American Airlines

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American Airlines

American Airlines is the world’s largest airline measured by fleet size, revenue and passengers flown. Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, it operates flights to around 350 destinations using a fleet of 946 aircraft. Regional services are operated by independent and subsidiary carriers under the brand name of American Eagle. It currently employs over 110,000 members of staff. This info sheet is mostly related to American Airlines International.

Contact details

American Airlines phone number: 1-800-433-7300

Website: americanairlines.com
Email

Mailing Address:

American Airlines, Inc.
P.O. Box 619616
DFW Airport, TX 75261-9616

American Airlines on social media:

What are my American Airlines check-in options?

Mobile boarding passes and priority boarding
Priority boarding
Flying with children
Seating for infants and children
Unaccompanied children
Flying while pregnant
Group bookings
Disabled access and medical equipment
Pets and service animals

Mobile boarding passes and priority boarding


Online check-in is available from 24 hours up to 90 minutes before scheduled departure on international flights. You can opt to receive your boarding pass via email through the main page of the website or use the American Airlines mobile app downloadable here. Note that you’ll be sent to aa.com to check in if you’re traveling with an infant under 2 or you don’t have a seat assignment. Once you get your boarding pass, you can scan the barcode on the screen at airport security checkpoints and at the gate.

For added peace of mind before you fly, check out Cheapflights.com’ guide to 10 things to do before your flight.

Priority boarding


Along with First, Business and Premium Economy passengers, American Airlines offers priority boarding to the following passengers:

  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro, Platinum and Gold members
  • AirPass travelers
  • Oneworld Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby members
  • Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75K, MVP Gold and MVP members
  • Citi / AAdvantage Executive cardholders
  • Families with small children may also pre-board upon request.

If you would like priority as an Economy customer, this can be purchased for between $9 and $74 depending on route.

Flying with children


American Airlines accepts infants as young as 2 days old. However, if you’re traveling with an infant less than 7 days old, your physician will be required to fill out a passenger medical form before your flight. Infants must be accompanied by a person 16 years or older. Once a child has reached their second birthday, the child is required to have a purchased seat at an adult fare. Changing tables are available in the lavatories of all wide-body aircraft.

Seating for infants and children

A parent or any person 16 years or older may hold an infant in their lap, but the infant must be included in the reservation. In this case, international taxes and percentage of adult fare may apply. If your infant is to travel in his or her own seat, you must buy a ticket and bring a safety seat approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Most safety seats that are approved for use in motor vehicles are acceptable for use in aircraft. The seat must have a solid back and seat, restraint straps installed to securely hold the child, and a label indicating approval for use on an aircraft. The label may include a notice such as: “This child restraint system conforms to all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards” and “this restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircrafts” or “this restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.”

Bassinets are available on a first come, first serve basis at the gate for travel only on 777-200, 767-300, 777-300 and 787 aircraft. Bassinets are not available in First/business Class cabins.

Unaccompanied children


The unaccompanied minor service is charged at $150 plus tax each way, although two or more unaccompanied minors from the same family, traveling on the same flights, will only be charged $150 (plus tax) each way. It is available for children aged between 5 and 17, although it is optional for teenagers between 15 and 17.

Unaccompanied minors are not accepted if their flight includes a connection to/from another airline. This includes codeshare and Oneworld partners, or where ground/co-terminal connections are required. The service is also not offered for the last flight of the day from the final connection city and overnight connecting flights, (unless it’s the only scheduled flight offered).

Children under 5 years of age may not travel alone. There are further restrictions which you should take a look at here if you plan to use the American Airlines unaccompanied minor service. We have also prepared a helpful guide for kids flying solo here.

Flying while pregnant


Expectant mothers can fly up to 4 weeks of their due date, after which the pregnant passenger will need to provide a doctor’s certificate stating that they have been recently examined and fit to fly. A passenger medical form needs to be completed by a physician if the pregnant passenger plans to fly 7 days before or after delivery for both domestic and international flights. For the safety of expectant mothers and their unborn baby, we have prepared an information checklist here.

