American Airlines Adjusts Baggage Fees and Frequent Flyer Miles Eligibility

American Airlines has announced an adjustment in its baggage fees, marking the first increase in over five years. Alongside this change, the airline has introduced limitations on which travel agency bookings qualify for frequent flyer miles.

Effective immediately, passengers will encounter a revised fee structure for checking luggage. For domestic flights, checking a first bag will now cost $35 if pre-booked online, or $40 if opted for at the airport, up from the previous $30 for both options. Similarly, the fee for a second checked bag has been raised to $45, regardless of whether purchased in advance or at the airport.

The second checked bag fee was also raised
The second checked bag fee was also raised, now costing passengers $45, regardless of purchase method.

On routes between the U.S. and Canada, the Caribbean, or Mexico, the fee for the first checked bag will also be $35, irrespective of purchase method. This move follows American Airlines’ last adjustment to bag fees in September 2018, aligning with similar changes made by other major carriers.

With airfare experiencing a decline over the past year, airlines are seeking avenues to bolster revenue streams. Notably, recent inflation reports have indicated a more than 6% decrease in airfare compared to the previous year’s figures for January.

However, certain passengers will continue to enjoy benefits such as complimentary checked bags, including frequent flyer members with elite status and select American Airlines credit card holders.

Changes to the AAdvantage program limit miles eligibility
Changes to the AAdvantage program limit miles eligibility for tickets bought through third-party agencies. 

In a bid to streamline the check-in process, the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier has revised its overweight baggage fees. Travelers will now face a reduced fee of $30 for checked bags exceeding the 50-pound limit by up to three pounds, as opposed to the previous $100 charge.

Additionally, American Airlines has announced changes to its AAdvantage frequent flyer program. It will now restrict the eligibility of tickets purchased through third-party agencies to earn miles, aiming to direct traffic toward its website.

The airline plans to release a list in April comprising preferred travel agencies whose bookings will remain eligible for rewards credits. Furthermore, customers purchasing basic economy tickets will only accrue frequent flyer miles if the booking is made directly through American Airlines’ website.

Sajda Parveen
Sajda Parveen
Sajda Praveen is a market expert. She has over 6 years of experience in the field and she shares her expertise with readers. You can reach out to her at [email protected]
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