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Understanding American Airlines Bag Fees: The Basics

Author Alan Bianco

Posted Feb 14, 2023

Reads 7.1K

American Airlines bag fees is a significant factor to consider when planning a flight. The largest airline in the United States, American Airlines offers an extensive route network across the country and around the world. You're planning on flying with them? Then you should be aware of their bag fee policies.

American Airlines publishes rules for checked baggage based on your destination and fare class. Different elite status levels also come into play, so it's important to understand what they are offering. Fortunately, American Airlines provides a handy fee calculator on its website to help you figure out the cost of checking bags in advance.

If you are a member of their AAdvantage loyalty program, then there are additional benefits that come with your status level that could make understanding American Airlines bag fees policies less confusing. This article will serve as a complete guide to everything you need to know about American Airlines bag fees so that you can plan accordingly for your next flight.

Discovering the American Airlines Bag Fees Policies

American Airlines checked bag fees vary based on your fare class, destination, and in some cases, elite status. For families traveling abroad, the baggage fees may be different than those for domestic travel. Additional checked bags are subject to extra bag fees that also vary depending on fare class and destination.

Passengers heading to Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, Guyana, Suriname, China, Japan, South Korea Hong Kong India Australia Europe and South America (excluding Guyana) can take advantage of offers free checked bags with certain fares or an American Airlines credit card. Oversize and overweight bags are also subject to separate fee structures for each region. Heavier bags such as golf clubs will incur a golf bag fee in addition to the standard checked bag fee. The exact fees vary according to destination; check the website for details before booking tickets.

For tickets purchased on or after Nov 8 2021 there is a standard fee per overweight bag ($100 USD). A ski/snowboard equipment bag counts as one standard checked item and standard bag fees apply for larger items; oversized items incur extra oversize fees ($200 USD). In some cases a single snowboard may count as two items instead of one. Check with American Airlines before you fly so you know what to expect regarding baggage fees at your destination.

Discovering How to Pay American Airlines Baggage Fees

Traveling can be stressful, and one of the biggest headaches is maneuvering through the American Airlines baggage fees. Before you take off, it's important to know how to pay the baggage fees associated with your flight. With the right knowledge and a few simple steps, you'll be able to easily manage this task.

YouTube video about Discovering How to Pay American Airlines Baggage Fees

The best way to prepay your American Airlines baggage fees is by using the airlines mobile app or website. By doing this in advance, you'll get a discounted rate for checking bags and will avoid the airport check-in counter hustle. You can also add any additional bags online that you may have forgotten about before arriving at the airport.

If you don't prepay your baggage fees online, then you'll need to do so at the airport check-in counter on the day of your flight. This brings an added cost since airline staff will charge you a higher rate than what was available online earlier. Additionally, there are certain restrictions on free checked bags depending on your ticket type or loyalty status with American Airlines - so make sure to double-check your options before departing!

Steer Clear of Baggage Fees on American Airlines


Good news! You can avoid paying American Airlines baggage fees by checking your bags. The key is to plan ahead, know the airline’s policies and take advantage of any discounts or promotions that are available. By doing this, you'll be able to save money when checking your bags with American Airlines.

1. Earn Elite Status With American Airlines

Achieving elite status with American Airlines is a great way to get the most out of your travel experience. As an AAdvantage® Member, you can unlock a range of benefits, from free checked bags and select travel companions to earning status mileage bonuses and free upgrades. The airlines loyalty program offers four different elite status tiers: AAdvantage Gold, AAdvantage Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum Pro and AAdvantage Executive Platinum- each offering complimentary checked baggage benefits for you and your select travel companions when flying on American Airlines flights.

As an AAdvantage Gold member, you'll receive one free checked bag. With AAdvantage Platinum and Platinum Pro membership, you'll have access to two free checked bags while Aadvantage Executive Platinum members will be able to check three bags for no additional cost. Plus, as an elite member you'll enjoy additional perks such as preferred seats and free upgrades. Be sure to review the specific benefits of each tier to determine which one is right for you!

2. Use an American Airlines Credit Card

When traveling domestically with American Airlines, you can save money on checked bag fees by using a select American Airlines co-branded credit card. Citi offers several rewards cards that offer free checked bags for the primary card holder and up to four traveling companions when they're on domestic flights operated by American Airlines. Depending on the card, you may even get an additional checked baggage benefit for your companion too. These cards are an ideal way to avoid paying checked bag fees when flying with American Airlines and allow you to enjoy more of your travel budget.

3. Book a Premium Cabin

Are you looking to avoid paying baggage fees when flying with American Airlines? Upgrade to a premium cabin fare for select flights and select flagship customers receive free checked bags. Premium economy flyers on American Airlines, as well as other airlines including American Airlines, are eligible for one free bag when they’re flying on an economy plan. Those in higher classes, such as business and first class, may be eligible for up to two bags without extra charges. By booking a premium cabin fare you can save money on your travels and avoid the hassle of extra charges.