Group bookings


Group fares and special amenities are available for 10 or more people traveling together to a common destination. A group of 10 or more passengers booked in a single reservation can also check in individually with America Airline’s self-service machines. Other benefits for booking as a group include:

  • One free name change per ticket up to 48 hours prior to departure
  • Saturday-night or minimum stay not required
  • Guaranteed fare and block space up to 11 months in advance

More information about group services can be found here, and a proposal request can be made here.

Disabled access & medical equipment


If you’re traveling with a medical or mobility device, American Airlines offers offer pre-boarding, deplaning and airport assistance. You will need to contact special assistance to make sure your device is approved for travel and make any special travel requests. You can do so here. Note that A 48-hour notice is required to approve electronic medical devices for use during a flight, and all approved medical devices must be battery operated.

Mobility and medical devices don’t count toward carry-on limits. If space is limited, the device doesn’t fit in the cabin or if it isn’t required during the flight, it may need to be checked. If you need wheelchair assistance during your trip, you can notify a gate or reservation agent. Please take a look at Cheapflights.com’s guide to traveling with disabilities and guide to traveling with medication to help prep for your trip.

Pets and service animals


You can bring one pet kennel as your carry-on bag for a fee if your pet is at least 8 weeks old and your pet stays in their kennel and under the seat in front of you for the entire flight. Alternatively, you can travel with up to 2 checked pets accepted on a first-come basis. When checking a pet, you’ll need to:

  • Contact Reservations at least 48 hours prior to travel
  • Check in at the ticket counter

The fees are as follows:

ServiceRegionCost
Checked petWithin and between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central and South America and Caribbean $200 per kennel and $150 to/from Brazil
Carry-on petWithin and between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central America, Colombia and Caribbean$125 per pet carrier
Service animalAll destinationsNo charge

Traveling with a service animal, including emotional support animals, is free as long as they meet requirements. To travel with an emotional support or psychiatric service animal you must provide recent documentation (within 1 year) to Reservations at least 48 hours before your flight. Click here to submit an online service request.

For further information related to traveling with pets and service animals, check out Cheapflights.com’s guide to pet travel.

What are American Airlines’ baggage allowance limits and fees?

American Airlines carry-on size
American Airlines checked luggage size
Extra and overweight baggage charges
Musical and sport equipment

American Airlines carry-on luggage size


If you are a Basic Economy customer, you are allowed 1 personal item that must fit under the seat in front of you. Dimensions should not exceed 18 x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm). All other bags must be checked. All other passengers are also allowed one carry-on bag. The maximum dimensions for your carry-on bag are:

  • 22 x 14 x 9 inches / 56 x 36 x 23 centimeters (including handles and wheels)

Must fit in the sizer at the airport.

American Airlines checked luggage size


You can check up to 10 bags if the trip you are taking is the US domestic, transatlantic or transpacific, and 5 bags through South and central America including the Caribbean. The size and weight limits are as follows:

  • Weight: 50 lbs / 23 kg
  • Dimension: 62 in / 158 cm
  • For First / Business Class and Brazil, weight is 70 lbs / 32 kgs

Extra and overweight baggage charges


Any baggage (including baggage checked free of charge) which exceeds the size or weight allowance, is subject to the additional fees. These are outlined here. The fees shown for checked and carry-on bags are by route and per bag, each way. Note that bags added before departure but after your initial booking will be more expensive.

Musical and sport equipment


Sporting equipment is considered a checked bag with all applicable fees applied per person, per bag and per segment as outlined on the list here. You can travel with small musical instruments as your carry-on item on a first come, first serve basis as long as it fits in the overhead bin under the seat in front of you. If your instrument doesn’t fit in the carry-on baggage space, you can choose to buy an additional seat next to you at the applicable adult fare plus any taxes or carrier-imposed fees. The maximum size for checked baggage, including instruments, is 150 inches (381 cm), and the maximum weight is 165 lbs. (75 kg). Anything larger or heavier will need to be shipped via Cargo.

What additional fees does American Airlines charge?

Booking fees
Flight cancellation policy
Travel insurance

Booking fees


Various booking fees apply depending on your ticket class, starting at $25 for having your bag checked at the gate if you are in Economy up to $750 for a voluntary change to your ticket before the day of international travel. For a full list of fees, click here.

