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FAQ: Baggage / Luggage Rules, Allowance, Through-check on AA & Other Airlines

Old Jun 10, 2015, 2:33 pm
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Last edit by: Prospero
How much am I allowed?

Can I check it through?

Im on award travel...

How long can my connection be to through check? Etc.


Link to American Airlines' policy on through checking baggage as of 1 Sep 2016.

Notice that different protocols are followed in IROPS / OSO conditions.

Code:
Through Checked Baggage Policy (AA, 1 Sep 2016)

To align American Airlines (AA) with our oneworld partners
and to reduce baggage mishandlings, we will now only through
check customers and baggage when all the tickets are in the same PNR.

Through check-in will be honored between the following carriers only:
  • Code:
    American Airlines and American Eagle
  • Code:
    oneworld airlines and affiliates


Code:
What if I have separate tickets in the same PNR for itineraries
with American to a non-oneworld carrier?

Our policy on American to non-oneworld airline tickets has not changed.
We will not through check customers or bags even if the tickets are in
the same PNR.

What would be the bag charges if the customer holds separate tickets
in separate PNRs?

American will not through check a customers bag, regardless if it is
a oneworld carrier. The customer will need to collect their bag at
the final destination on the AA ticket. They will pay for the bag on the
second ticket when they recheck it. This may involve exiting the secure
area, then claiming and re-checking the bags. The Minimum Connecting
Time (MCT) will usually not be sufficient when the customer has separate
tickets issued for each airline.

International flights will usually require claiming bags, clearing
customs and rechecking bags on another carrier to be continued to
their next destination.

What will customers be charged if we can through check the bag?

The charges would depend on what tickets the customer holds in the same PNR.

Do JetBlue (B6) and our other codeshare/interline partners count as affiliate airlines?

No, the oneworld affiliate airlines are generally the regional partners
of the other oneworld carriers. If a customer held an B6 ticket and an
AA ticket in the same PNR we would not through check the bag. They
would need to reclaim then recheck their bag with B6.
EXCEPTION: "Customers traveling on separate tickets where one
segment is an award ticket and another has been purchased can
through-check bags. Travel must be on American or oneworld partners,
and not on partners outside the oneworld alliance (like Etihad or Air
Tahiti Nui). Tickets much be in the same reservation."
-Gary Leff, Boarding Area

Link to FT thread: Separate PNR: oneworld AA, protection, through baggage issues as of 2016

Q. Can I check my baggage through?

YES: Due to new rules instituted by oneworld in June, and by AA 1 September of 2016, baggage between the fifteen oneworld airlines on the same PNR are required be through-checked.

NO: However, if the trip is booked ticketed separately, or with non-one world partners, through checking by AA will not occur; baggage will have to be recovered at baggage carousels landside and rechecked at the next operating airline's counter (depending on your initial operating carrier's policies about through-checking on separate booking).

On U.S.A. domestic or regional travel, you will have to retrieve your baggage and re-check the following day if your stop is overnight, or recheck, if your connection is 12 hours or longer. On international travel with overnight connections under the same PNR, you often will be able to through check (as long as the new ticket conditions are met).

If you are flying AA and a non-oneworld partner on separate PNR / tickets, you will have to recover and recheck baggage, particularly on separate PNRs. If there is no interline agreement between the airlines (e.g. AA and Spirit, Southwest, etc.) you will certainly be required to do so.

See Multi-Reservation Through-Checking across oneworld no longer required

See Australian Business Traveller article. (Link)

Q. If I'm connecting using AA on a single PNR but have a stopover at my connecting airport, can I check through or recheck?

AA will generally not through check bags or allow you to recheck bags if your layover exceeds twelve hours.

Q. Which carrier's rules apply?

Note: Checked baggage allowances may vary by status, class of service, origin or/and destination, type of baggage. Some AA affiliated credit cards allow one free checked bag on domestic travel - some up to four or eight passengers on the same itinerary.

A. It depends. On separate PNRs AA will collect baggage fees due, and the other airlines will collect what is due under their baggage policies.

On through-checked baggage, USDOT regulations require the marketing carrier of the initial segment baggage rules apply to USA originating (or ending, iirc) flights. E.g. flying QF as an AA codeshare, or QF connecting from AA marketed by AA, AA rules would apply. These take precedent of IATA rules if travel begins (or ends) in the USA.

