How Much is Baggage on American Airlines? You’re not alone if you’ve ever gotten a cheap plane ticket only to be slapped with hefty baggage costs. Baggage fees alone cost the airline industry about $2.84 billion in 2020, despite the decline in air traffic caused by the epidemic.
Baggage taxes weren’t enforced on all airlines until 2008. May 2008 saw American Airlines become the first major airline to impose luggage taxes, and the price has only gone up since. Several years ago, American and United began offering Basic Economy flights with a catch: Carry-ons cost an additional fee. A free carry-on and checked luggage is now the only major airline to do so.
Basic Economy ticket holders on American Airlines are entitled to a free carry-on bag in addition to a personal item. However, most locations charge a price to have luggage checked. American Airlines baggage fees can be avoided if you have the finest travel credit cards and frequent flyer programs.
- American Airlines’ baggage policy
- Avoid baggage fees on American Airlines
- How many bags can you carry on American Airlines for free?
- Bottom Line
American Airlines’ baggage policy
American Airlines’ carry-on policy
In addition to a carry-on bag less than 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches, American Airlines customers can bring one personal item no larger than 18 inches x 14 inches x 8 inches. Any garment bag that exceeds 51 inches in total (length + width + height) must be left at home.
In addition to a carry-on bag and a personal item, you can bring strollers, car seats, diaper bags, and medical gadgets as additional carry-on luggage if they fit in the overhead bin. Sports equipment can be transported in a carry-on, however the laws differ from airline to airline and from country to country.
In order to travel light, you’ll have to abide by a number of constraints. For example, you won’t be permitted to carry scissors, straight razors, or other cutting equipment if you have more than a specific amount of liquids or powders in your possession. Visit the American Airlines website for the complete list.
American Airlines’ domestic baggage fees
There are a few nuances to American Airlines’ checked baggage regulation. Fees vary depending on the kind of ticket you book, the number of baggage you check, the location and the time of day you travel. The first checked bag costs $30; the second costs $40; the third costs $50; and each additional bag costs between $150 and $200 for domestic flights (including flights to and from the U.S. mainland, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands). First and business class passengers are entitled to two complimentary checked baggage.
Don’t expect to be able to pack everything into your biggest bag and spend just $30 for it. The maximum size of your luggage allowed by American Airlines is 62 inches in length, breadth, and height combined. Unless you’re travelling business or first class, or to Australia or New Zealand, you’re only allowed to check a 50-pound bag. You are allowed to bring a bag weighing up to 70 pounds in these circumstances.
Oversize or overweight luggage can be brought, but you’ll have to pay a substantial price for it. You should expect to pay at least $150 for an enormous bag and at least $100 for an overweight bag. You could be better off sending your products to your final destination if the rates are this high.
American Airlines’ international baggage fees
On international flights, the cost of checked luggage with American Airlines varies. Depending on your location and the kind of ticket you booked, you may be eligible for one or more complimentary checked baggage. As an example, passengers flying in the Main Cabin or Basic Economy class on a transatlantic journey often have to pay a charge to check a bag. The first checked bag is free if you’re flying on a Basic Economy ticket to Haiti.
International flights on American Airlines are subject to the same oversize and overweight baggage penalties, which can cost up to $200 depending on your final destination. Business and First Class passengers flying internationally are entitled to two complimentary checked baggage, just like those flying domestically.
Avoid baggage fees on American Airlines
Traveling becomes more expensive even if you only pay $30 for each checked bag. And the prices aren’t going away anytime soon; in fact, they have been rising, and American Airlines generated more money from bag fees than any other airline last year.
Because of that doesn’t imply, though, that you’ll have to hand up a dime. American Airlines baggage costs can be avoided in the following methods.
Only pack a carry-on
American Airlines is one of the few airlines that lets you bring a free carry-on, even with a Basic Economy ticket. You could bring a backpack to stow underneath the seat along with a carry-on bag for the overhead bin. Generally, that amount of packing space should get you through a weekend trip — or even a week, if you pack light.
Join a loyalty program
AAdvantage, American Airlines’ frequent flyer club, is free to join, and regular fliers may rack up a lot of miles. Elite Qualifying Dollars and Elite Qualifying Miles or Segments can be earned on qualified American or oneworld Alliance partner flights.
Elite rank entitles you to perks like complimentary luggage and other privileges. AAdvantage Gold or oneworld Ruby status is required to check your first bag for free. When it comes to luggage advantages, the more elite your position is in these programs, the more you’ll earn. On the other hand, with oneworld Emerald and AAdvantage Executive Platinum membership, you’ll get three free checked luggage.
Buy a premium ticket
Consider purchasing a premium ticket if you want a better travel experience and two free checked baggage.
Flights to and from Alaska and Hawaii are not included in the free baggage allowance for Premium Economy ticket holders. Regardless of where they’re going, Business Class passengers may check two bags for free, while First Class passengers can check three bags for free if flying on a three-cabin aircraft.
Bring your military documentation
When traveling on military orders, you and your dependents are entitled to free checked baggage for up to five suitcases. In addition, you’ll be given up to three free bags for personal travel. Keep a photocopy of your military identity card handy at all times.
American Airlines credit card
It is possible to earn miles for both travel and everyday shopping by using one of these credit cards. To help you earn free flights or other benefits faster, each of these programs also gives a sign-up bonus. To choose the best airline credit card for you, you’ll need to examine perks and costs.
Use a general travel rewards card
For those who don’t travel with American Airlines frequently, but still want the chance to rack up points toward future flights, there are a number of excellent travel credit cards to select from.
The Business Platinum from American Express, for example, offers airline travel credits that may be used to offset the cost of checked bags even if the card does not give free bags. Other issuers’ cards may also provide useful credits that may be applied to American Airlines’ baggage costs. The Chase Sapphire Reserve, for example, provides users with a $300 yearly credit for travel.
How many bags can you carry on American Airlines for free?
All American Airlines customers are entitled to one free carry-on bag and one free personal item. Additionally, AAdvantage members and those who choose a premium seat may be eligible for up to three complimentary checked baggage. The first checked bag costs at least $30 for travellers flying in Basic Economy.
Even if baggage and other airline prices are rising, it doesn’t imply that your trip aspirations are over. You may avoid baggage fees on American Airlines if you pack light, purchase a premium ticket, or sign up for a credit card with generous points.