EXP overweight baggage charges (not waived except for Class)

 
Old Jan 12, 11, 9:21 pm
  #1  
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EXP overweight baggage charges (not waived except for Class)

I have tried searching for this but cannot find the answer.

I think I recall from a few months ago reading on these boards that AA waive the overweight baggage charge for EXP but can't find anything to back this up.

Do I recall correctly or did I imagine that?
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Old Jan 12, 11, 9:33 pm
  #2  
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Looking on aa.com, EXPs and their traveling companions are allowed two free bags checked in to most destinations, but I did not see any exceptions for overweight bags. Three places I looked:

1. Overweight/Oversize Baggage Charges

(No EXP / Emerald exceptions occur on this page, other than First Class customers - "Attention First and Business Class Customers: We are pleased to offer customers in First and Business Class the ability to check three bags at no charge.")

2. Exceptions:

The following passengers will be allowed a 1st and/or 2nd checked bag at no additional charge provided it falls within the size and weight limitations:

Attention First and Business Class Customers
We are pleased to offer customers in First and Business Class the ability to check three bags at no charge.
  • For tickets purchased on or after September 14, 2009, customers traveling to, from, or through an international destination that does not include Europe or India
  • Customers traveling to, from, or through Mexico if the ticket was purchased before May 3, 2010
  • Customers who purchase full-fare tickets in Economy Class
  • Customers who purchase Business or First Class tickets
  • Customers flying on AA codeshare flights not operated by American Airlines, American Eagle or AmericanConnection® (operating carrier baggage allowance and charges will apply)
  • Active U.S. Military personnel traveling on orders or personal travel
  • Active U.S. Military dependents traveling on orders
  • American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum®, AAdvantage Platinum® or AAdvantage Gold® members
  • oneworld Alliance Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby members
  • Customers flying on the same reservation as an American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum or AAdvantage Gold member or oneworld Alliance Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby member regardless of frequent flier status or fare type (not applicable to group bookings)
  • First and Business Class MileSAAver® Awards
  • First, Business and Economy Class AAnytime® Awards
  • First and Business Class upgrades confirmed prior to check in

3. the Tariffs - International General Rules (AA1)

4. A post by AmericanAirlines in another thread:


Originally Posted by AmericanAirlines View Post
- Yes this means if you’re flying first or business between TPA and ORD you can check three bags free.

- If you have received a confirmed upgrade to a Premium cabin prior to your initial bag check-in, then you will receive the increased allowance of 3 bags, with the heavy charge waived if any of the pieces are 50-70lbs. If you, however, are unable to confirm the upgrade prior to your initial bag check-in, and are only placed on a standby upgrade list, then you will only be eligible for the standard baggage allowance dependant on your frequent flier status and/or ticket.

- If you are not eligible for the increased allowance at initial bag check-in, AA will not be processing refunds if you are upgraded from a waitlist at the gate.

- At this time, no changes to the elite frequent flier baggage allowances have been made.

- Yes, for long-haul premium cabin customers traveling on AA/BA/IB customers can now check three bags and yes the heavy bag charge For bags weighing between 50 and 70 Lbs will be waived.

Happy to answer any more questions you have!!

Stephen @ AA

Last edited by JDiver; Nov 11, 11 at 5:41 pm Reason: add #4
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Old Jan 12, 11, 9:38 pm
  #3  
 
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As EXP I've not had any luck in getting significatly (>5lb) overweight bags checked without any fees. The above mentioned regs have been closely followed in my experiences.
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Old Jan 12, 11, 9:55 pm
  #4  
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Shoot, at SJO, they got "heavy" on me for about 2~3 lbs, mostly moisture content my dive gear had picked up.

Originally Posted by mikelat View Post
As EXP I've not had any luck in getting significatly (>5lb) overweight bags checked without any fees. The above mentioned regs have been closely followed in my experiences.
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Old Jan 12, 11, 10:00 pm
  #5  
HNL
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I think the OP is mixing up the new relaxed rules for First/Biz passengers who get up to 70 pounds.
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Old Jan 12, 11, 10:01 pm
  #6  
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I have had the same experience before, been allowed a maximum of 4lbs. I rarely travel with checked in baggage, but when I do I have plenty.
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Old Jan 12, 11, 10:11 pm
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Originally Posted by circusboy View Post
I have tried searching for this but cannot find the answer.

I think I recall from a few months ago reading on these boards that AA waive the overweight baggage charge for EXP but can't find anything to back this up.

Do I recall correctly or did I imagine that?
I think you may be misremembering two changes that recently went into effect regarding checked bags:

Elites and those in first and business are now allowed to check three bags at no charge. On at least some international itineraries, the weight limit has been raised back to 70 pounds per bag.
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Old Jan 12, 11, 10:12 pm
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Originally Posted by HNL View Post
I think the OP is mixing up the new relaxed rules for First/Biz passengers who get up to 70 pounds.
Maybe that's what it is. That will work for me, I am travelling in Biz.

Thanks.
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Old Jan 13, 11, 12:11 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by HNL View Post
I think the OP is mixing up the new relaxed rules for First/Biz passengers who get up to 70 pounds.
To/from all destinations? Or just certain destinations? I can't find any mention of this on AA.com.
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Old Jan 13, 11, 4:47 am
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Originally Posted by HNL View Post
I think the OP is mixing up the new relaxed rules for First/Biz passengers who get up to 70 pounds.
Originally Posted by jw713 View Post
To/from all destinations? Or just certain destinations? I can't find any mention of this on AA.com.
Unfortunately this is another semi-official policy which you will find no mention of on aa.com. It applies to any route if travelling in F or J, provided the upgrade has cleared before check-in.

