American Airlines eliminates 2nd free checked bag on some international flights
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
American Airlines has come out with updated bag policies for international routes, eliminating second free checked bags on flights to a number of countries. While this devaluation comes with no notice, fortunately customers still able to check their first bag for free. Keep in mind that this change affects Main Economy customers only — all other fare classes retain the same baggage allowance.
The affected countries are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, with fees of up to $65 now being charged for your second bag. While that’s not quite the whopping $100 fee charged for additional bags on transatlantic flights, it still represents a significant devaluation for travelers.
If you’re a frequent flyer to any of these countries, you can still get your second bag free by booking into Premium Economy (or business). Otherwise, elite status holders such as AAdvantage Platinum Pro, AAdvantage Platinum and Oneworld Sapphire members can check two bags for free.
Unfortunately, credit cards that offer free checked bags, such as the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® don’t work here, as they offer just the first bag free and only then on domestic itineraries. However, if you have a credit card that offers annual travel credits, you can often use these credits to offset the checked bag fees. These cards include:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: If American is your selected airline for the Amex airline fee credit, bag fees are reimbursable, up to $200 per calendar year. If not, you have until Jan. 31 to change your airline. Enrollment required for select benefits.
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: As above, you can use your airline fee credit to offset bag fees, up to $200 per calendar year.
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: Same as the other American Express cards, up to $250 per calendar year.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: This card reimburses up to $300 per year for qualified travel expenses, including checked bag fees.
- Citi Prestige® Card: Citi offers $250 per year in credit for travel expenses, including checked bag fees.
- Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card: This card offers a $100 annual airline incidental statement credit, despite its low $95 per year annual fee.
The information for the Citi Prestige card and Hilton Aspire Amex card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
While this is unfortunate news for flyers, it brings American Airlines’ oft-confusing baggage policy into a more streamlined approach. Most destinations served by the airline now charge for a second bag, with the exception of Australia, Japan, China, New Zealand, Hong Kong and South Korea.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees