American Airlines Carry on Size, Allowance, Weight, Fees, Limits & Restrictions

American Airlines Inc. has operated for over 90 years internationally with glory and excellence. It has expanded as one of the largest airlines in fleet size, scheduled passenger miles, and revenue passenger miles. With innovation and technologies, American Airlines enables advanced services to keep world-class aviation service. It has a total of 95 domestic destinations and 95 international destinations spread across 55 countries on five continents.

Whether you are a frequent traveller or a seasonal one, you need a comprehensive guideline for air travel.  To avoid unpleasant situations at the airport, you should prepare yourself with the policy and regulations of the air travel company.  This article will give off every ins and outs of American Airlines carry-on baggage limit, size, fees, and whatever you should know before stepping into the plan.

American Airlines provides one carry-on bag and one personal item free of cost. You are allowed to carry 22″ x 14″ x 9″ or 56 x 36 x 23 cm linear dimension and up to 50 lbs or 40 pounds as a carry-on bag.

However, passengers have to pay for their checked bags. The maximum size for a checked bag is 62 inches / 158 cm in dimension and, the weight is 50 lb / 23 kg per bag. A checked bag fee for both basic economic and business class is 1st bag is $30,2nd bag is $40,3rd bag is $150 4th plus any additional bag is $200. The only difference is you can get 2 complimentary bags in the business class where basic economy offers no free checked bag.

American Airlines Carry-on Bag

American Airlines conducts nearly 6,700 domestic and international flights every day. It has the size and weight limits for different baggage. If you are flying with American Airlines, check out the measurement conditions and allowances.

American Airlines Carry-on Bag Size

Carry-on baggage is sometimes called unchecked or cabin baggage. Passengers can take them into the plane and keep them in the overhead cabin or front side leg space. American Airlines passengers enable to carry one carry-on bag and one personal item as in a small handbag or purse free of cost. Passengers can put these bags into the overhead cabin or under the seat. The maximum size of carry-on bag is 22″ x 14″ x 9″ or 56 x 36 x 23 cm dimension including bags’ wheel and handle and  for personal bag it is 18″ x 14″ x 8″ or 45 x 35 x 20 cm. One can carry up to 50lb in the carry-on bag and 40 pounds in the personal bag.

Carry-on Bag & Personal Item Measurement Chart:

Baggage CategoryMax WeightMax Size (including wheels and handle)
Carry-on Baggage  50lb    22″ x 14″ x 9″ or 56 x 36 x 23 cm
Personal Item (Bags or purse)40 pounds  18″ x 14″ x 8″ or 45 x 35 x 20 cm  

* Above mentioned allowances are applicable for all types of flights of American Airlines.

Info Alert: Soft-sided garment bags of up to 51 inches / 130 cm dimension is considered carry-on bags. Even if your bags don’t fit under the seat or overhead bin; they may be needed to be checked. Musical instruments will be considered as carry-on only if they fit onto them under the seat or overhead bin.

The overhead bin space on American Eagle® planes is limited for regional trips. You must valet your carry-on if it exceeds the personal item dimensions before boarding. American Airlines tag and check your bag at the entrance free of charge. After exiting the plane, you will get your bag on the jet bridge.

Tips: It is recommended to label the carry-on bag the same as the checked bag.

American Airlines Checked Bag:

Checked bags are transported in the cargo area of the plan. Passengers of American Airlines have to pay for the checked baggage according to the bag size and weight. One can make payments during online check-ins or at the airport.

American Airlines Checked Baggage Size: For all regions except to/from Australia and New Zealand, the Checked bag fee for 1st bag is $30, 2nd bag is $40, and 3rd bag is $150 and 4th plus the additional bag is $200. Maximum acceptable weight is 50 lb / 23 kg per bag and size is 62 inch / 158 cm dimension.

Checked Baggage Measurement Chart:

Baggage Category  Fee
Max Weight: 50 lbs / 23 kg Max Size: 62 inch / 158 cm (Applied to all checked bag)   
First checked bag  $30
Second checked bag  $40
Third checked bag$150
Fourth plus additional per bags  $200

* Above mentioned allowances are applicable for all regions and flights except to/from Australia and New Zealand.

American Airlines Checked Baggage Charges: American Airlines offers different flight facilities such as basic economy, premium economy, business, and first-class cabins, and all the cabins go under main cabin service. Checked bag charges are varied to flight category. Here, you can get a glimpse of the checked bag charge in terms of flight category.

