American Airlines raising its checked baggage fee

Effective August 14, American Airlines is raising the fee for checking a first bag from $15 to $20, and for a second checked bag from $25 to $30 for domestic tickets. That means a person who checks two bags will pay a total of $100 roundtrip.

Several other carriers, including US Airways, United, Delta/Northwest and Continental, have all instituted the same increases recently – but only when customers pay the checked bag fee at the airport. Those other airlines give passengers the option of prepaying the checked bag fee online, in which case the cost stays at the original $15 for the first bag and $25 for the second.

American, however, does not offer a prepayment option, so the new fees will apply to all checked luggage, whether the customer pays at an airport kiosk, at the check-in counter or curbside. The higher fees will also apply for American Eagle and AmericanConnection flights; they are valid for domestic routes and flights to and from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, but not flights to Canada or other international services.

As usual, AAdvantage elite members are exempt from the fees, as are Oneworld Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby members; first and business class flyers; and full-fare economy class passengers.

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