American Airlines Baggage Fees & Tips To Cover The Expenses

American Airlines baggage fees

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American Airlines baggage fees are pretty consistent with the average when it comes to larger US-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 & 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.

AA Carry-On Allowance:

1 personal item: FREE
1 standard carry-on: FREE

Size Restrictions

  • Personal: 18″ x 14″ x 8″
  • Standard: 22″ x 14″ x9″

Lap Infant Carry-On Policy

  • Diaper bags (1 per child) at no additional cost.

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 lbs / 9kgs must be checked at ticket counter

AA Checked Baggage Allowance:

All checked bags must adhere to a max weight of 23kg for Economy & Premium Economy; 32kg for Business & First Class fares; must adhere to max linear dimensions of 62” (158cm).

Main Cabin: for purchase as per table below

Route1st Bag2nd Bag3rd Bag4th+ Bags
US Domestic
(up to 10 bags)
$25$35$150$200
Mexico
(up to 5 bags)
$25$40
Caribbean
(up to 5 bags)
$25$40/$55**
Central America
– except Panama
(up to 5 bags)
$25/$25**$40/$55**
Panama$0$40
South America
– except Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, & Venezuela
(up to 5 bags)
$0/$25*$0/$40*
Colombia$0/$25*$55
Ecuador$0$40
Venezuela$0$55
Brazil$0$0$150^$150^
Transatlantic
(up to 10 bags)
$0/$60^^$100$200$200
Transpacific
(up to 10 bags)
includedincluded

Baggage fee based on travel date and destination. Seasonal pricing applies to trips booked on / after January 9, 2018 for travel on June 20 – August 9, 2018 and December 8 – 24 or for trips booked on / after January 10, 2018 for travel on June 15 – August 12, 2018 and December 8 – 24, 2018. 

*$25 1st bag fee applies for seasonal travel to California, Colombia, and El Salvador

** $55 2nd bag fee applies for seasonal travel to Port au Prince, Haiti, and Honduras

^ Regarding tickets issues on / before January 31, 2018, 3rd and 4th checked bags are $85 or $150 for tickets issued on / after February 1, 2018.

^^This $60 charge applies for the 1st bag in Transatlantic Basic Economy.

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

Credit Cards That Give You A Free Checked Bag With American Airlines

Three 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 Cards That Reimburse You For Checked Bags

If you don’t have one of the cards above, there are several cards that will reimburse you for checked bag fees on American Airlines.

Even if you do have one of the co-branded Citi cards, the cards below are great when you have multiple checked bags.

Additional / Excess Baggage Fees:

Overweight Fee 51lb – 70lb: $100
Overweight Fee 71lb – 100lb: $200*
Oversized Fee: $150 – $200 route dependent

*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.

More than one fee may apply per bag, for example, the checked bag fee + oversize fee + overweight fee.

Specialty items (such as sporting equipment, musical instruments, etc.) are subject to special rules, exceptions, and packing instructions. The maximum weight and size for all items is 100 lbs and 126″ (l+w+h). Overweight and / or oversize charges may apply. You may find more information on specific items here. 

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

1st and 2nd checked bags are complimentary for:

  • AAdvantage® Platinum Pro
  • AAdvantage® Platinum
  • oneworld® Sapphire members
  • Alaska Airlines MVP Gold
  • Confirmed Business Class customers*

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

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


To see more airline baggage fees and policies, click here.

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6 comments

  1. Meghan Forde · June 6, 2018 · Reply

    I paid with my city master card for my checked luggage on April 23 rd 2018 from JFK to Orlando

  2. Some wonderful young lady called me back and explained the baggage policy,
    Answered all my questions.😃😃😃

  3. Patricia M Landrum · September 2, 2018 · Reply

    I have just made 2 aa reservations, paid for by Citi Advantage mastercard
    KPCKNV SJO to PHX on 3rd October,
    737780421753 (Orbitz – as I have a terrible time trying to get your site in English from Costa Rica) PHX to MIA on 29th Oct.
    In both cases I paid additional as instructed to have more baggage than just 1 pers item which must fit under seat.
    But I had thought that as an aa advantage member or having a Citi aa creditcard, I got one free checked bag. What is the baggage policy?

    • Toby Plumb · September 4, 2018 · Reply

      @Patricia M Landrum – AA announced that from September 5, all passengers even those booked in basic economy can have one carry-on in addition to one personal item.

      For checked bags, even in basic economy, because you have and used the AA card you are still eligible for your free checked bag (except for flights to Europe).

      Orbitz does not have access to your AA account information to know that you have a free checked bag benefit with your card, so their site recommending it is not as accurate as checking with AA.

  4. So I have the Citi branded American airlines advantage card and am traveling to Cancun. Thr first bag free for domestic only s even though the bag fee is the same ($25) for domestic and to Mexico .. they will still charge me the $25 for the first bag .. yes?

    Just wanted to double-check .. !

    Thanks

    • Stephen Au · September 12, 2018 · Reply

      Hi John, as long as your AA credit card has your AA number on it, you’re covered for the first bag.

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