FlightCarry-on BagChecked Bag
Basic Economy1 carry-on bag and 1personal item Free of ChargeFrist bag: $30  Second bag: $40         Third bag: $150          Fourth + : $200 No free checked bag
Premium Economy1 carry-on bag and 1personal item Free of ChargeFrist bag: $30  Second bag: $40 Third bag: $150  Fourth +:$200 2 complimentary bags (Free of cost )
Business1 carry-on bag and 1personal item Free of ChargeFrist bag: $30  Second bag: $40 Third bag: $150 Fourth + : $200 2 bags complimentary( Free of cost)
First class1 carry-on bag and 1personal item Free of ChargeFrist bag: $30  Second bag: $40 Third bag: $150 Fourth + : $200 3 complimentary bags for 3cabin ,2 for 2 cabin.( Free of cost)

Regional Checked Bag Charge:

American Airlines has domestic, regional, and international flights around the world. Checked bag charges are varied to flight destination. Here is the checked bag charge according to the regional destination.

DestinationFrist  bagSecond bag  Third bagFourth +
Domestic (up to 10 bags)$30$40$150$200
Mexico (up to 5 bags)$30$40$200$200
Cuba (Only 2 bags due to covid-19)$0/$30***$0 / $40$150$200
Central America (except panama up to 5 bags)$30*$40 /$55**$150$200
Caribbean (except Cuba and Haiti up to 5 bags)$30$40$150$200
Guyana and Suriname$30$40$200$200
South America (except Guyana, and Suriname up to 5 bags)$0 / $45*$65$200$200
Transatlantic (Europe ) (up to 10 bags)$0 / $75*$100$200$200
Transpacific(China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong,Australia) (up to 10 bags)$0$100***$200$200

*For free bags excludes Basic economy. For travel to/from Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador, a $30 fee is applicable for the first bag, and for transatlantic flights a$75 fee is applicable.

** For travel to/from Honduras, a $75 fee is applicable seasonally.

***When you are departing from Cuba to The US or Canada, 1st and 2nd checked bags will be free. However, when you are travelling from The US or Canada, you have to pay a standard baggage fee.

Regional Checked Bag Restrictions:

Checked bags are subject to regional base restrictions. If you are travelling with American Airlines, you should know how many checked bags you can carry to particular destinations. Passengers can carry a maximum number of bags according to the region.

Checked up to 10 bags –

  • Domestic
  • Transatlantic
  • Transpacific

Checked up to 5 bags –

  • Mexico/Caribbean/ Central America 
  • Brazil
  • South America

Info Alert: Checked bag restrictions such as seasonal and year-round are applied to  Mexico/Caribbean/ Central America, Brazil, and South America.

Oversize and Overweight Bags:

American Airlines have a different policy for oversize and overweight bags. Passengers may have to pay multiple charges for different bags like checked bags, oversize and overweight bags fees are counted separately.

Oversize Bags: American Airlines doesn’t accept bags over 126 inches or 320 cm. You have to pay extra charges if your checked bags exceed 62 inches / 158 cm Oversize bag fees vary to flight destinations.

Oversize bags fee chart:

RegionOver 62 inch / 158 cm, between 126inc/320cm
Between the US, Puerto Rico, US, Virgin island, and Canada$200
Mexico, Caribbean, Central, and South America. ( Except Panama)$200
South America and  Panama$150
Transatlantic (Europe)$150
Transpacific( China, Japan, South Korea, Australia)  $200

*If you issue tickets on/after May 12, 2021, the oversize fee to/from Panama is $200.

Info Alert

  • These fees are non-refundable and apply per person and one-way.
  • Mexico, Caribbean Cities, Central America and South America charge seasonal and year-round limitations.

Tips: Contact the reservation and make sure your oversize baggage is fit on the plane.

Overweight Bags: American Airlines doesn’t accept checked bags over 100 lbs. or 45 kg. You have to pay extra charges if your checked bag exceeds over 51ponds or 23 kg.

In general, the overweight fee for 51to 70 pounds (23 to 32 kg) is $100.

The overweight fee for 71 to 100 pounds (32 to 45 kg) is $200, except to/from Europe or to/from Cuba.

Have a look at regional-based overweight bags fees –

Overweight bags fee chart:

Region51to 70 pounds (23 to 32 kg)71 to 100 pounds (32 to 45 kg)
Between the US, Puerto Rico, US, Virgin island, and Canada$100$200
Mexico, Caribbean, Central, and South America.$100$200(except to/from Cuba.)  
Europe ( Transatlantic)  $100Not accepted
Transpacific( China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia)  $100$450 (except to/from Australia)

*You are allowed one free bag in Basic or Main, two free bags in Premium Economy or Business, and three free bags in First up to 70 lbs / 32 kgs at no additional cost while flying to or from Australia or New Zealand. Overweight fees of 51 lbs / 23 kgs – 70 lbs / 32 kgs will be applied for any excess luggage.

