American Airlines Baggage Fees (And How to Avoid Paying Them)

American Airlines baggage fees

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 – if your bag 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.

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
(up to 5 bags)
$0/$25*$40/$55*
South America
(up to 5 bags)
$0/$25*$0/$40*
Transatlantic
(up to 10 bags)
included$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 July 26, 2016. 1st and 2nd bag fees apply for travel to Cali, Colombia June 20 – August 9, 2017 and December 8 – 24, 2017.

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 CardChecked Bag Benefit Details
Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCardOne free checked bag for you and up to 4 companions on your itinerary. Valid on domestic flights only.
Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCardOne free checked bag for you and up to 8 companions on your itinerary. Valid on domestic flights only.
CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCardOne free checked bag for you and up to 4 companions on your itinerary. Valid on domestic flights only.

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.

Credit CardFee Reimbursement Details
Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
Annual Fee: $0 for first year, then $89
$100+ in baggage fees? Pay for them with Arrival+ miles.
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
Annual Fee: $0 for first year, then $195
$100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a calendar year for baggage fees at one airline.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Annual Fee: $550
$200 airline fee credit per calendar year on your previously designated airline
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN
Annual Fee: $450
$200 airline fee credit per calendar year on your previously designated airline
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card
Annual Fee: $450
$300 travel credit per calendar year
Citi Prestige Card
Annual Fee: $450
$250 air travel credit per calendar year

Additional / Excess Baggage Fees:

Overweight Fee 51lb – 70lb: $100
Overweight Fee 71lb – 100lb: $200 (except $450 for transpacific routes)
Oversized Fee: $150 – $200 route dependent

*Baggage over 71lb is not permitted on flights between Europe and U.S., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America and South America, and to/from Australia
*More than one fee may apply per bag, for example, the checked bag fee + oversize fee + overweight fee.

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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card