American Airlines launches new service to make airport experience smoother for families

May 21, 2021

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Navigating the airport with kids can be, well, an experience. Keeping everyone together and your luggage organized as you check in and go through security is no small feat.

American Airlines is launching a new premium airport assistance program that could make getting your family to your next flight a little easier.

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The new service, called Five Star Essentials, is available starting Friday, May 21, 2021, for domestic departures and connections at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Miami International Airport (MIA) and Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT). You can add up to two adults and three children or pets for $149, and additional travelers can be added to your party for $25 each.

(Photo courtesy of American Airlines)

Five Star Essentials passengers will get an extra pair of hands to help them navigate the airport. You’ll be welcomed at priority check-in and be given assistance checking in, selecting seats and getting any checked luggage squared away.

Then, you’ll be escorted through the priority security lane with help keeping all carry-ons and personal items organized. Once everyone is through security, you’ll be escorted to your gate.

For connecting flights at participating airports, Five Star Essentials customers would be escorted gate-to-gate and offered assistance with everything from keeping track of suitcases to monitoring the flight status.

This service is available to add to any American Airlines flight starting May 24, 2021, whether it’s in economy or a premium cabin. You can book Five Star Essentials through the American Airlines website on the same landing page with information about the similarly named Five Star Service (a luxury product for travelers with premium cabin tickets that offers access to Flagship First Check-In and Admirals Club lounge access, car service coordination and more at a premium price).

Unfortunately, Five Star Essentials doesn’t include Admirals Club lounge access, though you can purchase a one-day pass (or use your credit card to gain access).

Some frequent travelers may have the airport hustle down to a science, and those travelers probably won’t find a ton of value in this new service. If you regularly make it through check-in, security and to your gate with your whole family without losing any suitcases (or your sanity), spending almost $150 extra for someone to escort you likely won’t be worth the cost.

But for parents and guardians anxious about flying with kids for the first time (or, perhaps, the first time since the onset of the pandemic), or if your toddler is known to lose his or her favorite stuffed animal between gates, Five Star Essentials could save a lot of time — and anxiety — at the airport.

Related: Making family travel easier with car seats and strollers

And this new service isn’t just for parents. Pet owners who are flying with a furry companion for the first time could also get value out of this service.

While the service is currently only available at three airports in Dallas, Miami and Charlotte, it might roll out across more U.S. airports and include other service options in the future depending on customer feedback and interest throughout the summer.

Featured image courtesy of American Airlines. 

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Based on TPG’s most recent valuations, the 50,000 miles are worth $815. As of July 23, 2017 this is the only card that offers Admirals Club lounge access so if you are an AA flyer this card might make sense for you.  Aside from lounge access the primary cardholder will receive a Global Entry application fee credit every 5 years, first checked bag free for up to 8 travel companions on domestic itineraries and a 25% discount on eligible in-flight purchases on American Airlines flights.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® Bonus Miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
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Regular APR
15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$450
Balance Transfer Fee
5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
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Excellent, Good

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