Before you fly with the world’s largest airline, here are the things you need to know
Approximately 6,700 flights are operated every day by American Airlines (and its regional partner, American Eagle), making it the largest passenger airline in the country. You’re likely to find yourself aboard an American Airlines flight at least once in your life, whether you have an American Airlines credit card or just fly with whichever carrier offers the best flights for you.
If you’re considering American Airlines Reservations, there’s a lot to consider before booking, including a range of fare classes, a forgiving flight change policy, and a variety of seat styles and configurations.
Are there any worthwhile reasons to fly American Airline other than price?
It is preferred by some passengers to have flight attendants who speak a similar language to them. Some prefer to maximize their rewards points, and while you get flight credits for your preferred airline if you use a foreign airline that is a member of your preferred’s alliance, you usually get an extra bonus when you stick with your primary airline. In addition, flying a foreign alliance partner may earn you points, but you may miss out on status perks, like being upgraded if a lower class is overbooked, as they will upgrade their own members first.
There’s a reason to fly the foreign carrier – compare Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, or ANA to any American carrier, and you’ll find that the better perks might not be worth it. There is also one more point – I have found that if I book far enough in advance, I am usually able to get better deals with the top non-American carriers. US carriers often do not offer the best prices.
Fare classes offered by American Airlines
It is important to note that the amenities and services offered by American Airlines can vary depending on the aircraft type and destination.
There is a private check-in process, priority privileges (for getting through security, boarding, and check-in quickly), lounges, and five-star service with Flagship First, the airline’s most premium experience (available only on long-distance flights with Boeing 777-300 aircraft). Flight guests have the option of sleeping in lie-flat seats, enjoying chef-inspired dining, and relaxing in Shinola and D.S. & Durga amenity kits and Casper sleep sets during the flight. It is expected that American Airlines will introduce Flagship Suites in 2024, which will offer an even more premium experience.
Many of the same perks are available in this class as in Flagship First, including lounge access and priority privileges. There are also spacious lie-flat seats, elevated dining, and the aforementioned amenities kits, but the seats are smaller. In addition to three checked bags, Flagship Business Plus includes a Flagship Dining experience before flight.
Passengers can expect priority privileges at the airport and the highest level of service on flights across the United States. First-class and flagship passengers board the plane in Group 1, enjoying premium dining and comfortable seats with more space than economy seats during the flight. Some customers praise the spacious seats on Yelp and TripAdvisor, while others criticize the lack of decent snacks or meals.
Among short international flights, business class is the highest level of service to destinations like Bermuda, Canada, and the Caribbean. Business-class passengers board the plane in Group 1 or 2. They can enjoy priority privileges, lounge access (for some flights), wider seats with more legroom, and premium dining (including alcoholic beverages).
In addition to priority airport access, more spacious seats, free entertainment, chef-inspired dining, and amenities kits (for select flights), this class is a step up from Main Cabin. In Group 4, these passengers board the plane before passengers in the Main Cabin.
Main Cabin Extra
In addition to the same benefits as a Main Cabin fare, Main Cabin Extra passengers enjoy the convenience of early boarding, extra legroom, and complimentary snacks and drinks (including alcoholic beverages).
The main cabin
Standard economy class includes seat selections and free snacks, as well as one carry-on bag and one personal item, but no checked bags. On long-haul flights, meals can be included.
In addition to free snacks, soft drinks, and entertainment, the cheapest fare has the most restrictions. If you choose to skip the fee, your party might be separated if you choose to select your seat without paying a fee.) This group typically boards the aircraft last. (If you skip the fee, your party may be separated.)
What to expect from American Airlines first class
Two first class routes are offered by American Airlines. On domestic first class flights, you usually get a seat that is just a little nicer than economy, although you may get a lie-flat seat on some routes and aircraft (usually coast-to-coast). There may be a full meal served depending on the length of the flight. International routes only offer lounge access.
American Airlines offers “Flagship First” class on long-haul international routes and premium coast-to-coast flights. In addition to Flagship Business class, American Airlines offers Flagship First class, a true first class product. Neither Delta nor United offers a true first class international product, putting American Airlines at a distinct advantage.
How To Change Or Cancel American Airlines Flight
No change fee on American Airlines-operated flights, but the difference in fare still applies. Change to/standby for a flight the same day with the same origin/destination and number of stops. Fees may apply. Fees may apply.
As per American Airlines Cancellation Policy, The 24-hour refund policy applies to all ticket types, but you have to cancel the trip to get a refund.* Reservations booked as part of group block do not qualify for the 24 hour refund. Refunds will be issued in full amounts, less: Sale-imposed nonrefundable taxes.