Info Alert: This fee is a Non-refundable one-way fee for each passenger and seasonal or year-round limits may be applicable for certain countries -Mexico, Caribbean, Central, and South America.

Complimentary Bags

Sometimes you don’t have to pay fees for checked bags which are known as complimentary bags. American Airlines offers this complimentary bag service under certain conditions.

How to get complimentary Bags?

 You can get up to 3 complimentary bags on regular flights operated by American Airlines and oneworld® partner of America Airlines. Your eligibility will be determined by your elite status or travel destinations.

The first checked bag is complimentary for:

  • AAdvantage® Aviator® and Citi® / AAdvantage cardmembers ( Only for the domestic fights)
  • AAdvantage® Gold
  • oneworld® Ruby

Eligible travel destinations are-

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • South Korea
  • Transatlantic
  • Uruguay

Info Alert: This service is not applicable to Basic Economy flights.

The second checked bag is complimentary for:

  • AAdvantage® Platinum
  • Oneworld® sapphire members  
  • Confirmed business customers
  • Confirmed premium economic customer.

Eligible travel destinations are-

  • Australia
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea

Info alert: For the main cabin, the first checked bag is complimentary and the second bag will apply standard checked if tickets are issued on/after February 23.2021.

The first, Second and Third checked bag is complimentary for:

  • Confirmed First customers on 3-cabin aircraft*
  • AAdvantage®  Executive Platinum
  • AAdvantage® Platinum Pro
  • Oneworld®  Emerald
  • Up to 5 checked bag is free for the Active US military. (Dependents must have valid ID during the travel)

Bag Limitations

American Airlines imposes seasonal and year-round restrictions on checked bags.

Seasonal Limitations: Seasonal limitations are applied according to the busy schedule and conditions. At a specific time of year and only specified regions are subject to these limitations.

  •  From July -19 to October 2021 oversize, overweight, and excess bag limitation is applied for the Caribbean countries. (Only 2 checked bags allowed)
  • From November-1, 2021 to August-31, oversize, overweight, and excess bag limitation is applied for the Caribbean countries. (Only 2 checked bags allowed)
  • From November-27, 2021 to January -10, 2022, oversize, overweight, and excess bag limitation is applied for Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. (Only 2 checked bags allowed)

Year-round limitations: Oversize, overweight, and excess bag limitations apply to South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. (Only 2 checked bags allowed)

Restricted Items: American Airlines follows regulations of the Transport Security Administration (TSA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for restricted items to ensure the safety of the flights and passengers. You can get a clear understanding of restricted items on a flight from the following list below.

Restricted for travel?

ItemsAllowed or NotRestrictions
Alcohol beverages over 70% by volumeNO yes
Alcohol beverages under 70% by volumeChecked bag – YESOpen containers are not allowed. In checked bags, you can carry a maximum of 5 litres of beverages containing 24–70 per cent alcohol by volume; customs laws vary by country.
Animal products/ products of animal origin(only Europe destinations)No N/A
Batteries 9volt,AA/AAA/C/D,Alkaline,Carbon zinc,Silver oxide,Zinc air,Lithium or lithium-ion,Nickel-cadmium or nickel-metal hydrideDamaged Batteries    Yes       NoYou should separate batteries from the device and keep them in plastic bags in your carry-on bags,
Cutting Instruments Metalknives (of any length or type), Box cutters, Ice picks, Straight razors.Checked bags – yes   Carry-on bag – noYou can travel with plastic cutlery and safety/disposable razors in your carry-on bag.
Defense Spray For example tear gas, Pepper Spray, Mace.No will update
  Drones  Yes (Condition applied)Your drone’s battery must not exceed 160Wh Maximum size can be 22 x 14 x 9 inches / 56 x 36 x 23 centimetres
Dry IceYesMaximum size – 5.5 lbs/2.5 kgs as carry-on  
E-cigarettesChecked bag – NO Carry-on – YesA battery must be separated
ExplosiveNo yes
FirearmsChecked bag – Yes Carry-on – NoYou can travel with up to 11lbs/5kg in small arms.
Flammable liquidNo yes
Gasoline Powder ToolsChecked bag – Yes Carry-on – No will update
House items, For example, Aerosol, spray, BleachNo will update
Light and MatchesChecked bag – Yes Carry-on – No will update
MarijuanaNo will update
Electric Wheelchair, spillable batteriesNo will update
Personal Care items For example nail polish, perfumeYesMaximum size 3-4 ounces container or smaller.
Pressurized container/compressed gassesNo will update
Recreational/Full body PPEChecked bag – Yes Carry-on – Yes will update
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devicesNo will update
Self-heating MealsNo 
Self-inflating life jacketChecked bag – Yes Carry-on – No will update
Scissors yes (condition applied)Up to 7 inches tool.
Smart Bagyes (condition applied)You can as carry-on only if batteries are removed.