It has been confirmed by the official voice of AA here on FT in this post
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Old Jan 13, 11, 5:17 am
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They will waive not because you are EXP, it's because u r in First class
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Old Jan 13, 11, 10:31 am
  #12  
 
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I think it's more of a YMMV situation depending on the check in agent.

On Tues my bag was 10lbs over on an upgrade to C flying JFK-LAX. I fully expected to pay a fee but figured it couldn't hurt to ask. I asked the agent if she'd waive the fee if I gave her a nice smile. Her response was she just did.

I certainly wouldn't expect a waived fee in the future but it never hurts to politely ask once.
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Old Jan 13, 11, 12:07 pm
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Originally Posted by BigBopper View Post
I certainly wouldn't expect a waived fee in the future
Given that the official voice of AA here on FT has stated it is now policy to waive the excess baggage fee for bags up to 70lb, I certainly would expect it to be waived when travelling in F or J. It sounds like the AAgent was just following the new policy rather than doing you a favour in response to your nice smile
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Old Jan 13, 11, 12:16 pm
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Well, FWIW, I can add the following data points to this discussion. WARNING: Long post, as is usual from me

In December, my daughter (gold) and I (EXP) flew a multi-airline, multi-stop three-week European trip. The segments to/from Europe were paid; the domestic European segments were all on miles; thus, there were actually two separate itineraries. During some discussions over baggage limitations, the fact that we didn't have a single, long itinerary did factor into the situation. Next time around, I'm either doing the whole thing on miles or paying for the whole thing. Lesson learned.

On to the topic at hand:

First stop ORD, AA metal to LHR in business. Two bags, each weighing 52 pounds apiece. TA made no comment as she handed over boarding passes. I queried the TA about the new baggage rules and was told that the fact that we were flying in business made the overweight bags okay; was also told our status would have made it okay had we been flying coach. I specifically made mention of the 70-pound rule on international flights and was told, yes, that is a firm rule now.

Next port of call BA LHR-PRG in business. Now three bags, one of which weighed in at a hefty 31 kg. No issues at check-in. Agent did mention that the only rule that might have given us trouble was the BA-wide 32-kg limit. Got a little good-natured teasing from the female TA about doing too much shopping and barely skating in under the wire.

Next came PRG-BUD in business class, Malev-marketed codeshare on Czech Airlines metal. Up to four bags now, all weighing around 23 kg apiece. TA was quite stymied at first. Went off to consult with "colleagues." Came back and started to ask for payment for two extra bags, citing airline rule allowing only one checked bag per customer on domestic segments. Out came the EXP card. She took that back to the desk where her colleagues were sitting; they had a hushed two- to three-minute discussion. All seemed quite intrigued by the card, handing it around from person to person rather reverently, as if none had ever seen one before. End result: No baggage fees.

Flight from BUD to BRU on Malev metal came next. This time flying in coach. Still four bags. All were at 25-6 kgs at this point. Agent was reluctant at first, but pulling out the 'ole EXP card immediately made it okay (and I suspect the small box of chocolates I had handed over as an early Christmas gift the minute we reached the counter didn't hurt either).

The BUD-BRU flight was actually canx due to weather. Malev put us on next-day KLM BUD-AMS-BRU. During the reticketing process, I specifically asked the Malev TA to document our previously granted baggage allowance exception. Checking in at KLM next morning, TA very insistently wanted to charge extra, but I steadfastly referred her to documented exception in file. It took three agents, one supervisor, several minutes of head-shaking and rapid-fire Hungarian between them, much consultation over computer screens, but the exception was eventually granted. And, yes, there was chocolate involved in the transaction.

Final flight was BRU-ORD on AA metal. By this time, we had five bags, all stuffed to the gills, one of which weighed in at 30 kgs and another at an astonishing 33.9. We were flying business. TA didn't bat an eyelash as she accepted all five bags. She even asked, quite matter of factly, if there was a sixth. She and I chatted very briefly about the new baggage rules and she said that all premium passengers get three bags of 32 kg each. She acknowledged that I did have one bag that weighed close to 34 kg, but her only comment on it was that she hoped we'd enjoyed all the shopping we'd obviously been doing on our long mother-daughter trip. She also specifically stated that even if we were flying in economy, elite status would have kicked in and permitted the same number/weight of bags. Chocolate did exchange hands.

So of course, YMMV, but there's my real-world experience. I've taken a lot of these mixed TATL/domestic European trips. I'm one of those awful people who has never learned to travel light, I generally do more than my fair share of shopping while abroad, and have often paid for overweight baggage and/or had quite the tussle with OW partners over their one-checked-bag rule for domestic segments of a mixed domestic/TATL itinerary. This is the first time I've won the day every time the subject came up.

As a caveat, I have repeatedly been told and/or read that small gifts of chocolate can work amazing miracles. Not being a chocoholic myself, I had always pooh-poohed the idea that a simple piece of candy could make a difference in such a situation. It being the holidays, however, I decided to give it a whirl. Don't know how much of a factor it was in all of this, but I'm never traveling anywhere without it again

Last edited by 2millionquest; Jan 13, 11 at 5:08 pm
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Old Jan 13, 11, 4:46 pm
  #15  
 
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Interesting experiences here. I'll add another one:

Back in October I was flying MIA-LAX-SEA. My upgrades had not cleared but I had 3 bags that I wanted to check (dive gear, clothes, and too many souvenirs). I called the EXP desk and they said that my status would allow for the 3-bags to be checked. However, arriving at MIA, the ticketing agent told me that they'd have to charge me the 3rd bag fee since I was still ticketed in coach. He said that the new baggage terms only apply to First & Biz confirmed seats, that EXP status didn't matter. I was able to cram the 3rd bag in to the first two and he allowed it a bit overweight, so it all ended up ok. And my upgrade came through at the gate. Just a bit disappointing to have had wrong info presented to me.
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