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American Airlines Review – Seats, Amenities, Customer Service, Baggage Fees & More

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We’re sure you’re more than familiar with American Airlines, considering it’s the world’s largest airline — but this handy review brings together all the information you might need when considering flying with them.

Maybe you need to know about the airline’s fare structure, which changed not too long ago to incorporate the basic economy fare level. Or you might be interested to know how far a premium economy seat would recline if you were to upgrade.

We’ve outlined all of the info you need below, including those pesky extra fees (like baggage fees), inflight amenities, customer satisfaction rankings, and more.

Basic Info

Airline: American Airlines

Alliance: Oneworld

Category: Legacy domestic and international airline

Frequent Flyer Program: AAdvantage

Tagline: “To care for people on life’s journey”

About/Mission Statement: “American Airlines and American Eagle are in business to provide safe, dependable and friendly air transportation to our customers, along with numerous related services. We are dedicated to making every flight you take with us something special. Your safety, comfort and convenience are our most important concerns.” (source)

Daily Flights: Nearly 6,700 (including codeshare partners)

Fleet: 937

Main Hub: Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)

Destinations: Nearly 269 domestic destinations, 81 international destinations (in 48 countries)

Frequent Flyer Program

AAdvantage is the loyalty program for American Airlines where you can earn miles through flying, shopping, eating out, or spending on certain credit cards.

American Airlines is a part of the Oneworld alliance, which means you can earn AAdvantage miles by flying with any of its Oneworld partners in addition to several other airline partners (including American Eagle regional flights).

If you travel regularly with American, then it’s definitely worth signing up — you can also work your way up its elite membership statuses to gain benefits such as additional checked baggage, priority check-in, and no-fee changes.

Hot Tip: Check out our post on the best ways to earn lots of American Airlines AAdvantage Miles and you’ll be redeeming your award flights in no time!

Ticketing Options

American offers a range of fare options that offer flexibility when flying its domestic and international routes.

Basic Economy

This starts from its entry-level basic economy, fare which used to be just a seat and a small personal item to carry on. However, you are permitted to bring 1 piece of standard carry-on luggage.

As you can see from the table, there is no option to change or cancel the ticket when flying domestically or to other short-haul destinations.

So the prices may look attractive, but it may be worth checking out American’s Flexible fare category if your journey plans aren’t 100% and are likely to change.

SCROLL FOR MORE
Route TypeBagsChoose Seat (fee)Eligible for UpgradesMake Changes (fee)Boarding Group
Domestic U.S. routes, Canada, Central America, Mexico, and Caribbean*Checked: No free bags
Carry-on: 1 personal item and 1 carry-on
48 hours before departureNoNot permittedGroup 9**
EuropeChecked: No free bags
Carry-on: 1 personal item and 1 carry-on
When at the point of bookingNoYesGroup 8**

*Excluding the following destinations: Alaska, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Cuba, Panama, and El Salvador
**Not applicable to AAdvantage elite status members or eligible AAdvantage credit cardmembers
Not applicable to AAdvantage elite status members. Eligible AAdvantage credit cardmembers are exempt only when flying within the U.S. and Canada
††Not applicable to AAdvantage elite status members

Lowest Fare

For all destinations that American offers, you will have the option to select the Lowest Fare. This will give you the standard prices for economy (which it refers to as “Main Cabin”), premium economy, business, and first class (if available on the flight).

Hot Tip: If you’re torn between economy fare options, check these in-depth articles on the difference between AA Economy and AA Basic Economy and the difference between AA Main Cabin Extra and Preferred.

On domestic, Canada, and Mexico flights (plus some medium-haul international flights), the fares you will be quoted won’t include any checked baggage — this will have to be added on separately.

The cabin class standard fares have different allocations for baggage allowance, eligibility for upgrades, priority boarding, and change fees.

