Guide to American Airlines Baggage Policy & Allowance Fee

Baggage Policy Basics

Embarking on a journey? You’ve got to know American Airlines’ baggage policies to avoid surprises. This policy explanation will serve as your navigation tool, ensuring a smooth take-off.

Let’s start with carry-on baggage. American Airlines allows you one personal item and one carry-on item. Your personal item could be a purse, laptop bag, or something of similar size. And yes, it’s definitely free!

But remember, your carry-on shouldn’t be more than 22 x 14 x 9 inches. This size limit includes any handles and wheels. It’s key to note that the airline’s staff may ask to check your bag if it doesn’t fit into the sizer at the airport. So, better measure before boarding.

Let’s talk about checked bags. The standard allowance is up to 10 bags per passenger depending on your trip. For transpacific journeys, you’re allowed two checked bags. Do notice that size and weight restrictions exist. As a general rule, your bag shouldn’t weigh more than 50lbs and not exceed 62in (length + width + height).

Sounds overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be. Keep in mind there are ways to avoid unexpected fees. Hold the American Airlines credit card or have a membership in the AAdvantage program? You might just receive a checked bag allowance as an added benefit. Frequent flier? Being an elite member of the loyalty program may mean more privileges like extra baggage allowances.

There’s a straightforward table for understanding this policy. Use it to your advantage:

Baggage Size Limit Free Allowance
Carry-Ons 22 x 14 x 9 inches 1 personal + 1 carry-on
Checked Bags 62in (L+W+H) Varies

It’s important to know these basics before you embark on your journey. Booked your ticket? Now, take a moment to review the airline’s policy. After all, preparation is the key to a hassle-free journey.

Carry-on Allowance

Navigating an airline’s baggage policy can be a bit tricky, but that’s why you’ve got this guide in your hands. As a passenger, it’s essential to know American Airlines’ carry-on allowance to steer clear from last-minute frustrations.

At American Airlines, you’re allowed one carry-on bag and one personal item onboard at no cost. Imagine the freedom of strolling right onto your flight with your belongings in reach. That’s what knowing your carry-on allowance can do for you.

Let’s talk dimensions. Your carry-on bag shouldn’t exceed 22 x 14 x 9 inches, including handles and wheels. Don’t forget; it needs to fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.

Your personal item, it’s got to be smaller than your carry-on. We’re looking at something that fits under the seat in front of you, like a purse, a briefcase, or a laptop bag. Remember, they typically consider items such as a jacket, umbrella, or diaper bag as additional to your carry-on and personal item.

“But what happens if my carry-on doesn’t fit the sizer?”, you might ask. When that happens, American Airlines will have to check that carry-on bag, and they’d ask you to pay the baggage fee. So, sticking to the size limit can save you some bucks.

Wondering about exceptions? Certain special items – like strollers, child restraint seats, or medical devices are not counted as carry-on. They tend to be much more flexible about these, so don’t sweat it.

There you have it. Carry-on baggage simplified. The idea is to plan ahead and pack smart. This keeps you smooth-sailing on your journey, knowing you’ve got everything you need at your fingertips.

Checked Baggage Allowance

When you travel with American Airlines, it’s essential to be aware of the checked baggage policies. You’re allowed several bags to check-in, but remember that each must adhere to specific size and weight limitations. To avoid any mishaps or unforeseen fees at the airport, it’s best to know these restrictions in advance.

Weight and Size Restrictions

American Airlines’ checked baggage cannot exceed 50 lbs and 62 inches when you total the length, width, and height. It’s important to carefully measure your luggage before heading to the airport. An overweight or oversized bag could lead to sizable extra charges.

Be aware that for First and Business class passengers, the weight limit increases to 70 lbs. Elite status members – part of the AAdvantage program, also enjoy this heightened weight limit for their conveyance.

Number of Bags

You might wonder how many checked bags you’re allowed. Typically, on American Airlines, passengers can check up to 10 bags on domestic flights, and between two to five bags on international flights. Keep in mind that you’ll be charged for every checked piece of luggage, and the cost increases with each additional bag.


Baggage fees with American Airlines vary depending on the details of your flight. For domestic US travel, the first checked bag comes with a $30 fee, while the second one goes for $40. Plan your packing strategically to minimize costs as much as possible.

Exceptions and Exemptions

Certain exceptions apply to American Airlines’ baggage policies. Firstly, the allowance is different for active US military members and their dependents when traveling on orders. Also, if you’re an AAdvantage credit cardholder, you can leverage certain advantages including free checked baggage.

American Airlines’ bag policies might seem complex. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with these rules though, you’ll be prepared for a seamless travel experience. The journey begins with smart packing and a thorough understanding of your airline’s rules.

Oversized and Overweight Bags

Next, we’ll investigate into the specifics of oversized and overweight baggage policies with American Airlines. Do you know what happens if your luggage exceeds the airline’s size or weight limits? It’s essential to be aware as these could result in substantial additional charges.

American Airlines defines an oversized bag as any checked baggage that exceeds 62 linear inches. Linear inches are calculated by adding the length, width, and height of your bag. So, when you’re packing, be sure to measure your suitcase.

If it’s beyond the limit, American Airlines charges a fee, depending on the size of the luggage. For instance, if your bag falls in the range of 63 to 115 linear inches, expect to cough up an extra $200. But, remember, they won’t accept bags beyond 115 linear inches.

Overweight bags are those that exceed the airline’s set weight limits. For a majority of the destinations, any bag between 51 to 70 lbs costs you an additional $100. The charges increase to $200 if the weight is in the bracket of 71 to 100 lbs. Just so you know, the airline won’t accept any bag weighing more than 100 lbs.

