New Changes to American’s Bag Allowance for Premium Travelers

American Airlines currently offers 3 free checked bags to those booked in it’s Business or First Class cabins.

I just received notification from a contact at American Airlines that a new change is coming for the bag allowance for premium customers aboard American flights:

Starting with tickets bought March 29, we’ll allow two checked bags for free in two-cabin aircraft, including domestic First and international Business Class. That’s down from the current allowance of three checked bags. (This is in line with our US competitors). No change for [Executive Platinums] continue to get three bags in those cabins.

To recap, here are the changes you’ll see:

  • 2 free checked bags allowed in domestic First Class, down from 3 bags
  • 2 free checked bags allowed in international Business Class, down from 3 bags
  • 3 free checked bags allowed on all flights for American Executive Platinum members

I’m actually really surprised that they didn’t cut any elite benefits here, which lately seems to have been a trend. Elites keep their current bag allowances. To be honest, even when I wasn’t an elite flying Business or First on American, I rarely, if ever checked 3 bags.

My Thoughts

I can actually only thing of two times where I ever checked 3 bags, elite or not — once coming back from a Frequent Traveler University where I had to carry back some camera and A/V cases, and on another trip where I was traveling with friends to Disney World and several of them brought large suitcases and didn’t want to pay the checked bag fee (so I checked them under my name). So, for me, this change won’t effect me at all since I carry on my bags 99.9% of the time.

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All in all, don’t freak out here. A minor change to better differentiate cabins aboard American’s aircraft. Most passengers won’t be affected by this, and those that take advantage of the benefit often probably have elite status anyways.

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