Flight cancellation policy

You will receive a full refund of your airfare if you cancel your reservation within 24 hours of your initial booking, unless you initially booked within one week of your flight’s departure. In this case, no credit will be issued. If you are in Economy flying domestically, a $200 fee applies if you cancel your flight before the day of travel. For a full overview of extra fees and charges, consult the Optional Services and Fees page here.

Travel insurance


American Airlines offers insurance through Allianz Global Assistance. Benefits include:

  • Reimbursement of prepaid, non-refundable expenses for trip interruptions
  • Emergency medical/dental benefits for covered illness or injury while on your trip
  • Rental car damage or theft coverage
  • 24/7 assistance hotline and concierge services

You can get a quote here.

What amenities does American Airlines offer?

In-flight entertainment
Food
Seating
Lounges

In-flight entertainment


Wi-Fi is available on both domestic routes (between $2.50 and $50) and international ones (between $12-19). The same fee applies for all ticket classes. In-seat and wireless entertainment is free. For an overview of what is playing on your flight, click here.

Food


Meals are free on flights between:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) and New York (JFK)
  • San Francisco (SFO) and JFK

Meals, beer and wine are also free on flights to and from Europe, Asia, select Latin American cities and Dallas / Fort Worth (DFW) to all Hawaii cities that take off during normal breakfast, lunch and dinner times. Spirits are free on flights to and from Japan, Hong Kong, Sydney and Auckland. You can also buy snacks including sandwiches. Credit cards are accepted.

Seating


Preferred seats can be booked for between $4 and $139 depending on route, while extra legroom seats are purchasable for between $20 and $280. These are subject to availability. Seat sizes in Economy range from between 17 to 18 inches.

Frequent Flyers

American Airlines offers the AAdvantage frequent flyer program to regular passengers. You can redeem points for flights, hotel stays, car rentals and destination attractions booked through aa.com. As a member, you’ll earn miles when you fly on American, Oneworld and other participating airlines, as well as over 1,000 partners. You can use your miles for flights, upgrades, car rentals and hotels as well as other retail products. More information can be found here.

Lounges


American Airlines offers different kinds of airport lounges depending on location and passenger class. The Flagship lounge is the premium lounge for qualifying First and Business customers; the Admirals Club is a membership based lounge at 50 international locations; the Arrivals Lounge can be accessed at London Heathrow by qualifying customers, while further lounges can be accessed as part of the Oneworld alliance if you are a frequent flyer with an Emerald or Sapphire plan, or you are traveling in a First or Business Class cabin on any Oneworld member airline.

Luggage Issues

Delayed, missing or damaged luggage
Compensation for baggage

Delayed, missing or damaged luggage


If you notice that your baggage has been damaged upon arrival, American Airlines asks that you report this at your arrival airport. You will need to visit your airport agent to complete a Damaged Baggage Report. The agent will give you a 13-character file reference number you will need to use to process your claim. If you were unable to report the issues at the airport, click here to fill out the questionnaire to email them within 24 hours of domestic flights, or 7 days for international flights. The same process applies for missing baggage. You can track any delayed or missing baggage here.

Compensation for baggage


American Airlines will reimburse you for items you need immediately while away from home without your bags. Within 45 days of your delay, you will need to send the airline:

  • Your 13-character file reference number
  • A copy of your ticket receipt and baggage claim checks
  • Your original, dated, itemized receipts

You will need to send verification items to:

American Airlines Central Baggage
4000 East Sky Harbour Boulevard
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Fax: 1-480-693-2305

If the airline is unsuccessful in finding your luggage, a final resolution will be made in line with the American Airlines conditions of Carriage, available here.

Fun Facts

Mattel released a series of American Airlines Stewardess Barbie dolls during the 1960s. Throughout the 1990s, the airline was featured in John Hughes‘ Home Alone trilogy of movies.

American Airlines was last modified: January 24th, 2018 by Melisse Hinkle
Author: Melisse Hinkle (367 posts)

A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has traveled throughout North America, biked through rice paddies in Bali, seen the Northern Lights in Iceland, walked alongside llamas in Machu Picchu and made her way around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Head of Content and Social Media for North America at Cheapflights.