4. Use Travel Credits

Traveling with American Airlines can get expensive quickly when it comes to checked baggage fees. Luckily, many credit cards offer a way to avoid these extra charges. American Express offers airline fee statement credits annually for miscellaneous airline charges including checked bag fees; however, enrollment is required and terms apply. With rewards credit cards, card purchases can also be used to cover travel expenses including baggage fees. For example, the Venture Rewards Credit Card from Capital One allows you to earn bonus miles on all card purchases and redeem them for travel purchases made. By using a rewards credit card, you can save money and cover the cost of your baggage fees without any hassle.

5. Be a Member of the Military

Military members and their dependents receive special benefits from American Airlines. Active duty military members are exempt from most baggage fees when traveling for personal reasons, provided they have proper identification. Additionally, free checked bags can be used by any active military member traveling with American Airlines. Dependents also receive discounted fares, priority boarding, and free checked baggage when accompanying an active duty member.

These airline benefits aren't only useful for leisure trips; they can also provide considerable savings to military members and their families who need to travel for work or other obligations. Regardless of the reason for travel, all active military members should be aware of the great benefits that American Airlines offers them.

6. Don’t Check a Bag

Packing light is the key to avoiding checked baggage fees with American Airlines. With the right luggage packing skills and an understanding of American Airlines carry-on restrictions, you can avoid the additional baggage fees and long waits at the baggage claim as well.

By packing light, you’re able to save money and time and avoid potential lost or damaged luggage. Knowing what items you can bring on board will help you stay within the airline's guidelines while also avoiding having to check a bag in the first place.

7. Fly on Another Airline

If you're looking to avoid American Airlines' baggage fees, consider booking flights on another airline. Many airlines don't charge for checked bags, depending on your travel itinerary. For example, Southwest Airlines allows two free checked bags per passenger. Other airlines may have different policies, so be sure to check the airline carrier's website to determine baggage fees before booking. With a bit of research and planning, you can save money by checking your bags on an airline that doesn't charge for the service.

Exploring Carry-on Rules with American Airlines

Are you flying with American Airlines and want to know what the carry-on rules are? While every airline has their own rules, American Airlines has unique policies that can help you to prepare for your flight.

YouTube video about Exploring Carry-on Rules with American Airlines

American Airlines allows passengers to bring one full-sized carry-on bag and one personal item on board when flying with a basic economy fare, United virtually, or any other fare class. The size of the personal item must be no more than 18 inches x 14 inches x 8 inches so it fits underneath the seat in front of you. Some examples of personal items are backpacks, purses, briefcases, laptop bags, and approved pet carriers. The maximum size for a carry-on bag allowed on an American Airlines flight is 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches.

It’s important to stay up to date with American Airlines’ carry-on policy before you fly so that you can avoid any unnecessary surprises at the gate or hassle while boarding your flight. Knowing what is allowed on each American Airlines flight will help make your travel experience smoother and stress-free.

Steer Clear of American Airlines Baggage Fees

From above electronic calculator and notepad placed over United States dollar bills together with metallic pen for budget planning and calculation

Are you trying to avoid paying American Airlines baggage fees? With a few simple tips, you can easily steer clear of these costly charges and save yourself money. Follow our advice and you'll be well on your way to avoiding the dreaded fee!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do the airlines accept cash for baggage fees?

Yes, most airlines accept cash for baggage fees. However, some may require payment via debit or credit card – please check the specific airline's website for more details.

Why do airlines charge for Excess Baggage?

Airline companies charge for Excess Baggage to offset the costs associated with storing and transporting additional luggage, ensuring all passengers receive a safe and reliable journey. Learn more about airline baggage policies and fees here.

How much does American Airlines charge for baggage?

American Airlines charges different baggage fees depending on the route and fare type, but the starting price for checked bags is $30 for domestic flights. Check out our website for more information about our baggage fees!

What are the baggage requirements for American Airlines?

American Airlines allows passengers to check one bag for free and carry-on a personal item and one bag. For more information on our baggage requirements, please visit our website.

How many baggage does American Airlines allow?

American Airlines allows up to two checked bags, plus one carry-on and one personal item, per passenger. For more information on our baggage policy, please visit the American Airlines website.

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Alan Bianco

Writer at CGAA

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Alan Bianco is an accomplished article author and content creator with over 10 years of experience in the field. He has written extensively on a range of topics, from finance and business to technology and travel. After obtaining a degree in journalism, he pursued a career as a freelance writer, beginning his professional journey by contributing to various online magazines.

His writing style is simple yet effective, relying on research-backed data and facts to create engaging stories. With his unique ability to capture readers’ attention and keep them hooked till the end, Alan has earned himself numerous accolades for his work. As a testament to his expertise, he has been featured on numerous top publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.

In addition to writing articles, Alan also runs his own blog where he shares insights about various topics related to the industry.

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