Here is a top-level view of the different cabin classes — check out our “Inflight Amenities and Seat Specs” section below for more detailed information on amenities and entertainment:

SCROLL FOR MORE
 Main Cabin (Economy)Premium EconomyBusinessFirst
Checked baggage allowance1 piece*2 pieces**2 pieces***2 pieces****
1 piece of carry-on + personal itemYesYesYesYes
Choose seatsNo chargeNo chargeNo chargeNo charge
Eligible for upgradesYesn/an/an/a
Priority check-in, security, and boardingNoPriorityPriorityPriority
Five Star Service available to add to your booking, including meet and greet services.NoNoYesYes
Access to airport lounge for qualifying flightsNoNoYesYes

*Excludes Basic Economy. Applies to transatlantic and transpacific flights. Select cities in Asia and South America get 1 extra checked bag.
**Only 1 free checked bag on flights to/from Hawaii.
***AAdvantage Executive Platinum members get 1 extra checked bag.
****On planes with both business and first class, you get 1 extra checked bag (or 2 if you’re AAdvantage Executive Platinum).

Flexible Fare

This fare type is available for Main Cabin and premium economy, business, and first class.

Fully Flexible Fare

This fare type is available for the Main Cabin and First Class

Passengers are permitted to change their flight up until the same day of travel, and refund to the original form of payment.

American Airlines Baggage and Other Fees/Add-ons

American Airlines gate
Image Credit: American Airlines

American’s baggage allowance is dependent on your destination. If you’re taking a domestic flight within the U.S., then you will need to add on baggage if choosing to fly Main Cabin (regular economy).

This is also applicable on some medium-haul international flights to places such as the Caribbean or Central America. Be sure to check the inclusions when searching for a flight or booking through the call center.

Baggage Fees

American Airlines Carry-on Allowance

These are applicable for all fare types and cabin classes

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

Size Restrictions

  • Personal: 18 x 14 x 8 inches
  • Standard: 22 x 14 x 9 inches

American places seasonal restrictions on checked luggage during its busy period.

Hot Tip: For more information, check out our detailed article for American Airlines Baggage Fees & Tips to Cover the Expenses.

Checked baggage must not exceed 23kg for economy and premium economy; 32kg for business and first class fares; and must not exceed max linear dimensions of 62” (158cm).

Main Cabin:

  • First bag available for purchase from $35 to $75 (free on certain flights)
  • Second bag available to purchase from $45 to $100
  • Third bag available to purchase from $150 to $200
  • 4+ bags available to purchase from $200

^^This $75 charge applies for the 1st bag in transatlantic basic economy.

Free Checked Baggage Allowance for Premium Classes

  • Premium Economy: 2 bags included; 3+ for purchase as per table above
  • Business: 2 bags included; 3+ for purchase as per table above
  • Flagship Business Plus: 3 bags included
  • First: 2 to 3 bags included**; 3+ for purchase as per table above

**The fee for a 3rd bag is charged on a 2-cabin aircraft; there is no charge for a 3rd bag on a 3-cabin aircraft

Complimentary Checked Luggage

In addition to passengers flying in premium classes, those with elite status are eligible for complimentary checked luggage.

Other Fees and Add-ons

Change/Cancellation Fees (Cash Tickets)

Same-day change:

  • Main Cabin: $0
  • Premium Economy: $0
  • Business: $0
  • First: $0

Customers requiring extra space onboard: (All cabin classes) second ticket at the same rate if arranged at the same time as buying the first ticket

Tickets issued by Reservations Department: $25 (domestic), $35 (international)

Award tickets issued by Reservations Department: $30 (domestic), $40 (international; fees vary by country)

Assistance by Reservations Department: $50 (Applies to voluntary trip changes by customer, not a booking initially created by American Airlines Reservations or on aa.com)

Tickets issued by American Airlines travel centers: $35 (A higher charge may apply in Colombia and Chile due to government requirements)

Voluntary change to the ticket before travel date: $0 (domestic), up to $750 (international; charge varies depending on the type of ticket purchased)

Same-day standby is complimentary for all passengers, however, higher priority is given to elite passengers.

Cancellation: If you cancel a non-refundable ticket, you can apply the unused value of the ticket toward a future trip (no later than 1 year from the date your original ticket was issued). Change fees may apply.

Seat selection: There isn’t a straightforward pricing structure for American’s seat selection; it depends on your fare type and route. Some flights don’t appear to give you the option to select a seat at all, and Economy Basic doesn’t allow it either.

We ran a search for a flight from Dallas to London in Main Cabin, and seat selection ranged from $91 to $128 per one-way flight.