Flagship First vs. Flagship Business Class
Two types of premium cabins with lie-flat seats are offered by American Airlines on its ultra-premium aircraft: Flagship Business class and Flagship First class. Business class passengers enjoy a lie-flat seat, chef-prepared meals, access to premium lounges and amenities kits. There are even better seats, better meals, and a special dining area available in certain lounges when flying in Flagship First class.
First class on a flagship airline versus first class on a domestic airline
There is a big difference between Flagship First class and domestic first class. Flagship First class always provides a lie-flat seat, multi-course meals, premium lounge access (including Flagship First Dining), as well as amenities kit.
On domestic flights, first class seats are generally slightly nicer than economy seats. Those seats are definitely more spacious than economy and provide free booze and perhaps a meal, but they don’t come with the incredible perks of Flagship First Class.
Routes of Flagship First
How many domestic routes are served by American Airlines Flagship First Class?
On five premium transcontinental routes, American Airlines offers Flagship First Class:
- New York (JFK) – Los Angeles (LAX)
- New York (JFK) – San Francisco (SFO)
- New York (JFK) – Orange County (SNA)
- Los Angeles (LAX) – Boston (BOS)
- Los Angeles (LAX) – Miami (MIA)
There are however some exceptions to this rule. To fly in Flagship First, you must fly a Boeing 777-300ER or an Airbus A321T.
What planes have Flagship First?
Only two aircraft in American Airlines’ fleet feature both a business class and a first class cabin: the Boeing 777-300ER and the specialized Airbus A321 Transcon (A321T). As the name implies, the A321T operates transcontinental routes. In contrast, the 777-300ER operates both domestic and international routes of premium quality.
All first class seats on both aircraft have direct aisle access. First class passengers on the A321T also have windows.
Current American Airlines Hubs
Approximately 9 US cities and 10 airports serve as hubs for American Airlines, the world’s largest airline. Its parent company, American Airlines Group, has headquarters in Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas. As the world’s largest airline, American Airlines flies to over 350 destinations and operates 917 aircraft. Let’s learn about American Airlines’ hubs, as the following are listed:
- International Airport of Dallas/Fort Worth
- The Charlotte Douglas International Airport
- The O’Hare International Airport in Chicago
- Airport Los Angeles International
- The Miami International Airport
- The John F. Kennedy International Airport
- The La Guardia Airport
- International Airport of Philadelphia
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
- Washington National Airport Ronald Reagon
Among the leading US airline carriers to Cuba, American Airlines carries massive volumes of passengers to various destinations across the globe. As the only US carrier that offers flights to Brasilia, Barranquilla, Belo Horizonte, Caracas, Cali, Cap-Haitien, Fort-de-France, La Paz, Guayaquil, Montevideo, Manaus, Maracaibo, Pointe-e-Pitre, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, San Salvador (Bahamas), Varadero, San Salvador
Where the American Flies
American Airlines has hubs in the following cities and flies to 95 domestic and 95 international destinations worldwide. CheapAir is pleased to sell American Airlines.
Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York, Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Washington DC
American Airlines Flights: Best Time to Buy
To book American Airlines tickets at the best price, it’s important to know when to book. In general, the best time to buy American Airlines tickets is during off-season or shoulder seasons, when demand for travel is lower.
American Airlines InFlight Experience
There are six American Airlines fare classes, based on aircraft type and route. For more information on American Airlines fares, see the American Airlines Fare Classes Explained page.
- In-flight dining
The airline offers complimentary snacks and beverages on all flights. Those in Economy can purchase a more extensive “snack box” and alcoholic beverages, while those in Premium Economy Business and First Class receive complimentary hot meals and beverages.
- Charging stations with power and USB ports
At your seat, you may have access to individual power and USB charging ports depending on the aircraft
It is free to watch in-flight entertainment on American Airlines, but the content varies by aircraft. Most passengers flying in the Main Cabin receive “Personal Device Entertainment,” which means streaming content to their laptop, tablet or phone. Hundreds of movies, TV shows, audio books, music, podcasts, and more are available.
American Bag Policy/Fees
Although we do our best to keep our baggage policies and fees up-to-date, we are not responsible for any changes. You can view our baggage fee chart here.
- Personal item of American Airlines
There is a maximum size limit of 18 x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm) for your personal items underneath the front seat.
- Carry-on bag for American Airlines
You must ensure that your carry-on fits the sizer at the airport. It should not exceed 22 x 14 x 9 inches / 56 x 36 x 23 centimeters (including handles and wheels).
- Checked bags on American Airlines
American Airlines charges $30 for the first bag, $40 to $100 for the second bag, depending on the fare type, destination, and status of the airline.
The maximum weight of your checked bag is 50 lbs / 23 kg and the maximum length is 62 inches.
- Sports Equipment Fees on American Airlines
Depending on the size of the aircraft and the available cargo space, sports equipment can travel with a maximum linear dimension of 126 in / 320 cm, and a maximum weight of 70 lbs / 32 kgs.
