American Airlines Baggage Fees: How they Work

You may be able to avoid American Airlines baggage fees depending on where you are flying, your elite status, or the credit cards you carry.

American Airlines is the largest airline in the U.S. and offers an extensive flight network with routes extending all around the world. If you are traveling on this flight, you may want to find out how, much it will cost you for your baggage.

In this article, we break down the American Airlines baggage fees, how they work, and instances when they can be avoided.



American Airlines Baggage Fees

There are a number of factors considered when charging baggage fees – fare class, destination, and the number of bags. However, if you have an elite status or an American Airlines credit card offering free baggage cost, you will be expected to pay about $30 per bag.

Here are other bag fees you may encounter:

  • Extra bag fee: This varies. You will be expected to pay $30-$75 for your bag to be checked. A second bad can go for $40-$100, while a third can cost you $150-$200.
  • Oversize bag fee: Bags sized 62 in/158 cm – 126 in/320 cm cost $200 extra for each way for flights
  • Overweight bag fees: Bags that weigh 51 lbs/23 kgs – 70 lbs/32 kgs cost $100. In addition, overweight bags can cost as high as $200-$450 depending on your flight.
  • Ski bag fee: The standard bag fees apply for up to 50lbs/23kgs and 126in/320cm (length + width + height); if it’s larger, standard oversize fees are applied.


How to Get Free Baggage on American Airlines

There are certain categories of passengers that can get free baggage on American Airlines. These include premium cabin passengers, elite members, and holders of co-branded credit cards. Also, passengers traveling to certain destinations enjoy free checked bags.

Here are the options you have for avoiding American Airlines baggage fees.

Waived Fees by Destination

A destination with a free bag check includes:

  • Cuba.
  • Haiti (except basic economy fares).
  • South America (except Guyana and Suriname).
  • Transatlantic flights (except basic economy fares).
  • Transpacific flights

Premium Cabin Passengers

Passengers traveling in premium economy, business, or first class have their baggage fee covered in the ticket price. Hence, premium economy and business class get up to two free bags, while first-class get up to three free bags. This also depends on the destination.

Elite Passengers

There are four elite tiers for American Airlines with a myriad of benefits, among which is a free bag check.

  • AAdvantage Gold: One free checked bag.
  • AAdvantage Platinum: Two free checked bags.
  • AAdvantage Platinum Pro: Three free checked bags.
  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum: Three free checked bags

American Credit Cards with Free Checked Bags

The following credit card allows for free checked bags:

  • AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®
  • AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver Mastercard®
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
  •  AAdvantage® Aviator® World Elite Business Mastercard®


Frequently Asked Questions

How much do you pay for baggage on American Airlines?

You will pay between $30-$40.

How many bags can I take on American Airlines for free?

You are allowed one personal item and one carry-on.

Do I get a free checked bag with American Airlines?

Your first checked bag is free for you and up to four other companions traveling with you on the same reservation.

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