American Airlines Baggage Policy

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About American Airlines

Have you ever paid a hefty amount to the airline for the excess luggage you carried? Each airline has its own baggage policies, making it a tricky business. The airline industry drains billions of dollars from its passengers each year for the one extra luggage they carry. If your flight is with American Airlines, then it is better to know American Airlines Baggage Policy so that you do not have to end up paying a fortune for additional luggage.

Baggage Allowance Policy

American Airlines is a major US-based and the world’s largest airline, operating scheduled flights to over 350 destinations since 1936. It offers 6,800 daily flights to both domestic and international destinations, serving millions of passengers each day. The airline tries to be very flexible with its luggage policy to make travel more convenient. To learn about the baggage policy, read below:

  • The luggage allowance depends on the date of travel, fare types, and destinations, which includes domestic, transatlantic, and transpacific routes.
  • Additional baggage fees are subject to taxes established by the origin country.
  • All baggage exceeding the maximum size and weight limitation will be subject to space availability in the aircraft. The airline will charge additional baggage fees for extra luggage.
  • Excess carry-on baggage are subject to being checked and charged as additional baggage.

Carry-on Allowance

American Airlines cabin baggage allows its passengers to carry 1 personal item and 1 carry-on baggage to the cabin for free. The personal item includes a hand bag or purse, which must fit under the seat in front of you. However, it should not exceed the allotted weight and dimension.

Nots: If you are traveling with an infant, then a diaper bag (1 per child), child seats, strollers, soft-sided cooler bags with breast milk medical or mobility devices do not count as your personal item or carry on. You may have to pay for some fares and routes to carry on these items.

Carry-on Requirements

American Airlines Baggage restrictions state that passengers can carry one hand bag and one personal item in the cabin without any baggage fees, as long as the items are meeting the standard dimension.Here is a table stating the restricted size and weight of carry-on baggage in American Airlines.

ItemsCabinMaximum SizeMaximum Weight
Personal ItemMain Cabin22×14×9 inches22lbs
Hand BagMain Cabin18×14×8 inches22lbs

Furthermore, if your items don’t fit under the seat or in the overhead cabin, it will be considered as checked baggage. To avoid any hassle in the cabin, check if your carry-on baggage meets the airlines’ baggage policy or not.
Musical items can be considered carry-on baggage as long as they fit under the seat or in the overhead cabin.
Soft-sided garment bags up to 51 inches (length+width+height) can be considered a carry-on item.
If you are traveling with your pet, then the kennel or pet container too is considered as carry-on baggage and the airline will levy a carry-on pet fee to allow your pet to be with you in the cabin.

Valet bags

American EagleⓇ planes flying to and from regional destinations, have limited overhead bin space. If your carry-on doesn’t meet the requirements of personal item dimension, you must valet your bag before boarding the flight. The bag will be tagged at the gate free of charge.

Checked Baggage

Under the American Airlines baggage policy, all bags fees are non-refundable. You can check up to 10 bags if your trip is domestic, transatlantic, transpacific.

You are eligible to check up to 5 bags if you are traveling to/from/within Mexico, the Caribbean,Central America, Brazil, and South America.

Your first checked baggage will be free, if you are a member of AAdvantageⓇ, AviatorⓇ, and citiⓇ/AAdvantageⓇ cardmembers on domestic American Airlines operated itineraries.

Checked Baggage Sizes

  • The checked baggage allowance for all destinations, except for New Zealand, Australia is, dimension 62 inch, and weight 50lbs.
  • For First and Business class passengers, the weight of the complimentary bag should be no more than 70lbs and for excess charged bags should be no more than 50lbs.
  • For all passengers traveling to/from New Zealand and Australia dimensions should be 62inch and the complimentary bag should not exceed 70 lbs and the excess charged bags should not be more than 50lbs.

Checked Baggage Allowance for Cuba

For flights traveling to/from Cuba, only 2 checked baggage will be allowed with a maximum weight of 70lbs each along with 1 carry-on bag and 1 personal item.

  • Passengers have to pay bag fees, if the trip is originating outside Cuba and traveling to Cuba.
  • If you have booked a round-trip, originating outside Cuba, 1st and 2nd standard-size bags are free while departing from Cuba.
  • If you are returning to Cuba, the 1st standard-size bag will be free.

Checked Baggage Charges and Fees

Region1st Bag2nd Bag3rd Bag4th Bag+
DomesticUSD 30USD 40USD 150USD 200
MexicoUSD 30USD 40USD 200#USD 200
HaitiUSD 0/USD 30USD 65USD 200#USD 200
CubaUSD 0/USD 30USD 0/USD 200USD 200#USD 200
The Caribbean (Except for Haiti and Cuba)USD 30USD 40USD 200#USD 200
Central AmericaUSD 30USD 40/USD 65USD 200#USD 200
Guyana & SurinameUSD 30USD 40USD 200#USD 200
South America (Except for Guyana & Suriname)USD 0/45USD 65USD 200#USD 200
TransatlanticUSD 0/USD 75USD 100USD 200USD 200
TranspacificUSD 0USD 100USD 200USD 200

Overweight and Oversized Baggage Allowance

The passenger must incur for the overweight and oversized luggage. However, not all American Airlines baggage weight allows luggage exceeding the restricted measurement. The airline doesn’t accept checked bags over 126inch. Read the below chart to know the overweight and oversized fees.

