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American Airlines raises bag fees for luggage checked at the airport

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If you’re checking a bag for an American Airlines flight, expect to pay more.

The carrier has announced it is raising its checked bag fees by $10, from $30 to $40, for bags checked at the airport. For luggage checked online through American’s website, the fee is increasing from $30 to $35.

For a second checked bag, the fee is rising from $40 to $45, whether purchased online or at the airport.

By comparison, a passenger’s first checked bag on Delta and United still cost $30, while second ones cost $40-$50.

It’s the first time since 2018 that American has increased its checked bag fee.

The changes, and others, were announced Tuesday as part of an effort to nudge passengers to become American Airlines AAdvantage members. Customers who sign up will continue to receive complimentary bags on American Airlines flights, the carrier said. And most AAdvantage credit cardmembers also get their first eligible checked bag free on domestic American Airlines itineraries. Customers who purchase premium cabins on domestic and international flights will continue to receive complimentary bags as well.

“Not only does booking directly with American provide the best possible experience, it’s also where we offer the best fares and it’s most rewarding for our AAdvantage members,” said Vasu Raja, American’s Chief Commercial Officer, in a statement.

A full list of new changes for AAdvantage members can be found here.

American is also changing its fee structure for checked items that are overweight.

For bags that exceed the 50-pound limit by just three pounds, the fee will be $30, down from $100. The same fee will apply to items 3-inches larger than the 62-inch limit.

For items that are are both oversized and overweight up to 70-pounds, the fee will be capped at $200. Fees for items that are 100 pounds overweight will be capped at $450.

Last month, American posted a $19 million profit for the last three months of 2023, topping Wall Street estimates.

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