Unaccompanied minor: $150 + tax (per one-way route)

Transporting a pet as carry-on: $150 per kennel (to/from the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central America, Colombia, and the Caribbean)

Transporting a pet as checked: $200 per kennel (to/from the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean); $150 to/from Brazil

Hot Tip: We’ve also gone into detail on American Airlines’ award flight change and cancellation fees.

Refreshments Onboard

AA Laptop and Snacks
Image Credit: American Airlines

For domestic journeys to Central America, Canada, or the Caribbean, AA provides snacks plus non-alcoholic drinks for journeys over 250 miles.

If you’re traveling to Hawaii on a Flagship route, then a meal plus beer or wine is included; a meal is also included if traveling between New York and Los Angeles or New York and San Francisco, as well as Boston to Los Angeles, Miami to Los Angeles and New York to Orange County.

For flights over 700 miles, meals and refreshments are available to purchase. The type of food is dependent on what time you fly, but it ranges from a charcuterie plate to a cheese and dip tray and costs around $9 to $11 when purchased inflight.

On long-distance international flights, a meal plus beer or wine is served, with spirits available on flights to Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand.

For flights not eligible for complimentary food beverages, these can be purchased for:

  • Beer: $8
  • Wine: $9
  • Spirits: $10
  • Canned cocktails: $11
  • Fresh food: $9 to $11

How To Avoid Paying Excess Fees and Travel Expenses

There are several cards that will reimburse you for excess fees and general travel expenses.

This is achieved by redeeming your points or miles against your travel expenses at the time of paying off your statement, or by using the annual “travel/airline” credit that comes with the card.

The following Capital One cards allow you to redeem Capital One miles for 1 cent each as a statement credit for previous travel purchases (within 90 days):

TOP PICK
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)
The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
75,000 miles
$1,350
$395
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-840)

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the premium Capital One travel rewards card on the block.

Points and miles fans will be surprised to see that the Capital One Venture X card packs quite the punch when it comes to bookings made through Capital One, all while offering the lowest annual fee among premium credit cards.

Depending on your travel goals and preferences, the Capital One Venture X card could very well end up being your go-to card in your wallet.

 

Pros
  • 10x miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars purchased through Capital One Travel
  • 5x miles per $1 on flights purchased through Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
  • $395 annual fee (rates & fees)
  • Does not offer bonus categories for flights or hotel purchases made directly with the airline or hotel group, the preferred booking method for those looking to earn elite status
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive a $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Elevate every hotel stay from the Premier or Lifestyle Collections with a suite of cardholder benefits, like an experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

 

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)
Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!
Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
75,000 miles
$1,350
$95
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent Credit (670-850)

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the most popular rewards cards on the market. It’s perfect for anyone in search of a great welcome offer, high rewards rates, and flexible redemption options.

Frequent travelers with excellent credit may benefit from this credit card that offers a lot of bells and whistles. And it offers easy-to-understand rewards earning and redemption.

Pros
  • 5x miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles per $1 on all other purchases
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
Cons
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The card offers unlimited miles at 1.25x per $1 and no annual fee. When you consider the flexible rewards, frequent travelers come out on top.

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)
The card offers unlimited miles at 1.25x per $1 and no annual fee. When you consider the flexible rewards, frequent travelers come out on top.
Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel.
20,000 miles
$360
$0
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable),0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

Interested in a travel rewards credit card without one of those pesky annual fees? Then say hello to the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card.

In addition to no annual fee, the Capital One VentureOne card offers no foreign transaction fees.

But is this card worth its salt, or is it merely a shell of the more popular Capital One Venture card?

Pros
Cons
  • Weak earn rate at 1.25x miles per $1 spent on all purchases
  • No luxury travel or elite benefits
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR after that; balance transfer fee applies
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable),0% intro on purchases for 15 months
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

American Airlines also offers several co-branded AAdvantage credit cards that offer benefits such as flight discounts, free checked bags, statement credits for inflight purchases, and more.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Status lovers will enjoy the variety of benefits that come with this card. From free bags to reduced-price inflight beverages, AA still flies in style.

