an international flight and to enter the country. Passport cards will not be accepted as form of I.D. for international air travel.

Passports must be:

  • Valid for at least 6 months after the date you enter a foreign country.
  • Kept in good condition, free of any damage beyond normal wear and tear, and material alterations. You may be denied boarding if you travel with a passport that appears damaged or altered.

U.S. citizens can use any government-issued form of identification to travel between the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

More information on U.S. passports Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines

Visa and Visa Waiver Program

In addition to a passport, some countries require a visa to enter. If you’re traveling to the U.S. for a stay less than 90 days, the Department of Homeland Security requires eligible travelers to use the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), as part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). You must submit your application no later than 72 hours before departing for the U.S., but we suggest you apply for authorization when you start planning your trip. You will be denied boarding if you arrive at the airport without an approved ESTA.

An approved ESTA travel authorization is:

  • Valid for up to two years or your passport expires, whichever comes first
  • Valid for multiple entries into the U.S.
  • Not a guarantee of admissibility to the U.S., approval only authorizes you to board a carrier for travel to the U.S.

To enter the U.S. under the VWP, each passenger must have a machine-readable passport. If you don’t have a machine-readable zone, a valid visa is required.

Each passenger traveling to the U.S. under the VWP must have a:

  • Valid electronic (e-Passport) with this symbol on the passport cover
  • Valid ESTA

If you present a non-electronic passport, a valid U.S. visa will be required or you’ll be denied boarding and entry into the U.S.

To Australia This content can be expanded To Canada This content can be expanded From Chile This content can be expanded

Under the VWP, Nationals of Chile traveling to the U.S. are required to have an E-passport in addition to a machine-readable passport.

To Cuba This content can be expanded

All travelers entering Cuba will need to prepare additional information including a visa and health insurance.

Travel to Cuba

To Curaçao This content can be expanded To New Zealand This content can be expanded To / from Peru This content can be expanded

Customers traveling to or from Peru with amounts of cash exceeding $10,000 USD or its equivalent in local or foreign currency are legally responsible for declaring such amount at airport controls to avoid sanctions and up to the confiscation of the undeclared amount, as per Article 4 of Supreme Decree 195-2013-EF.

Additionally, it is prohibited entering or leaving the country with amounts over $30,000 USD or its equivalent in local or foreign currency.

Health requirements

To travel, vaccinations may be required depending on where you’re traveling to and from.

Travel information from the CDC Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines

Australia medication policy

  • You must declare all personal medication on your arrival card.
  • You must carry medical documentation to defend use of the medication.
  • If you need to use syringe during your flight, you will also need a doctor’s letter proving there’s a medical reason to use it onboard.
  • If you don’t have proper documentation the medications may be confiscated.

Nicaragua: Yellow Fever vaccine requirement

When traveling to Nicaragua, a Yellow Fever shot will be required if you have departed from or connected through any of these countries in the last 30 days:

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • French Guiana
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Venezuela
  • Any country in Africa

If you can’t present a valid Yellow Fever vaccine certificate you’ll be denied entry to Nicaragua and will have to return to where you came from on the next available flight.

Chemical sprays on international flights

Flights to and from certain countries require insecticide treatment (a process known as disinsection) inside the cabin for insect and disease control. The U.S. Department of Transportation provides full information about the spray and the countries required to use it.

Aircraft disinsection requirements Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines

Your checked and carry-on bags may be sprayed or misted with a solution upon arrival due to local health protocols for virus and disease control. This action is performed by local authorities and not American Airlines.

Travel and health restrictions by destination Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines

Tax exemptions

You may be entitled to a refund of some taxes included in the price of your ticket if you meet the applicable criteria for exemptions and your itinerary involves:

  • Travel between the U.S. and Mexico (including travel between Canada and Mexico via the U.S.)
  • International travel departing Belize, Colombia or Trinidad and Tobago
  • International travel arriving into Colombia

Tax exemptions

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Learn about regulations and procedures that apply to all travelers that enter or depart the United States.

Travel tips Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines

Advanced Passenger Information (API)

To enhance border security, passenger information will be passed through the Advanced Passenger Information (API) system and sent to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to review passenger information before the flight arrives.

  • All international flights arriving and departing the U.S. are required by law to provide API data.
  • API data for American Airlines/American Eagle flights is also transmitted to Customs and Immigration agencies in other countries where required by law.
  • The information sharing is mandatory as part of the U.S. Aviation and Transportation Security Act.

US-VISIT program

All visitors to the U.S., except nationals of Canada, will have their photograph and fingerprints taken, and will automatically be registered under the US-VISIT program when they pass through Customs and Border Protection.

Learn about U.S. – Visit program Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines

TSA Secure Flight Passenger Data

Secure Flight Passenger Data is basic personal information the TSA requires for you to travel. The information is collected during booking or ticketing.

TSA Secure Flight

International travel with infants and children

To travel internationally, all children, regardless of age, must have a passport and any travel documents required by the countries visited. If you’re traveling internationally with anyone under 18, you may be required show documentary evidence of your relationship and a Letter of Consent or permission for the child’s travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present.

Traveling with children

A woman passing through airport security

Travel often?

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