Special Items

Don’t worry about your special baggage that requires additional care and attention if you’re flying with American Airlines. Passengers carry special items very often, for instance, fragile or perishable items. American Airlines’ special baggage policies are well-defined.

Exceptional rules and restrictions apply to the special items. You can carry a maximum of 100lbs or 45kg and 126in or 329 cm of special items.

1. Audio, Visual, and Musical Equipment

  • Media companies or individuals may require flying with visual and audio equipment like camera, film, lighting, sound, and musical instruments. The rule is
  • Eligible travellers need to pay $50 per piece.
  • Each eligible company can travel with up to 25 piece
  • Bags cannot be exceeded 100lb or 45 kg
  • Overweight will be applied for the musical instrument if exceed 50 lbs / 23 kgs and 80 in / 203 cm.

2. Human Remains

Human remains for example urns need an additional checkpoint at the airport.

If you’re travelling within the United States, no extra documentation is required; however, if you’re travelling internationally, please contact a local consulate or funeral counsellor because the rules differ.

Tips: Make sure your container is allowed to pass TAS checkpoints.

3. Firearms and ammunition

  • You can travel with firearms and ammunition under the following regulations:
  • Firearms should be locked in a hard-sided container.
  • Firearms cannot be loaded.
  • There is no limitation for the number of arms, but oversize and overweight charges are applicable.
  • If you are over 18, you can travel with firearms and ammunition, including pellet and BB guns, in your checked luggage within the United States.
  • You must check them with an agent and declare that you are travelling with firearms and ammunition.

Travelling with children and infants

If you are under 18 years old or travelling with children you have to follow some specific rules.

  • You are required to present proof of age such as a birth certificate.
  • You may need to ask the board early at the gate if you are travelling with children under 2 years old.
  • Only 1 diaper bag is allowed in the carry-on bag.
  • Two years old children should have their seats, and the ticket is adult fare.
  • if you are travelling with infants under 2 years old, you must fill out a passenger medical form by your physician,
  • Infants can travel only with their parents or any accompany aged over 16 years old.
  • American Airlines ensures the family trip seats keep together. All you need is to make sure to book a seat earlier and inform the reservation in case you can’t book a seat for all the family members together.
  • Each ticketed customer is permitted to check one stroller and one car seat for free Strollers weighing more than 20 pounds / 9 kilograms must be checked at the ticket counter.
  • You are not allowed to fly before or after 7 days of your pregnancy delivery date on domestic flights. On international flights, you have to fill out a medical form to confirm that you are fit to fly.

Info Alert: If anyone travels internationally under the age of 18 without both parents, they may be required to present a Letter of Consent. A parent, anyone over 16 years or older may carry the infant in their lap, and it must be included in the reservation.

Tips: Always try to reserve early when you are travelling with children. Review seat dimensions before your trip.

Travelling with pets

You can fly with your pets in carry-on bags or checked bags. Conditions will apply according to the animal size and breed.

Carry-on bag: 1 kennel is allowed as a carry-on, and you have to pay a pet fee.

Fee: $125 per kennel, Within the United States and between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean (depending on each country’s entry policy)

Checked bag: American Airlines only accepts checked pets from active-duty US military personnel and US State Department Foreign Service personnel travelling on official orders. Up to two pets may be allowed and you have to confirm the entire checklist from the agent prior to the trip.

Fee: Fees for checked pets are $200 per kennel and $150 to/from Brazil, Within the United States and between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Info alert: If you are travelling in first-class or business class, you will get an animal-friendly compartment in front of the plane. The combined weight of the carrier and your pet cannot exceed 20 pounds / 9.07 kilograms.

Tips; Please contact Reservations before your trip so that you can get all the information about requirements or changes that may affect you and your pet, such as aircraft restrictions.

Sports Equipment

You can fly with sports equipment which is subject to certain restrictions and allowance. You can carry a maximum size of 126 inches/320cm (linear dimension and ta maximum weight is 70 lbs / 32 kgs checked bag with sports equipment.

