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American Airlines is Hiking the Price of Checked Bag Fees

American Airlines is Hiking the Price of Checked Bag Fees

a group of men loading luggage into an airplane

American Airlines is hiking the price of checked bag fees for the first time since 2018, although this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise given the fact that Alaska Airlines raised its checked bag fees last month and where one airline leads, others usually follow.

What might come as a surprise, however, is that American Airlines hasn’t just matched Alaska’s increased pricing but has actually surpassed it, with fees increasing by as much as 33% per bag.

American Airlines previously charged $30 for the first checked bag on domestic flights but from February 20, this fee increases to $40, while the cost to check a second bag increases from $40 to $45.

This new fee structure applies to all domestic flights, including services to Alaska and Hawaii, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Passengers can save $5 on the cost of the first checked bag by booking online, but there’s no additional saving for booking a second checked bag.

The cost for checked luggage on flights to Canada and other short-haul international flights also increases from $30 for the first checked bag to $35 and from $40 for the second checked bag to $45. There’s no saving for booking luggage ahead of arriving at the airport.

There are, however, ways to avoid checked bag fees when flying with American Airlines.

One of the most popular methods is to get your hands on a co-branded credit card, as the majority of AAdvantage credit cards offer a free first checked bag on domestic flights.

All elite AAdvantage members also receive some form of free checked baggage allowance and travelers in premium cabins on both domestic and international itineraries get a complimentary checked baggage allowance.

With both Alaska and now American Airlines increasing the checked baggage fees it’s really only a matter of time until Delta and United also follow suit, and as ever Southwest remains the anomaly, offering up to two checked bags for free.

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