Davidson News

Davidson News

American Airlines Raises Checked Bag Fees: What You Need to Know

American Airlines has announced an increase in the price of first checked bags, marking the first adjustment since 2018. The fee for a first checked bag on most flights will now be $40, or $35 if paid before arriving at the airport. According to Scott Chandler, American’s senior vice president of revenue management and loyalty, rising fuel costs have contributed to the decision to raise fees as fuel is a significant component of their operational expenses.

American Airlines Exemptions and Efficiencies

While the new fee structure affects most passengers, elite frequent flyers, co-branded credit card holders, and premium cabin customers will still qualify for complimentary checked bags. However, Chandler emphasized the importance of pre-registering bags in advance to streamline the airport experience. By investing in technology to simplify the process of printing bag tags, American aims to provide a more efficient service for all passengers.

 American Airlines Raises Checked Bag Fees: What You Need to Know
Source: Forbes

Changes to Oversize and Overweight Bag Fees

In addition to the revised checked bag fees, American Airlines has introduced a new fee structure for oversized and overweight bags. Overweight bags weighing between 50 and 53 pounds will incur a $30 fee instead of the previous range of $100 to $200. Similarly, bags exceeding the 62-inch limit by up to three linear inches will be charged $30 instead of $150 to $200. These adjustments aim to provide fairer pricing for passengers while also facilitating smoother operations for airport staff.

Effective Dates and Planning Ahead

The updated bag fees will apply to bookings made on or after Feb. 20, while existing reservations ticketed before this date will still be subject to the previous fee structure. The new oversized and overweight bag fees will come into effect on April 17. To avoid unexpected charges, passengers are encouraged to review the full breakdown of costs by region available on American’s website and plan accordingly.

Strategies to Avoid Bag Fees

Passengers seeking to minimize bag fees can explore various options such as obtaining an airline co-branded credit card, earning elite status with the preferred carrier, or booking premium cabin seats where checked bags are often complimentary. These strategies offer potential savings and benefits for travelers looking to manage their travel expenses effectively.

 American Airlines Raises Checked Bag Fees: What You Need to Know
Source: CNBC

Changes to AAdvantage Program

American Airlines has also announced modifications to mileage earnings in its AAdvantage program. While direct bookings will always earn miles, travelers booking indirectly must use preferred agencies equipped with American’s new backend technology to earn miles and loyalty points on their flights after May 1. This initiative aims to streamline the booking process and ensure consistency in mileage accrual across all channels, benefiting a significant majority of customers.

Leave a Comment