Learn More(at Citi's secure site)
Status lovers will enjoy the variety of benefits that come with this card. From free bags to reduced-price inflight beverages, AA still flies in style.
Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
50,000 miles
$700
$99, waived for first 12 months
21.24% - 29.99% Variable

Blue skies and fair winds make for a good day to fly! Choosing your airline can be difficult, since factors like location, time, and destination all go into whether or not you can fly somewhere.

An easy choice for many people is American Airlines, because they’re the largest airline in the world. If you’re an American, you’ve probably flown American Airlines at least once.

Frequent fliers tend to enjoy the treatment they can get, from boarding privileges to free bags to lounge access. There’s many reasons to fly with AA, and if so then getting a Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® could be for you.

  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
  • Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your card membership year and renew your card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.24% - 29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 0%
Rewards Center

American Airlines AAdvantage Program

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Access to Admirals Clubs, tons of added benefits, and a way to spend towards elite status make this a great option for American Airlines loyalists.

Access to Admirals Clubs, tons of added benefits, and a way to spend towards elite status make this a great option for American Airlines loyalists.
Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.
70,000 miles
$980
$595
21.24% - 29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is a go-to card thanks to its exclusive perks and benefits for people who love to fly American Airlines. With a complimentary Admirals Club membership, free checked bags, inflight discounts, and the ability to earn Loyalty Points for every $1 you spend, there is plenty to love about the card.

Pros
  • Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 10 miles per $1 spent on eligible car rentals booked through aa.com/cars
  • Earn 10 miles per $1 spent on eligible hotels booked through aa.com/hotels
Cons
  • $595 annual fee
  • Doesn’t earn many miles on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.24% - 29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 
Rewards Center

American Airlines AAdvantage Frequent Flyer Program

American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Earn 2x miles per dollar spent on American Airlines flights and at grocery stores, all without needing to pay an annual fee.

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)
Earn 2x miles per dollar spent on American Airlines flights and at grocery stores, all without needing to pay an annual fee.
Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
10,000 miles
$140
$0
21.24% - 29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp® is perfectly suited for those looking for a way to earn more American Airlines miles and earn Loyalty Points, all without needing to pay an annual fee.

Pros
  • 2x mile per $1 on American Airlines and grocery store purchases
  • 1x mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases
Cons
  • Other cards are more rewarding for frequent American Airlines flyers
  • Charges a 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • No Annual Fee
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores, including grocery delivery services
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
  • Save 25% on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flight
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.24% - 29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3%

Inflight Inclusions, Amenities, and Seat Specs

Main Cabin (Economy)

American Airlines Main Cabin
Image Credit: American Airlines

American describes this cabin as having “All the essentials” for an enjoyable flight.

Amenities include:

  • Seat selection (subject to a fee, see above)
  • Free snacks and soft drinks on all routes (check the refreshments section above)
  • Entertainment on screen or on your personal device using the American Airlines app (see Seat Specs section for entertainment on different plane types)
  • Wi-Fi available to purchase

Main Cabin Extra

Upgrade to Main Cabin Extra and you’ll enjoy more space with extra legroom and early boarding (after elite members), with preferred group 5 boarding.

Hot Tip: Read more about AA’s boarding process here so you’ll be prepared for your flight!

Premium Economy

American Express Premium Economy
Image Credit: American Airlines

Enjoy an “Elevated travel experience” with privileges at the airport and in the air.

Amenities include:

  • Wider seats
  • Premium dining
  • On-demand entertainment with larger screen and noise-reduction headphones
  • Amenity kit
  • Pillow and blanket
  • Wi-Fi available to purchase

Business Class

American Airlines Business
Image Credit: American Airlines

Business is the highest class and level of service available on American’s shorter international flights to the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, and certain destinations in South America.

Amenities include:

  • Wider seats and more legroom
  • Premium dining
  • On-demand personal entertainment, noise-reduction headphones, and streaming available
  • Pillow and blanket
  • Wi-Fi available to purchase

First Class

American Airlines First Class
Image Credit: American Airlines

First class is available on domestic flights within the U.S., and it gets you American’s “highest level of service.”