For IATA governed international itineraries, baggage rules of the Most Significant / Prevailing Carrier apply:

In compliance with the new baggage policy issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), free baggage allowance and extra baggage charges for tickets issued on or after 1 April 2011 which involve one or more flights provided by other airlines will be based on a new method. If your journey includes connecting flights with more than one airline, the baggage allowances and fees of the airline that operates the longer leg of the itinerary (MDC) will apply throughout the itinerary. For example, if you fly a transpacific leg with one carrier and a domestic leg with another, the baggage allowances and fees of the carrier that operated the transpacific leg would apply to the whole journey, regardless of which carrier issued the ticket. (Language from Cathay Pacific.)

The Most Significant Marketing Carrier (MSC) is:
  • For travel between IATA areas: The first carrier flying in between two of the IATA areas
  • For travel between IATA sub areas: The first carrier flying in between the sub areas
  • For travel within an IATA sub area: The first carrier crossing an international border


IATA divides Areas and sub-areas. For example:

Area: North America, Central and South America, Hawaii
Subareas:
  • Canada, Mexico
  • Caribbean
  • Central America
  • South America

Area: Europe, Middle East
Subareas:
  • Europe
  • Middle East
  • Africa


Area: Asia, Guam, Southwest Pacific
Subareas:
  1. Japan, Korea
  2. Southeast Asia
  3. South Asian Subcontinent / India
  4. Southwest Pacific
Q. Can I through check my baggage if I have an overnight stop?

That will probably depend on your first operating carrier. Some carriers have no problem with through checking bags if you're stopping overnight, e.g. Qatar Airways with an overnight in DOH, but AA uses a maximum of under 12 hours to determine whether you can through check or must recover bags on overnight stops. (However, ground agents may vary.)

Q. What are my AA and oneworld baggage allowances with [_______] status?

See here on aa.com for updates

A. Complimentary bags
In some cases, you won't have to pay the baggage fees for up to three 23 kg / 50 lb bags (32 kg / 70 lb some premium passengers). Find out if this applies to you. EXPs could have to three checked 32 kg / 70 lb bags.

1st checked bag is complimentary for:
  • Eligible AAdvantage Aviator and Citi / AAdvantage cardmembers (on domestic American Airlines operated flights)
  • AAdvantage Gold
  • oneworld Ruby
  • Alaska MVP members


1st and 2nd checked bags are complimentary for:
  • Platinum
  • oneworld Sapphire members
  • Alaska Airlines MVP Gold (AS is a oneworld member now)
  • Confirmed Business Class customers*


2nd and 3rd checked bags are complimentary for:
  • Confirmed First Class customers on 3-cabin aircraft*
  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum
  • oneworld Emerald, including Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75K
  • Active U.S. military and/or dependents with ID traveling on orders (1st - 5th bags free of charge)
  • Active U.S. military with ID on personal travel


Executive Platinum / oneworld Emerald are allowed one more checked bag:

*See AA reducing some checked baggage allowance tickets pchs on / after 29 Mar 2016

Note: on through baggage: oneworld policy no longer entitles checking baggage through when using oneworld flights when connecting on separetily ticketed segments. Only AA and MH will still through-check baggage with separate PNRS.

Q. Do I have extended baggage allowance as AAdvantage Executive Platinum / oneworld Emerald? (Yes, as of 1 Feb 2013

A. All oneworld Emerald customers, including AAdvantage Executive Platinums, will be entitled to an extra bag.

See:Customer Planning Advisory
Subject . . . APS 13002 Extra bag for oneworld Emerald

Date . . . . . . Effective: February 1st, 2013
Issued . . . . .January 31st, 2013

Overview . . .Extra bag for oneworld Emerald
. . . . . . . . . . To improve the travel experience for our top tier customers
. . . . . . . . . . we are pleased to offer all oneworld Emerald members
. . . . . . . . . . one extra bag in addition to their free allowance.

Detail. . . . . All oneworld Emerald customers, including AAdvantage
. . . . . . . . . . Executive Platinums, will be entitled to an extra bag.