Oversize Baggage Fees

RegionsFees for Baggage exceeding 62inch-126inch
Between US, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and CanadaUSD 200
Mexico/The Caribbean/Central America/Guyana/SurinameUSD 200
South America (Except for Guyana & Suriname)USD 150
Europe, Israel, QatarUSD 150
China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, India, Australia, and New ZealandUSD 200

Overweight Baggage Fees

Between US, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and CanadaUSD 100USD 200
Mexico/The Caribbean/Central America/Guyana/SurinameUSD 200**Not accepted
South America (Except for Guyana & Suriname)USD 100USD 200
Europe, Israel, QatarUSD 100Not Accepted
China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, India, Australia, and New ZealandUSD 100USD 450 (not accepted to/from Australia)
  • Overweight fee for Cuba is USD 100 for tickets issued before April 26, 2022 and USD 200 for tickets issued on/after April 26, 2022, and travel on/after May 26, 2022.
  • Passengers traveling to/from Australia and New Zealand are allowed 1 free bag in Basic and Main, 2 free bags in Premium Economy and Business, and 3 free bags in First class up to 70lbs.

Baggage Allowance for Infants

The carry-on and checked baggage allowance for passengers traveling with a baby, depends on the routes they are taking. The policy varies depending on domestic and international routes.

  • Each ticket customer is allowed 1 stroller and 1 car seat, which must be checked free of charge.
  • Strollers over 20lbs must be checked at the ticket counter.
  • Other strollers should be checked at the gate before boarding.
  • The airline will allow either a stroller or a car seat, not both.

American Airlines Pet Policy

If you and your furbaby are traveling with the American Airlines flight, it is better to check with the airline’s pet policy. Moreover, the airline doesn’t allow pets in all destinations.

  • Only small dogs and cats are allowed as carry-on pets in the cabin.
  • Larger breeds must be transported through American Airlines cargo.
  • Fully-trained and service dogs are allowed in the cabin if they meet all requirements.
  • You can bring only 1 kennel as your carry-on bag, if you pay the carry-on pet fee.
  • The carry-on pet must stay inside the kennel and under the front seat.
  • The kennel should be large enough for the dog to stand, turn, sit, and lie down without touching any side or top of the kennel.
  • The combined weight of the pet and the kennel must not exceed 100lbs.
  • The kennel must have ventilation on three sides for domestic routes and four sides for international routes.

Damaged or Delayed Baggage Policy

American Airlines’ lost and delayed baggage policy states that in case of lost, damaged, or delayed baggage you are entitled to get assistance from the airline. Get in touch with an American Airlines’ agent, who will give you a 13-character file reference number to file a claim.

  • If the bag is damaged, you can file a report at the baggage service office
  • Before leaving the airport or within 24-hours of receiving your bags for domestic flights.
  • Before leaving the airport or within 7 days of receiving your bags for international flights.
  • You will be compensated for the damaged bags, if the airline was responsible for that.
  • For delayed bags, the airline will reimburse you for items you need immediately.
  • You must file a complaint by giving a 13-character reference number.

Restricted Items

American Airlines baggage allowance takes strict measures to ensure the safety of its passengers. For security concerns, the airline has restricted some specific items from its flight. Hence, before boarding an American Airlines flight, learn about the items you are not allowed to carry.

  • Alcoholic beverages over 70% volume
  • Alcoholic beverages under 70% volume
  • Animal products like meat, cheese, sausage, lard are restricted in flights traveling to/from Europe.
  • Batteries
  • Drones
  • Defense sprays
  • Cutting instruments like metal knives, ice picks, box cutters, straight razors, etc.
  • Dry ice
  • Vapor and e-cigarettes
  • Explosives, firearms, and ammunition
  • Flammable liquids or solids
  • Gasoline-powered tools
  • Lighters, matches
  • Marijuana
  • Mobility devices like electric wheelchair with spillable batteries
  • Pressurized containers and compressed gasses
  • Scissors and tools
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 7
  • Self-heating metals
  • Self-inflating life jackets
  • Smart bags


  • How early can I check my luggage, if I am traveling with American Airlines?

    American Airlines allows passengers to check in at least 4 hours prior to the domestic departure and 6 hours for international departure.

  • How many bags can you carry on American Airlines for free?

    American Airlines allows 1 standard carry-on piece, and 1 personal item, which must not exceed 22×14×9 inches.

  • Do AAdvantage members get free checked bags?

    Your first checked baggage will be free, if you are a member of AAdvantage, Aviator, and citi /AAdvantage cardmembers on domestic American Airlines operated itineraries.

  • What is American Airlines’ extra baggage fee?

    The baggage fees depend on the origin and destination. However, the baggage fee ranges between USD 40 to USD 200.

  • What should I do if I lose my bag or if my baggage is delayed or damaged?

    If you are at the airport, you can go to the American Airlines counter and report about the issue. If the luggage is damaged and the airline is responsible, then American Airlines will reimburse you.

  • Can you check more than two bags on American Airlines?

    American Airlines allows two bags in its business class for all destinations and in economy class covering international destinations.

  • Can you pay in cash for the American Airlines baggage fee?

    American Airlines accepts credit, debit, cash, and online payment methods. You need to visit the airport to check the fees of your luggage, and after that you can make the payment.

  • Can you prepay baggage fees on American Airlines?

    Yes, you can pay for the baggage fees online. Online check-in begins 24-hour prior to the flight’s scheduled departure.

  • Can I bring sports and musical instruments as carry-on in American Airlines?

    American Airlines allows passengers to bring sports kits and musical instruments in the cabin as carry-on, as long as they meet the restrictions on weight and dimension.

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