Amenities include:

  • Wider seats and more legroom
  • Premium dining
  • On-demand entertainment with larger screens or personal devices, noise-reduction headphones, and streaming available
  • Pillow and blanket
  • Wi-Fi available to purchase

Flagship Business — International

American Airlines Flagship Business
Image Credit: American Airlines

“A premier experience for the long haul,” Flagship Business is available on international flights to Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and South America. Here’s what it includes:

  • Access to American Airlines’ Flagship Lounges (at select airports including JFK)
  • Lie-flat seats*
  • Premium dining
  • On-demand entertainment with Bang & Olufsen Noise Canceling headphones, and live TV on some aircraft
  • Shinola amenity kit
  • Pillow and blanket
  • Wi-Fi available to purchase

*Flagship Business is only available on aircraft with lie-flat seats: B772, B773, B788, B789, A321T

Flagship Business — Transcontinental

American Airlines Flagship Business - Transcontinental
Image Credit: American Airlines

Available on flights from Los Angeles to New York, San Francisco to New York, and Los Angeles to Boston, you can “Travel coast-to-coast in luxury.”

  • Access to American Airlines’ Flagship Lounges (at select airports)
  • Lie-flat seats
  • Premium dining
  • On-demand entertainment with Bang & Olufsen Noise Canceling headphones
  • Shinola amenity kit
  • Pillow and blanket
  • Wi-Fi available to purchase

Hot Tip: Flagship Business Plus is a new fare category that allows business class passengers to use Flagship check-in, get 3 free checked bags, and use Flagship First Dining in Los Angeles (LAX), Dallas (DFW), Miami (MIA), and New York (JFK).

Flagship First — International

American Airlines Flasgship First - International
Image Credit: American Airlines

Available on flights to Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America when traveling on a B773 aircraft.

  • Access to American Airlines’ Flagship Lounges (at select airports)
  • Lie-flat seats
  • Premium dining
  • On-demand entertainment with Bang & Olufsen Noise Canceling headphones
  • Shinola amenity kit
  • Pillow and blanket
  • Wi-Fi available to purchase

Flagship First — Transcontinental

American Airlines Flagship First - Transcontinental
Image Credit: American Airlines

Available on flights from Los Angeles to New York, San Francisco to New York, and Los Angeles to Boston, you can travel “Coast-to-coast in comfort” with Flagship First.

  • Access to American Airlines’ Flagship Lounges (at select airports)
  • Lie-flat seats
  • Premium dining
  • On-demand entertainment with Bang & Olufsen Noise Canceling headphones
  • Shinola amenity kit
  • Pillow and blanket
  • Wi-Fi available to purchase

Bottom Line: Flagship Business and Flagship First are the most luxurious options on American Airlines.

Seat Specs

American Airlines has a large fleet of aircraft with varying cabin configurations. We’ve included details of a few of its planes below, and you can see a full list of all 32 plane variations here.

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Airbus A319 – Version 1  – 128 seats each
ClassSeat CountSeat pitchSeat widthWi-Fi (fee)EntertainmentPower
First838″21″YPersonal deviceY
Main Cabin Extra2434″, bulkhead, exit row17.7″YPersonal deviceY
Main Cabin9630″17.3″-18″YPersonal deviceY
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Boeing 737 MAX
ClassSeat CountSeat pitchSeat widthWi-Fi (fee)EntertainmentPower
First1637″21″YPersonal deviceY
Main Cabin Extra3033″, bulkhead, exit row16.6″-17.8″YPersonal deviceY
Main Cabin12630″16.6″-17.8″YPersonal deviceY
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Boeing 777-200 – 273 seats
ClassSeat CountSeat pitchSeat widthWi-Fi (fee)EntertainmentPower
Business37Lie-flat21.9″YSeatback screen, live TVY
Premium Economy2438″18.5″YSeatback screen, live TVY
Main Cabin Extra6635″-36″17.1″-18.1″YSeatback screen, live TVY
Main Cabin14631″-32″17.1″-18.1″YSeatback screen, live TVY

American Airlines Customer Satisfaction

As with any airline, American does have its fair share of disgruntled customers — but it also has a great deal of happy loyal ones who appreciate the frequency of flights and ability to fly direct to many locations, both domestic and international.

Customers often take to American’s social media channels to air their grievances for late departures or their disappointment with “shabby” planes.

With nearly 6,700 flights and half a million passengers per day (AA and branded codeshare partners), it’s inevitable that the airline is not going to have a perfect track record with time-keeping — but just where exactly does it stand?

