Even Elite Passengers Can’t Escape All Airline Bag Fees

Interesting report from Skift notes changes in airline baggage policies for elite passengers – and by elite, we mean the most frequent of flyers who spend a lot of money.

Airline Bag Fees for Elite Passengers

Skift points out changes at American Airlines: “Until this week, passengers flying domestically in first class were allowed three free checked bags of up to 50 lbs each. For tickets booked after March 29th, American has now reduced that allowance to two free checked bags.”

A list of bag fees for economy travelers

Now, let’s be honest here; foregoing three free bags is not that much of a hardship. How often does anyone want to fly with that many? And as travel expert and FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney points out, carry-ons are best not only because they’re free on most airlines but because they get you in and out of airports faster.

Still, a perk is a perk and even elite passengers are losing them. Why? “A spokesman for American stated simply that ‘we’re making it to line up our offerings with competitors.’ Both United and Delta Air Lines offer a similar baggage policy for their premium passengers.” –from Skift, 3-21-16

Any Good News? Kind Of

Good news: Fly 100,000 miles on American in a year and you’ll still get three bags for free. However, since that’s the equivalent of more than 14 round-trip New York-London flights per year, not too many of us will quality.


Updated: March 21, 2016