All sports items that are allowed and not prohibited will be charged standard checked bag fees up to 50 lbs / 23 kgs and 126 in / 320 cm (oversize fees do not apply).
- Special Equipment Fees for Americans
The maximum weight and size for all items is 100 lbs / 45 kgs (some exceptions apply) and 126 in / 320 cm (length + width + height). Special items have rules, exceptions and packing instructions. Contact a freight forwarder if your equipment exceeds the allowances. All bag fees are non-refundable and charged per person, each way. There may be an overweight or oversize charge.
American Airlines has a number of benefits, what are they?
There are many destinations that American Airlines services throughout Europe, the Caribbean, South America, Australia, and New Zealand.
At reasonable prices, American Airlines offers regular flights to a variety of destinations throughout the week.
In addition to priority boarding and luggage handling, First and Business classes are equipped with dedicated lounges.
Among the world’s largest airlines, American Airlines offers flights to South America, Australia, the Caribbean, and New Zealand, as well as domestic and international destinations.
Passengers in the Main Cabin receive complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.
In the Main Cabin, American Airlines’ seats recline more and there is more legroom.
As another option, you can enjoy music, games, and movies on the in-flight entertainment system.
Baggage fees charged by American Airlines
The baggage allowance with American Airlines depends on the destination of your flight. For domestic flights within the United States, you will have to add luggage if you fly Main Cabin (regular economy). When searching for flights or booking through the call center, make sure you check the inclusions. Some medium-haul international flights to the Caribbean or Central America are also covered by this.
Carry-on allowance for American Airlines
All fare types and cabin classes are covered by these rules
1 personal item: FREE
1 standard carry-on: FREE
Personal: 18 x 14 x 8 inches
Standard: 22 x 14 x 9 inches
Checked luggage is restricted during American’s busy season.
In economy and premium economy, check-in baggage cannot exceed 23kg; in business and first class, it cannot exceed 32kg; and it must not exceed 62″ (158cm).
- First bag available for purchase from $30 to $75 (free on certain flights).
- Second bag available from $40 to $100
- Third bag available from $150 to $200
- 4+ bags available from $150 to $200
- This $75 charge applies to the first bag traveling in transatlantic economy.
- Free Checked Baggage Allowance for Premium Classes
- Premium Economy: 2 bags included; an additional 3 bags can be purchased.
- Business: 2 bags included; 3+ for purchase as per the table above
- Flagship Business Plus: 3 bags included
- First: 2 to 3 bags included**; 3+ for purchase as per table above
Availability of seats and legroom
Depending on the fare class and aircraft configuration, legroom and seat design may vary from flight to flight. There are lie-flat seats available in flagship fares for the most spacious and comfortable experience, while first and business classes still provide wider seats and more legroom than typical Main Cabin seats. Visit American Airlines to find out what your seat pitch and width will be. Also, you can research your specific plane layout before you fly to find the best seats. American Airlines received 3.5 stars for legroom on TripAdvisor, which has over 70,000 airline reviews.
Credit cards offered by American Airlines
It might be a good idea for American Airlines customers to take advantage of airline credit cards. There are four Citi/American Airlines credit cards available.
- AAdvantage MileUp Mastercard: Offers 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles and a $50 statement credit after $500 in purchases within three months.
- Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard:This card offers 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,500 within the first three months, and the $99 annual fee is waived for the first year. Cardholders also get free checked baggage on domestic American Airlines flights.
- Citi/Advantage Executive Mastercard: With this card, you’ll earn 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 elite qualifying miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months. In addition, you will become a member of the Admirals Club.
- CitiBusiness/AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard:Earn 65,000 bonus miles after $4,000 in purchases in the first four months, and its annual fee is waived for the first year.
A variety of amenities and entertainment are available
All passengers have access to free entertainment on most flights, and some planes offer Wi-Fi for a fee. On select flights, passengers can stream movies, music, TV shows, and more (including Apple Music and Apple TV+) from their personal phones, tablets, laptops, or seatback entertainment systems.
On the Lifestyle channel, passengers can also learn new skills or even a new language with Skill share and Rosetta Stone. Yelp reviewer Greg T. As a result of his flying experiences with American, he commented that the airline’s planes are usually in good repair, clean, and as comfortable as an airplane can be, although he pointed out that personal devices must be used to stream.
My only complaint would be that the trend is making you use your own electronics to access the entertainment — I prefer the seat back screens!”
A Main Cabin ticket includes soft drinks, snacks, a meal, and even alcoholic beverages (on some long-haul international flights). There are snacks and beverages included with flights over 250 miles – wine, beer, and spirits.
First-class fares include alcoholic beverages, snacks, and larger meals.
TripAdvisor reviewer Anthony H. wrote, “AA’s in-flight food and beverages have improved, although, truthfully, it is still airplane food.