American Airlines raises baggage fees, drastically changes AAdvantage airline miles program

Uh, yikes.
American Airlines Airplanes At The Gate
American Airlines Airplanes At The Gate / J. David Ake/GettyImages

If you check out American Airlines’ newest press release, they seem to have some great news for customers making it even better if you book directly through the airline. Except, in reality, American Airlines is now the most expensive airline to check a bag with - and the whole AAdvantage airlines miles program is changing in a big way.


Here’s the rundown of the changes, and what you need to know if you’re looking to book a flight on American Airlines – and check a bag.

American Airlines baggage check prices: What to know about the increase

Previously, to check a bag on American Airlines it cost $30. Now, prices have increased as much as 33% across the board in a wild and confusing way.

The simple rundown is this:

  • $40 if you don’t prepay online.
  • $35 if you prepay online.
  • $45 for a second checked bag, up from $40 previously.

For flights from the US to Canada, Caribbean, Mexico and Central America:

  • $35 for the first bag.
  • $45 for the second bag.

That’s up from $30 and $40, respectively.

Also, guess what? These new prices are valid starting today, so if you’re headed to an American Airlines flight right now you’ll want to have another $5 on hand, at least.

American Airlines baggage check prices: Oversized luggage fees drop

Summer Air Travel Sees Historic Level Of Disruptions
Summer Air Travel Sees Historic Level Of Disruptions / Nathan Howard/GettyImages

A little bit of good news here, though… Oversized luggage fees are dropping, as of April 17, 2024. While some tiers stay the same price, bags 50-53 pounds will now cost $30, versus the previous $100-$200 fee. And bags 62-65 inches will get the same treatment at $30, instead of $150-$200.

The joint fee for two items that are oversized or overweight will also drop. 50-70 pound items will now cost $30-$200, instead of $250-$400. And items 70-100 pounds will cost $200 to $450, instead of $350 to $650.

Some bad news at the end here, though: also starting April 17, 2024, American will no longer allow javelins, pole vaults and hang gliders. Just in time for the Summer Olympics.

American Airlines AAdvantage Airline Miles changes 2024: what to know

The biggest change to the AAdvantage program? You’ll now only be able to earn points – starting May 1, 2024 – through American Airlines directly, or through approved travel agencies. What are these agencies? We don’t know yet, so check back later.

Furthermore, if you book a Basic Economy ticket, you will only get miles if you book directly through American Airlines.

So, what if you have a credit card that gets you AAdvantage miles? That should still work, though TBA if there are any changes there, as well.

Basically: American Airlines is doing the most American thing possible… Giving you way less and telling you it’s way more. Thanks?

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