 Have a look at the sports equipment checked bag fee.

Standard checked and oversize weight charge applied for :$150(free bag allowance doesn’t apply)
Archery Baseball bats Bicycle Bowling Camping equipment Curling equipment Fencing equipment Fishing Golf club Hockey, Cricket, and lacrosse Javelin and pole vault Oars and paddle Parachute Shooting Equipment Skateboards Skis Watersports Scuba gear(without tank)    Scuba gear(with tank) Antler Hang glider Windsurf

Info Alert: American Airlines will take liabilities for any damage to sports equipment if they are in a hard-sided case and the outer side of the case is visibly damaged.

Special Assistance

American Airlines is committed to ensuring that every customer has a positive travel experience. If you need special assistance, you can request it when making or managing your reservation online, or you can call the reservation.  A coordinator will assist you before your trip and will ensure that everything is in order.

You can choose ‘Add special assistance’ on the passenger details page while making reservations and can manage your trip online. You may have the following service as special assistance-

  • Wheelchair assistance at the airport
  • Hearing assistance
  • Vision assistance
  • Cognitive and development assistance
  • Special Seating
  • Extra space during travel

Tips: If you need an early boarding contact the gate agent. American Airlines team is available at the airport to assist. All you need to do is inform them at the airport or plane.

Bag Delivery Service

American Airlines aims to make your travel quick and convenient. They provide a bag delivery service that will deliver your bag right to you.

How to get bag delivery service-

  • You have to sign up for bag delivery service last 2 hours ago before your flight.
  • You will be given a special indicator to separate your bag at the airport checkpoint.
  • You can get baggage at your within 4 to 6 hours.
  • Additional charges are required for this service. For First Bag is $39.95, the second bag is $39.95, Third Bag is $49.95, and the fourth or more bags are $49.95 plus $10 per bag starting with the 4th bag.

Info Alert: If you are travelling within 100 miles of the airport, you don’t need to sign up for service before the flight.

Delayed or damaged bags

American Airlines provides all kinds of assistance for your delayed and damaged bag under certain conditions:

Delayed bags: If your bag has been missing for 5 days or more, you need to fill out a Passenger Property Questionnaire, including the 13-character file reference number you received at the airport. They will take immediate action as soon as you fill out the form.

Damaged bags: if you notice damage to your bags, contact an agent or authority of the company before leaving the airport within 24 hours of your domestic flight and 7 days of your international flight.

Tips: To get a quick response, fill up the form online as early as possible.


American Airlines is one of the best companies in the aviation industry.  They operate around the world and maintain an international standard of service. American Airlines ensures that their passengers get a top-notch flight experience, and cautiously assists in baggage facilities and services.


Is American Airlines strict about the carry-on size?

American Airlines is substantially strict with carry-on rules and regulations. They have comprehensive guidelines on baggage size and fees

Is a backpack, or rolling suitcase considered a carry-on bag on American Airlines?

Yes, the backpack is considered a carry-on under personal items, and it must be fitted under the seat in front of you. They will allow you to bring both items as long as you are not booked into Basic Economy and they fit the size restrictions.

How to get baggage waived at American airlines?

If you have elite status or are a specific cardholder, you can get some waive on your checked baggage.

How can you track baggage on American Airlines?

The most convenient way is to download and install the American Airlines app on an iPhone, iPad, or Android device. Start the app, sign in to your AAdvantage account, and enter your itinerary if it isn’t already there. The app displays the current status and location of your checked bags.

How can I pay for baggage on American Airlines?

There are two options-
You can pay ahead of time when making your online reservation, or you can wait until you arrive at the airport and pay there.

How can I pay an extra baggage fee online on American Airlines?

You can search on their website if they accept payments for extra bags on their website. Otherwise, you can contact reservations. If that doesn’t work, you can pay the same amount when checking in at the airport.

What is the baggage allowance for an international flight on American Airlines?

Baggage allowance for an international flight is the same as the standard checked bag requirements.

More Resources:

  1. Spirit Airlines Carry on Size, Checked Bag Size, Weight, Fees & Policy
  2. Delta Airlines Carry On Size, Personal Item Size, Weight, Fees, limits & Restrictions
  3. Alaska Airlines Carry on Size, Weight, Fees, Limit & Policy
  4. Frontier Carry on Size, Weight & Fees
  5. Hawaiian Airlines Carry-On Size, Weight, Fees, Limits & Restrictions
  6. Southwest Airlines Carry-on Size, Weight, Fees, Policy, Limit & Restrictions
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