. . . . . . . . . . Emeralds will have the following allowance:
. . . . . . . . . . First/Business 4 free pieces up to 70lbs (32kgs)
. . . . . . . . . . Main Cabin 3 free pieces up to 70lbs (32kgs)
. . . . . . . . . . This applies to both international and domestic travel
. . . . . . . . . . on/after 1st February.

Processing . Please override the excess baggage mask using the OT
. . . . . . . . . . code using the explanation Emerald. Automation for this
. . . . . . . . . . change will be in place later in the year.

<redacted issuing personnel>

Reference . . .APS13002


Q. How many bags can I check?

A. Check up to 10 bags if your trip is:
  • Domestic
  • Transatlantic
  • Transpacific


Check up to 5 bags if youre traveling to / through / from:
  • Mexico / Caribbean / Central America*See footnote
  • South America*See footnote


*There are seasonal and year-round baggage embargoes and restrictions


Q. Can I "split" my allowance? E.g. can I split a 23 kg / 50 lb per bag allowance and check two bags weighing up to 23 kg / 50 lb together?

A. No. Per bag weight maxima or number of bags allowed can not be shared or split.

Q. What are my Overweight Baggage Charges?

A. aa.com: Oversize and overweight baggage

Were pleased to say that your bag can weigh up to 70lbs./32kgs at no extra cost if you are:
  • First Class
  • Business Class
  • Executive Platinum
  • oneworld Emerald

If you are checking more than 3 bags charges will apply.*

Additionally:

Link to checked baggage policy

Link to oversized and overweight baggage policy AA has a "hard limit" of not accepting any baggage that exceeds 45 kg / 100 lb for check-in.


Q. Must I recover and re-check my bags arriving from another country?

A. If you are arriving in the U.S.A. from an international airport, it will depend:

1) If you check in at airports like AUH, DUB, YVR etc. where you process USCBP immigration and customs prior to boarding, your flight will arrive in the U.S. as a domestic flight. Your bag can be checked through (assuming other conditions mentioned above are met), you will be able to proceed to your next flight airside.

2) If you are otherwise arriving from an international airport, you will generally be required to pass USCBP immigration, recover your baggage at the indicated carousel and process through Customs. As you depart the Customs hall, you can re-check your baggage for your continuing flights prior to departing the airside part of arrivals. You will generally have to produce a valid boarding pass and pass through TSA Security to return airside to continue your travel.

3) DFW, MIA (only) in the USA allow through ("ITI") checking for certain passengers arriving internationally and departing on another international flight. This will result in an "ITI" (International to International) check with ITI sticker on your boarding pass, and baggage will not have to be collected and rechecked. ITI passengers may still be required to pass through immigration, exit through customs gate and pass back through security. See this FT thread.


Helpful resource links:

Link to American Airlines' policy on through checking baggage as of 1 Sep 2016. Notice that different protocols are followed in IROPS / OSO conditions.

AA: American Airlines a Checked baggage policy (includes infant assistive and medical devices, mobility devices, pets and specialty sports items).

See No More Multi-Reservation Through-Checking across oneworld

See Change to through-checking Oct 2014 (interlining) baggage on separate tickets

oneworld: oneworld Extra baggage allowance (status / class of service)

Please see FT: EXP / Emerald extended baggage / luggage allowance 1 FEB 2013 (master thread) if you are AA Executive Platinum / oneworld Emerald.


Link to archived thread with older posts.

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FAQ: Baggage / Luggage Rules, Allowance, Through-check on AA & Other Airlines

Old Nov 29, 2022, 11:01 am
  #391  
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by JJeffrey
Well there really isn't anything up for debate here, or anything that could be interpreted different ways by the check-in agents. You are in first class on PHX-LAX so you get 2 bags complimentary, no if's and's or but's about it.

And your standard reservations agent at AA isn't going to have a clue about baggage rules, so just completely disregard whatever they told you.
Thank you for your help. Fingers crossed it all goes smooth and I don't end up on TikTok

Will update after the fact..
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Old Dec 15, 2022, 4:44 pm
  #392  
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
Posts: 4
Sorry for the delay. Got into Fiji and ended up on Fiji time!

Anyway, reporting that all my anxiety was for nil as I arrived at the American ticketing counter and they confirmed within 10 seconds that I was good for 2 x 70lb bags all the way to Fiji.

