American Airlines baggage fees are pretty consistent with the average when it comes to larger U.S.-based carriers.
If you’re flying economy, you’ll pay for all checked baggage on domestic flights and routes to/from Canada & Mexico (exceptions for status and some credit card holders). For most international routes, your first checked bag (or two) is included.
Where you’ll want to be careful is in the excess department of American Airlines’ baggage policy – if your luggage is both overweight and oversize, American will charge you fees for both.
Table of contents
Table of Contents
AA Carry-On Allowance
1 personal item: FREE
1 standard carry-on: FREE
- Personal: 18 x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm)
- Standard: 22 x 14 x 9 inches (56 x 36 x 23 cm). A soft-sided garment bag is also accepted up to 51 linear inches / 130 cm
Lap Infant Carry-On Policy
- 1 diaper bag per child is permitted, in addition to the adult’s carry-on allowance.
Stroller Check Policy
- Each customer is allowed 1 stroller and/or 1 car seat to be checked free of charge (only one can be checked at the gate)
- Strollers over 20 pounds (9 kg) must be checked at ticket counter
AA Checked Baggage Allowance
All checked bags must adhere to a max weight of 50 pounds (23 kg) for Economy and Premium Economy; 70 pounds (32 kg) for Business and First Class fares; must adhere to max linear dimensions of 62 inches (158 cm).
Seasonal Baggage Restrictions
Seasonal pricing applies for tickets issued on / before April 17, 2019 for travel on December 8 – 24, 2019 or for tickets issued on / after April 18, 2019 for travel on December 7, 2019 – January 12, 2020.
Seasonal pricing also applies for tickets issued on / before August 19, 2019 for travel on June 15, 2020 – August 12, 2020 or for tickets issued on / after August 20, 2019 for travel on June 1, 2020 – August 19, 2020.
Main Cabin: for purchase as per table below
Premium Economy: 2 bags included; 3+ for purchase as per table above
Business: 2 bags included; 3+ for purchase as per table above
First: 2-3 bags included**; 3+ for purchase as per table above
**The fee for a 3rd bag is charged on a two-cabin aircraft; there is no charge for a 3rd bag on a three-cabin aircraft
Main Cabin Checked Baggage Fees:
|Route||1st Bag||2nd Bag||3rd Bag||4th+ Bags|
|U.S. Domestic |
(up to 10 bags)
(up to 5 bags)
|Caribbean (except Cuba and Haiti)|
(up to 5 bags)
– except Panama
(up to 5 bags)
– except Colombia, Ecuador, and Guyana
(up to 5 bags)
(up to 10 bags)
(up to 10 bags)
Baggage fee based on travel date and destination. Seasonal pricing applies to trips booked on / before April 17, 2019 for travel on December 8-24 2019 or for tickets issued on / after April 18, 2019 for travel on December 7, 2019 – January 12, 2020. Seasonal pricing also applies for tickets issued on / before August 19, 2019 for travel on June 15, 2020 – August 12, 2020 or for tickets issued on / after August 20, 2019 for travel on June 1, 2020 – August 19, 2020.
* Free bag excludes Basic Economy: For travel to/from Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, a $30 1st bag fee applies. For travel to / from South America (excluding Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana) a $45 1st bag fee applies and a $65 2nd bag fee applies.
^For travel to / from Cali, Colombia the 1st bag fee of $30 applies seasonally for tickets issued on or before April 2, 2019. There is no 1st bag fee to / from Cali, Colombia for tickets issued on or after April 3, 2019 (excluding Basic Economy).
**For travel to / from Honduras, a $55 2nd bag fee applies seasonally.
***For travel to/from Brazil, a $200 4th and 5th bag fee applies for tickets issued on / after November 5, 2019 and a $150 4th and 5th bag fee applies for tickets issued on / before November 4, 2019.
