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 and Mexico (excluding some status and credit cardholders). For most international routes, your first checked bag (or 2) 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)
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 1 item can be checked at the gate)
- Strollers over 20 pounds (9 kg) must be checked at the 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 and 70 pounds (32 kg) for business and first class fares. Checked bags must adhere to maximum linear dimensions of 62 inches (158 cm).
Seasonal Baggage Restrictions
Seasonal pricing applies for tickets issued on or before August 19, 2019, for travel on June 15, 2020, through August 12, 2020, or for tickets issued on or after August 20, 2019, for travel on June 1, 2020, through August 19, 2020, and December 7, 2020, through January 12, 2021.
- Main Cabin: for purchase as per the table below
- Premium Economy: 2 bags included; 3+ for purchase as per the table below
- Business: 2 bags included; 3+ for purchase as per the table below
- First: 2 to 3 bags included**; 3+ for purchase as per the table below
**The fee for a third bag is charged on a 2-cabin aircraft; there is no charge for the third bag on a 3-cabin aircraft
Main Cabin Checked Baggage Fees:
|Route||First Bag||Second Bag||Third Bag||Fourth+ Bags|
|U.S. Domestic |
(up to 10 bags)
(up to 5 bags)
|Caribbean (except Cuba and Haiti)|
(up to 5 bags)
|Central America (except Panama)|
(up to 5 bags)
|South America (except Colombia, Ecuador, and Guyana)|
(up to 5 bags)
(up to 10 bags)
(up to 10 bags)
*Free bag excludes Basic Economy. For travel to/from Panama, Colombia, or Ecuador, a $30 first bag fee applies.
**For travel to/from Honduras, a $55 second bag fee applies seasonally.
***For travel to/from Brazil, a $200 fourth and fifth bag fee applies for tickets issued on or after November 5, 2019, and a $150 fourth and fifth bag fee applies for tickets issued on or before November 4, 2019.
****$75 first bag fee applies to transatlantic basic economy tickets purchased after April 20, 2020. Tickets purchased on or before April 20, 2020, will pay $60 for the first bag fee.
Additional/Excess Baggage Fees (Per One-Way)
Overweight Fee 51 to 70 pounds (23 to 32 kg): $100
Overweight Fee 71 to 100 pounds (32 to 45 kg): $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 71 pounds is not permitted on transatlantic flights or flights to/from Australia.
|Region||Larger Than 62 Inches (158 cm)|
|Between the U.S., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Canada||$200|
|Mexico, Caribbean, and 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, and Central and South America.
**For travel to/from South America (except Brazil) and Panama, a $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. The oversize fee to/from Brazil is $150 for all ticket issue dates.
More than 1 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, provided the item weighs less than 50 pounds 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 to $75 (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 Prepay for Baggage?
American Airlines does allow passengers the ability to prepay 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 prepay:
- 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 and Waivers
First 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)
First and second checked bags are complimentary for:
- AAdvantage Platinum Pro
- AAdvantage Platinum
- Oneworld Sapphire
Alaska Airlines MVP Gold(discontinued)
- Confirmed business class customers
- Confirmed premium economy customers**
**$0 2nd bag fee excludes Alaska and Hawaii
First, second, and third 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 fourth bag at no charge.
Active U.S. military and/or dependents with ID traveling on orders: first through fifth bags free of charge
Active U.S. military with ID on personal travel: first through third bags free of charge
Hot Tip: Want to learn more about American’s fees and add-ons? Check out our in-depth review here.