Relaxing in Fiji right now with all my loaded baggage. No problems coming through customs et al either.

In conclusion, woohoo!



Originally Posted by veamos
Thank you for your help. Fingers crossed it all goes smooth and I don't end up on TikTok

Will update after the fact..
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Old Dec 20, 2022, 5:39 pm
  #393  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 15
Plat Pro Bagged Weight Allowance

Am I reading correctly that as a Platinum Pro I am allowed three 70 lbs bags even when flying economy.

Girlfriend always overpacks and I just wanted to confirm if anyone has done this. Dont want to be surprised at the counter.

https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...ht-baggage.jsp

Thx
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Old Dec 23, 2022, 12:21 am
  #394  
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Posts: 12
I have a question about carry-on bags. AA says the bag shouldn't exceed 22 x 14 x 9 inches. So thats 45 inches altogether.
Can I bring a carry-on bag that doesnt exceed 45inches but isnt on precisely those measurements (22x14x9)
My carry-on bag size is
16.5"x14.5"x8" so it's only 36 inch

I really appreciate any help you can provide.
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Old Dec 23, 2022, 6:26 am
  #395  
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Originally Posted by saikku
I have a question about carry-on bags. AA says the bag shouldn't exceed 22 x 14 x 9 inches. So thats 45 inches altogether.
Can I bring a carry-on bag that doesnt exceed 45inches but isnt on precisely those measurements (22x14x9)
My carry-on bag size is
16.5"x14.5"x8" so it's only 36 inch

I really appreciate any help you can provide.
You shouldn't have any problem with that bag.

With AA the total dimensions don't really matter, but rather it's all about how big your bag "appears" when you're boarding and whether it will fit in the sizer or not. If your bag appears too big then the GA may ask you to put it in the sizer to verify.

But given how far under the total dimensions it is it's highly unlikely you'd ever get called out, even if it is technically a half inch too wide. I wouldn't worry at all.
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Old Jan 1, 2023, 4:48 pm
  #396  
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
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Posts: 3,968
Im flying EZE JFK ORD with a ~9 hour connection in JFK.

Id like to check a bag on the EZE JFK flight and pick it up at JFK to pick duty free liquids.

Should I assume Ill have to pick up the bag at JFK to clear customs or try to get it short checked to JFK? I would think the latter would be more of a challenge to do?
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Old Jan 1, 2023, 9:15 pm
  #397  
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Originally Posted by coleslaw
Im flying EZE JFK ORD with a ~9 hour connection in JFK.

Id like to check a bag on the EZE JFK flight and pick it up at JFK to pick duty free liquids.

Should I assume Ill have to pick up the bag at JFK to clear customs or try to get it short checked to JFK? I would think the latter would be more of a challenge to do?
You will definitely have to claim your bag at JFK to go through customs.
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Old Jan 12, 2023, 3:21 pm
  #398  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: NYC
Programs: AA Executive Platinum, DL Silver, IHG Diamond Elite, Marriot Gold, HHonors Gold
Posts: 73
In the middle of a fight between AA and BA over baggage allowance

I booked a flight on AA in Economy from ZRH to JFK via LHR. The leg ZRH-LHR is operated by British Airways, LHR-JFK by American Airlines.
As I wanted to check my bulk bag (road bike) I called BA to submit the exact measurement of the bike case but they told me I have a basic economy fare which doesn't allow me to check a bag and I will have to pay extra for bags. Also the online check-in doesn't allow me to check any bags:


AA says my ticket was issued in Economy and I have an allowance of 2 bags on BA (Emerald) and also the confirmation looks this way:



AA and BA kind of both are saying it's the other ones fault. But if you lure someone into paying a bag although the ticket already includes bags wouldn't that be fraud?
Any recommendations here?
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Old Jan 12, 2023, 3:39 pm
  #399  
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Originally Posted by crypticro
I booked a flight on AA in Economy from ZRH to JFK via LHR. The leg ZRH-LHR is operated by British Airways, LHR-JFK by American Airlines.
As I wanted to check my bulk bag (road bike) I called BA to submit the exact measurement of the bike case but they told me I have a basic economy fare which doesn't allow me to check a bag and I will have to pay extra for bags. Also the online check-in doesn't allow me to check any bags:


