American Airlines Baggage Allowance – 2021 Guide

American Airlines is the world’s largest airline by fleet size, with over 6,800 flights per day to 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. On this page, we have detailed everything you need to know about American Airlines’ baggage allowance and fees. 

American Airlines Cabin Baggage

Travelling with American Airlines, passengers are allowed 1 carry-on bag and 1 small personal item such as a laptop case or handbag. Your carry-on bag must not be larger than 56x36x23cm (including the handle and wheels). 

Baggage TypeSize Weight AllowanceFeesAdditional Fees
Carry-on allowance56x36x23cmContact the airline for more informationNone
Checked baggage158cm (height + length + width)23kg (50lbs)£60 for 1st bag travelling to/from UK
$30 for 1st bag travelling to/from US domestic
£75 for 2nd bag travelling to/from UK
$40 for 2nd bag travelling to/from US domestic
Excess baggage158cm45kg£65 for overweight baggage travelling to/from UK£100 for oversized baggage travelling to/from UK$150-200 for overweight baggage travelling to/from US$150-200 for oversized baggage travelling to/from US

American Airlines Checked Baggage

With American Airlines, you can check up to 10 items of luggage per passenger if your flight is domestic, transatlantic or transpacific. 

If your trip involves travelling to, from, or through Brazil, South America, Mexico, Caribbean or Central America, you can check up to 5 items of luggage per passenger. 

The size limit for checked baggage is calculated by adding length + width + height. This total must not exceed 158cm (62 inches). The weight must not be greater than 23kg (50lbs). 

  • Travelling to/from the UK: £60 for 1st bag (£75 for 2nd bag)
  • Travelling to/from the US Domestic: $30 for 1st bag ($40 or $55 for 2nd bag depending on destination)

Pro tip: check here if you qualify for complimentary bags with your ticket, as in some cases you will not have to pay for the first 3 bags. 

American Airlines Excess Baggage Policy

Oversize baggage 

If your luggage exceeds 158cm in dimensions, it will be counted as oversized baggage and you will have to pay a fee. American Airlines will not accept any baggage that is larger than 320cm (126 inches). 

  • Travelling to/from the UK, the oversize baggage fee is £100.
  • Travelling to/from the US domestic, the oversize baggage fee is between $150-200 depending on the destination. 

Overweight baggage

If your bag is heavier than 23kg, it will be charged as overweight baggage. American Airlines will not accept any luggage heavier than 45kg (100lbs). 

  • From/to the UK, overweight baggage will be charged £65 per one way.
  • From/to the US domestic, overweight baggage will be charged between $100-200 depending on the weight and the destination.

Be aware that these fees are non-refundable and apply per bag per leg of the journey.

American Airlines Sports Equipment

On American Airlines, the maximum size for sports equipment is 320cm (126 inches) and the maximum weight is 32kg (72 lbs). Only certain sports equipment has been authorised by American Airlines, including:

  • Archery
  • Camping & fishing equipment
  • Skis & snowboards
  • Golf clubs
  • Windsurf
  • Parachutes
  • See the full list here

If your sports equipment is not on this list, it will be treated as oversize baggage and may be liable to fees. We suggest contacting the airline directly for more details if this applies to you.

American Airlines Musical Instruments

If your instrument fits in the overhead lockers or under the seat in front of you, you can count it as your carry-on baggage.

If your instrument is larger than this, you can buy a seat for your instrument. Please note that for this ticket your instrument must not exceed 175kg in weight.

You can also choose to check your instrument, for which standard checked bag and excess baggage fees apply. 

Pro tip: If you are travelling with your instrument, make sure it is protected in a hard travel case. 

Contact American Airlines

You can contact American Airlines by phone or email or live chat on their website. Find the right domestic or international contact number for American Airlines here

They also have a helpful FAQ page here

Alternative to Excess Baggage Fees

While carry-on and checked baggage is an easy option for small amounts of luggage, sometimes we find ourselves needing to transport large amounts of luggage or bulky, heavy items abroad, which can be very expensive through the airline. 

With Stasher’s delivery service, you can remove the hassle of travelling with luggage and the exorbitant fees of excess baggage. Shipping your luggage with Stasher is safe, affordable, and fully insured. 

Luggage delivery removes the problem of weight and size restrictions, and leaves you with more travel flexibility, and less stress on the day of travel. With Stasher you can conveniently book this service online in record time and your luggage will be picked up from your desired location at a time specified by you. 

It will then be shipped to the destination address provided by you. And you can check the progress all along the way, so you always know where your luggage is on its journey as well as feel secure that it is safe.

With Stasher, your luggage will be in good hands. 

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