Below you can find a brief table summarizing the extra charges:

63-115 Linear Inches 51-70 lbs 71-100 lbs
Fee $200 $100 $200

Exceptions do exist. If you’re an active US military member or an AAdvantage credit cardholder, you might enjoy some leniency in these policies. The key takeaway here is planning and smart packing – it’s your passport to a hassle-free journey with American Airlines.

Special Items and Sports Equipment

Understanding American Airlines’ policy on special items and sports equipment can help you avoid unwanted surprises. With the increasing popularity of adventure tourism and health-conscious travel, more passengers are making inquiries about carrying their sports equipment.

American Airlines operates under specific rules and may charge additional fees depending on the item’s type and size. A gold mine of information awaits you on their official website, yet we’ve distilled it here to give you a clear understanding.

For example, let’s look at bicycles. You can carry them as checked baggage for a fee, provided they are less than 50 lbs (23 kg) and 126 inches (320 cm) in size when packed. If they exceed these limits, standard overweight and oversize fees apply.

Skis and snowboards are another popular category. American Airlines allows one pair of skis or one snowboard per bag, plus one boot bag without incurring an additional fee. These items also must adhere to the standard baggage size and weight limits.

See the table below for a brief snapshot:

Item Size limit Weight limit Fee
Bicycle 126 inches 50 lbs Yes
Skis/Snowboard Standard limit Standard limit No

Other special items such as medical equipment and musical instruments may be subject to different rules and limitations. Make sure to check the rules before you pack your bag.

Assistance devices such as wheelchairs or strollers can be checked for free and do not count against your baggage allowance. As for musical instruments, they can be carried on board if they meet the size restrictions, or checked if they don’t.

The protocol for sports equipment varies depending on the items. Certain items, like hockey and lacrosse equipment, are considered a single item with a specific policy for packing. Marksman equipment, on the other hand, can be intimidating due to stringent regulations and requirements.

It’s essential to dig more into the specifics if you plan to travel with such gear. Don’t forget to pre-book your special baggage to avoid any last-minute hassles.

Remember, being aware of the rules and acting accordingly will not only make your journey smoother but could also save you some bucks. Plan smartly, pack thoughtfully, and pave the way for a hassle-free voyage. Whether it’s for a vacation or a tournament, your travel should entail excitement, not exasperation.

Fees and Charges

It’s crucial to understand the charges associated with American Airlines’ baggage policy to avoid last-minute surprises.

First, let’s focus on carry-on bags. They come free with all American Airlines flights. Given that your bag fits the size restrictions (22 x 14 x 9 inches), you’re good to go without paying an extra dime.

A tad trickier are the fees for checked bags. Baggage fees vary depending on the route and specific fare. For example, domestic flights typically start at $30 for the first checked bag and increase to $40 for the second bag. More bags will incur additional costs.

A comprehensive list of standard checked baggage fees depending on route type is as below:

Route Type 1st Bag 2nd Bag Additional Bags
Domestic $30 $40 $150 each
Canada and Caribbean $30 $40 $150 each
Europe $60 $100 $200 each
Asia $60 $100 $200 each

Remember, overweight and oversized bags carry additional charges. It’s generally $100 for bags between 51 and 70 pounds, and another $200 if the weight tips over 70 pounds, not to exceed 100 pounds.

Special items and sports equipment, like bicycles, skis, snowboards and musical instruments incur specific fees. For instance, traveling with a large instrument cost about $150 depending on route type and size. Remember to plan ahead and pre-book these items to avoid surprises.

But, don’t fear the wave of fees. There are viable ways to dodge some of these charges. Being a member of the AAdvantage program or owning an American Airlines credit card can help you save some significant bucks.

Since we’ve reviewed various charges, let’s jump into the exceptions to these fees – you wouldn’t want to miss a chance to save, would you? Stick around as we investigate deeper into exceptions in the next section, “Baggage Fee Exceptions and Exemptions”. Remember, the goal is a hassle-free, cost-effective journey.


You’re now equipped with all the knowledge you need about American Airlines’ baggage policy and allowance fees. You understand the ins and outs of carry-on and checked baggage rules. You know how to sidestep unexpected fees with an American Airlines credit card or AAdvantage membership. You’re aware of the fees for carry-on, checked bags, overweight and oversized bags, as well as special items and sports equipment. Remember, planning ahead and pre-booking special baggage can save you from last-minute hassles and extra costs. With this guide, you’re set to navigate your way through American Airlines’ baggage policies like a pro. Happy travels!

What is the baggage policy of American Airlines?

The baggage policy of American Airlines varies according to the fare type and route. It includes provisions for both carry-on and checked bags, each with specific weight, dimensions and quantity restrictions.

What are the size restrictions of carry-on baggage?

The carry-on baggage must fit into the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you. The maximum dimensions allowed are 22 x 14 x 9 inches for all routes.

How many bags can I check on American Airlines?

American Airlines allows up to 10 checked bags for domestic, transatlantic, and transpacific flights, and up to 5 bags for flights to/from Central and South America.

How can I avoid unexpected baggage fees?

You can avoid unexpected baggage fees by having an American Airlines credit card, being a member of the AAdvantage program, planning ahead, and pre-booking special baggage.

Are there any additional charges for overweight and oversized bags?

Yes. Overweight and oversized bags attract additional charges. The fees vary depending on the weight and size, and the specifics of your journey.

How much does American Airlines charge for baggage?

The fees for carry-on and checked bags depend on the route and fare type. The article provides an in-depth guide to specific costs.

Are there any exceptions or exemptions in baggage fees?

Yes. Certain elite status members, those who hold specific American Airlines credit cards, and AAdvantage program members may be eligible for discounts or complete exemptions on baggage fees.

What’s the policy for special items and sports equipment?

American Airlines allows for special item and sports equipment check-in. However, these items may attract additional charges, with costs depending on the nature and size of the item.

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