American Airlines baggage fees and how to avoid paying them

; Platinum, Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum members get two free checked bags for themselves and up to eight traveling companions.

These elite status benefits are in addition to any checked bag benefits you may receive from holding an American Airlines credit card. This means that as an Executive Platinum member with the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, you can potentially get three free checked bags on domestic flights.

Elite status benefits are also extended to Oneworld elite members, depending on their tier level.

Join a loyalty program

If you frequently fly with American Airlines, it may be worth joining their loyalty program, AAdvantage. By earning miles through flights, credit card spending or partner activities, you can achieve elite status and unlock free checked bag benefits. AAdvantage members also have access to other perks, such as priority boarding and complimentary upgrades.

Pack light and use a carry-on only

One of the most effective ways to avoid checked bag fees is to pack light and use a carry-on only. By adhering to American Airlines’ carry-on guidelines, you can bring a full-size carry-on bag and a personal item onto the flight for free. This not only saves you money but also time at the airport, as you can skip the baggage drop-off lines and head straight to security.

Consider shipping your luggage

If you have bulky or heavy items that exceed American Airlines’ checked bag limits, consider shipping them instead. While this may incur a cost, it could be more affordable than paying overweight or oversize bag fees at the airport. Shipping your luggage also eliminates the risk of your bags being lost or damaged during transit.

Plan ahead and budget for baggage fees

If you know you’ll need to check multiple bags or carry oversized items, budget for the additional fees in advance. By factoring baggage fees into your travel expenses, you can avoid any surprises at the airport and ensure a smooth check-in process. Additionally, consider purchasing a baggage allowance bundle when booking your flight, as this may offer cost savings compared to paying for bags individually.

Check for exemptions and waivers

American Airlines offers exemptions and waivers for certain passengers, such as active duty military personnel, AAdvantage elite members, and passengers traveling to select destinations. These exemptions typically apply to checked bag fees and may vary depending on the passenger’s status or itinerary. Before booking your flight, check American Airlines’ website for any current exemptions or waivers that may apply to you.

In conclusion, American Airlines’ updated policy regarding checked baggage fees and carry-on guidelines may impact your upcoming travel plans. By familiarizing yourself with the new fees, size, and weight allowances, you can avoid unexpected charges and ensure a hassle-free check-in experience. Utilize the tips and strategies outlined in this guide to save money on baggage fees and make the most of any free checked bag benefits available to you. Safe travels!

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