****$60 1st bag fee applies to Transatlantic Basic Economy tickets
Additional / Excess Baggage Fees (per one way)
Overweight Fee 51lb – 70lb: $100
Overweight Fee 71lb – 100lb: $200* (not accepted to/from Europe or to/from Cuba)
*Flights to/from China, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong will cost $450. Additionally, baggage over 71lb is not permitted on transatlantic flights or flights to/from Cuba and Australia.
|Region||Larger than 158cm (62in)|
|Between U.S., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada||$200|
|Mexico / Caribbean / Central and South America (except Panama)*||$200|
|South America and Panama||$150**|
|China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Australia (transpacific)||$200|
*Seasonal and / or year-round checked bag limitations apply to some cities in Mexico, Caribbean, Central and South America.
**For travel to / from South America (except Brazil) and Panama, $150 oversize fee applies for tickets issued on / after November 5, 2019 and $200 oversize fee applies for tickets issued on / before November 4, 2019. Oversize fee to / from Brazil is $150 for all ticket issue dates.
More than one fee may apply per bag, for example, the checked bag fee + oversize fee + overweight fee.
Excess Baggage Seasonal restrictions
Seasonally, only 2 bags are permitted for select cities in Central and South America, Mexico and the Caribbean. You can view the applicable cities here with seasonal limitations.
Excess Baggage Year-Round Restrictions
Only 2 bags are permitted for select cities in Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America. You can view the applicable cities here with year-round limitations.
Sporting equipment and musical instruments
Hot Tip: American Airlines accepts oversized sporting equipment and musical instruments within the checked luggage allowance, providing the item weighs less than 50 lbs and does not exceed 62 linear inches. This includes equipment such as ski/snowboards and surfboards that can now be checked as the first bag from $0-$60 (fee is route dependent.)
Oversized items such as hang gliders, windsurfing equipment, or SCUBA tanks will still incur the $150 fee due to their specific handling requirements. You can find more information on specific items here.
Can I Pre-pay for Baggage?
American Airlines does allow passengers the ability to pre-pay for luggage online or via the mobile app for selected domestic flights. This can be done when you check-in and up to 4 hours before departure.
Here are the ways to pre-pay:
- Check-in for your booking on the American Airlines website and add up to 3 bags
- Check-in for your booking on the American Airlines mobile app and add up to 3 bags
When logging in, if the option is not available to add baggage then this must be done at the airport check-in desk.
Credit Cards That Give You A Free Checked Bag With American Airlines
These Citi credit cards provide a free checked bag on your domestic flights with American Airlines. Friends and family can even receive a free checked bag when on your itinerary.
Check out the details of each card’s checked bag benefit below:
|Credit Card||Checked Bag Benefit Details|
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®||One free checked bag for you and up to 8 companions on your itinerary. Valid on domestic flights only.|
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®||One free checked bag for you and up to 4 companions on your itinerary. Valid on domestic flights only.|
Exclusions & Waivers
1st checked bag is complimentary for:
- Eligible AAdvantage® Aviator™ and Citi® / AAdvantage® cardmembers (on domestic American Airlines operated flights)
- AAdvantage® Gold
- oneworld® Ruby
Alaska Airlines MVP members(discontinued)
1st and 2nd checked bags are complimentary for:
- AAdvantage® Platinum Pro
- AAdvantage® Platinum
- oneworld® Sapphire members
Alaska Airlines MVP Gold(discontinued)
- Confirmed Business Class customers
- Confirmed Premium Economy customers**
**$0 2nd bag fee excludes Alaska and Hawaii
1st, 2nd and 3rd checked bags are complimentary for:
- Confirmed First Class customers on 3-cabin aircraft*
- AAdvantage® Executive Platinum
- oneworld® Emerald
Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75K(discontinued)
*Executive Platinum and oneworld® Emerald members traveling in First on 3-cabin aircraft may check a 4th bag at no charge.
Active U.S. military and/or dependents with ID traveling on orders: 1st – 5th bags free of charge
Active U.S. military with ID on personal travel: 1st – 3rd bags free of charge
Hot Tip: Want to learn more about American’s fees & add-ons? Check out our in-depth review here.