August 19, 2022
How to – American Airlines baggage fees
Baggage fees are a tricky business, largely because each airline seems to have its own rules. But when it comes to traveling with Texas-based American Airlines, things are pretty straightforward. Keep your checked bag below 50 pounds to avoid a penalty charge on top of the below baggage fees. Looking to skip the fees altogether? You’ll need to gain elite loyalty status or pack very, very light.
Baggage fee – economy
On American Airlines, customers seated in economy pay $30 for their first checked bag on all domestic – and most Caribbean, Mexico, Central American, and South American – flights. If you’re flying elsewhere internationally, say Hong Kong or Paris, the first bag is free. A second bag will cost you $40 on all domestic flights, though that fee goes up to $65 if you’re traveling to Haiti, Cuba, or elsewhere in the Caribbean (there are exceptions, so be sure to check). If you’re flying to Europe or Asia, the second bag fee jumps to $100.
Like with most airlines, American Airlines’ baggage fees only apply to checked bags. Every passenger is entitled to one carry-on and a personal item, a purse or small backpack. A musical instrument is considered a carry-on item, as long as it fits in the overhead bin. Diaper bags, strollers, and mobility devices are all allowed, and will not count toward your allotted carry-on item.
Baggage fee – basic economy
The fees above reflect the situation for passengers seated in economy class. If you’re flying in a basic economy seat, it’s a different story. Prepare to pay $75 for your first checked bag on transatlantic flights and $45 to most of South America. A third or fourth bag will cost $200 apiece, unless you’re flying domestically, in which case it’ll cost $150.
According to a recent update, all basic economy passengers are now allowed one personal item and a carry-on at no cost.