Within the March 2023 Air Travel Consumer Report, it was reported that of its 138,943 flights scheduled to depart the U.S. in January 2023 (AA and branded codeshare partners), 2% were canceled, ranking it the seventh-worst airline of the 10 featured in the report.

Its huge fleet of varying ages seems to be a bone of contention for many customers due to the inconsistencies of modernization and entertainment onboard.

Most Common Complaints

The general complaints you see about American Airlines on social media and from Tripadvisor reviews are pretty consistent with the types of complaints logged in the March 2023 Air Travel Consumer Report. The most prominent is about flight delays and cancellations.

These are the total complaints by category lodged against American Airlines in January, February, and March of 2023:

  • Flight problems (cancellation, delay, or misconnection): 872
  • Customer Service: 163
  • Baggage: 395
  • Reservation, Ticketing, Boarding: 167
  • Disability: 94
  • Fares: 351
  • Refunds: 530
  • Oversales: 46
  • Other: 23
  • Discrimination: 10
  • Advertising: 5

For the same period in 2022, American had 1,276 complaints, so it looks like it is striving to make some improvements to customer satisfaction. Let’s hope it continues!

Consumer Rankings, Ratings, Etc

Skytrax Ranking: 3 Star Airline (out of 5)

Skytrax Customer Rating: 3/10

Tripadvisor Airline Review Rating: 3.5/5 (average from 76,507 reviews)

Kayak Customer Rating: 7.2/10 (average from 9,119 reviews)

AirHelp.com Overall Rating: 7.84/10 (quality of amenities, on-time arrivals, and how well an airline resolves flight delay compensation claims)

Safety and Performance

American Airlines has a 7/7 safety record as awarded by AirlineRatings.com. This takes into consideration whether the airline has an IATA Operational Safety Audit Certification, combined with information from the World’s Aviation Governing Body, plus government and crash records.

You can see from the complaint results that flight issues such as cancellations and delays are the biggest problems customers have with the performance of American Airlines, but there is good news on the horizon!

Comparing the March 2023 Air Travel Consumer Report with the March 2022 Air Travel Consumer Report, the number of complaints logged for this category for the same time period in 2022 (December-April) has almost halved (971 vs. 484).

Charity Partnership

American Airlines Charity Partnership
Image Credit: American Airlines

American Airlines is the world’s largest airline and takes its corporate responsibility seriously in supporting global and community initiatives.

Current partners include Stand Up to Cancer, Make-a-Wish, American Red Cross, and Unicef with regular donations and aid provided during crisis.

AA personnel have dedicated over 155,000 volunteer hours to good causes, and 20 million miles have been donated to local charities by American Airlines.

Final Thoughts

Let’s face it: American Airlines is never going to be the most luxurious airline out there.

It’s got a mission to get passengers from A to B as frequently and safely as possible, and that might be on an airplane with no seatback entertainment!

But it does have its loyal customers, and the premium cabin classes on the newer Airbus models have been well-received.

For domestic and short-haul flights though, competition is fierce, with the likes of low-cost airlines Alaska and Southwest giving American a run for its money.

From running a few domestic flight searches using the same departure and date criteria, American’s fares were higher or comparable to these 2 low-cost airlines, with no notable additional offerings from American — and they both boast higher customer satisfaction ratings!

However, American does have a monopoly on direct routes and availability, which is sometimes where convenience trumps personal preference.

The information regarding the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is American Airlines carry-on allowance?

American Airlines Carry-on Allowance These are applicable for all fare types and cabin classes 1 personal item: FREE 1 standard carry-on: FREE Size Restrictions

  • Personal: 18 x 14 x 8 inches
  • Standard: 22 x 14 x 9 inches

How do I contact American Airlines customer service?

You can call American Airlines customer service by dialing 800-433-7300.

Does American Airlines have 24 hour customer service?

American Airlines offers 24/7 reservations support in English and Spanish.

Can I change my American Airlines flight within 24 hours?

Once you are within 24 hours of your flight departure, you can perform a complimentary same-day change by calling American Airlines or utilizing the American Airlines app.

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About Erin Miller

An experienced points hacker, Erin is Alex’s partner-in-crime and contributes to Upgraded Points with in-depth guides and relationship management. Erin’s work has been cited in multiple major publications.

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