AA says my ticket was issued in Economy and I have an allowance of 2 bags on BA (Emerald) and also the confirmation looks this way:



AA and BA kind of both are saying it's the other ones fault. But if you lure someone into paying a bag although the ticket already includes bags wouldn't that be fraud?
Any recommendations here?
You should have received an e-ticket receipt from AA, and it should indicate your free-baggage allowance, if any. If it shows a free-baggage allowance of zero, then you are on a Basic Economy fare, and BA is not required to allow you any free baggage due to your oneworld status. If your free-baggage allowance is one or more bags, then you are on a "regular" Economy fare, and BA should honor your oneworld status.

Suggest you bring a printout of your AA e-ticket receipt, if it shows a free-baggage allowance, and a copy of your AAdvantage card, showing your oneworld status. Airlines must honor the baggage allowance shown on the e-ticket receipt; if they don't, you are entitled to a refund.
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Old Jan 12, 2023, 3:44 pm
  #400  
 
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The receipt/confirmation email doesn't say anything about bag allowance. In fact I have checked a few confirmation emails. I never saw any mentioning about bags in any of those.
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Old Jan 12, 2023, 3:57 pm
  #401  
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Originally Posted by crypticro
The receipt/confirmation email doesn't say anything about bag allowance. In fact I have checked a few confirmation emails. I never saw any mentioning about bags in any of those.
Here's the applicable U.S. regulation:

"(c) On all e-ticket confirmations for air transportation within, to or from the United States, including the summary page at the completion of an online purchase and a post-purchase email confirmation, a U.S. carrier, a foreign air carrier, an agent of either, or a ticket agent that advertises or sells air transportation in the United States must include information regarding the passenger's free baggage allowance and/or the applicable fee for a carry-on bag and the first and second checked bag. Carriers must provide this information in text form in the e-ticket confirmation. Agents may provide this information in text form in the e-ticket confirmations or through a hyperlink to the specific location on airline websites or their own website where this information is displayed. The fee information provided for a carry-on bag and the first and second checked bag must be expressed as specific charges taking into account any factors (e.g., frequent flyer status, early purchase, and so forth) that affect those charges."

In any event, do you recall whether you purchased a Basic Economy fare or a regular Economy fare?
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Old Jan 12, 2023, 4:01 pm
  #402  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Originally Posted by crypticro
The receipt/confirmation email doesn't say anything about bag allowance. In fact I have checked a few confirmation emails. I never saw any mentioning about bags in any of those.
Anytime I get an orignal eticket or EXCHANGE ticket from AA, I do see baggage allowance information. On a simple REVALIDATION, it does not state it. Not sure if that might be your issue? In any event , I believe booking class "K" for AA is a regular economy ticket - only "B" is basic econ - at least from what I can see on EF. Then again, EF does not show a class code for BA basic econ (if they have it - I have no idea.)
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Old Jan 12, 2023, 4:04 pm
  #403  
 
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I never booked a basic economy fare. I don't think I have ever done that ever.

This is the latest response from AA:

​​​​​​​Thanks for your patience with us. We've pulled out every trick in the book, but this one seems to have us stumped. We aren't able to get this baggage allowance reflected on your new ticket. Therefore, your next best bet, would be to pay for the luggage, and submit your receipt for reimbursement, after travel. We know this isn't ideal, but we're unable to offer any alternatives, at this time.
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Old Jan 12, 2023, 4:06 pm
  #404  
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Originally Posted by crypticro
I never booked a basic economy fare. I don't think I have ever done that ever.

This is the latest response from AA:
Then you have your answer.
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Old Jan 12, 2023, 4:07 pm
  #405  
 
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Originally Posted by Madison Guy
Anytime I get an orignal eticket or EXCHANGE ticket from AA, I do see baggage allowance information. On a simple REVALIDATION, it does not state it. Not sure if that might be your issue? In any event , I believe booking class "K" for AA is a regular economy ticket - only "B" is basic econ - at least from what I can see on EF. Then again, EF does not show a class code for BA basic econ (if they have it - I have no idea.)
Well my confirmation shows K which is Economy. BA didn't care much.
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