American Airlines Fees Review


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American Airlines' fees for domestic flights don't extend to the extreme of asking passengers to pay for a carry-on or a bottle of water, but this legacy carrier matches Delta and United with a high cost for changing or canceling a flight: $200. Like the other big airlines, American seems to be betting that it can get away with high fees because many consumers have few other options.

For travelers who need to book a flight but worry their plans may change, American offers Choice Plus fares. For an extra $80 to $89 each way, change fees are waived, one checked bag is included, and the passenger is allowed to board the plane early. A free premium drink voucher and bonus frequent flyer miles are also included. Customers with a Citi AAdvantage credit card (which carries an annual fee) can get the first-checked-bag fee waived for themselves and up to four companions. Various fee waivers also apply to elite members of the AAdvantage frequent-flyer program, as well as first- and business-class passengers.

For travelers who must pay American's fees, the first checked bag costs $25 and the second is $35. Bringing a pet onboard comes with a $125 surcharge, one of the highest fees in the industry, and paying for a "preferred" seat on the plane can cost anywhere between $4 and $139 depending on the route.

Compare American with other airlines using the charts on pages 2 to 4 of our guide and visit the company's website for a full list of American fees.

Louis DeNicola

Louis DeNicola is a freelance personal finance writer who specializes in credit, debt, and practical money-saving tips. He loves stacking savings opportunities to get amazing deals, traveling for free using credit card rewards, and teaching others how to do the same. Connect with Louis by visiting

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