American’s PR team was nice enough to send over an FAQ for the upcoming first bag fee, and I thought I’d pass along at a courtesy. Not that I’d tell you to go over to Dallas Love and fly Southwest to avoid the fee, but someone else might tell you that.
The majority of American’s passengers have already purchased their summer travel tickets and shouldn’t need to worry about the fee. For those who purchase tickets on/after June 15, the information below answers some of the big questions as to what they can expect when they arrive:
- A checked baggage fee alert has been added to the point of purchase section on AA.com, and to the e-ticket sent to an email inbox to alert customers of new fee implementation.
- If the checked bag fee was applied to the ‘purchased’ ticket (based on ticket purchase date, booking code, itinerary, fare paid, etc.), the checked bag fee would continue to apply in the event of an involuntary rerouting and schedule change. However, if the ticket was purchased prior to June 15, it would continue to be exempt.
- If a passenger makes a voluntary change on June 15 to an itinerary ticketed before that date, and the ticket is reissued on June 15, the bag fee will apply. Voluntary changes are subject to the rules in effect at the time the current ticket was issued. The date of reissue is considered a new purchase date.
At The Terminal—
- Customers have expressed concern over cramped overhead bins; American and non-American employees will be assigned to ensure that all customers are complying with the carry-on policy (http://www.aa.com/aa/i18nForward.do?p=/travelInformation/baggage/carryOnAllowance.jsp). Carry on luggage that is not in compliance with American’s carry-on baggage policy is subject to the first checked baggage fee at any point.
- There will be increased signage stating the carry-on policy at the first three touch points: Curbside Check-In, American’s ticketing counters, and at the security checkpoint.
- The baggage fee can be paid at airport Curbside Check-In, Self-Service Check-In machines or American ticket counters
- There will be a new screen on Self-Service Check-In machines explaining the new checked baggage fee, with a banner for customers who are exempt.
- All gate agents, ticket counter reps, reservation agents, Skycaps and TSA personnel are aware of the first checked baggage policy and will work in the coming months to assist customers.
- To keep the boarding process moving without delay, gate agents will make announcements and actively monitor the gate area for excess and oversized baggage, so that they can be checked before boarding begins.
- Flight attendants will monitor carry-on items and notify the gate agent when overhead bins are almost full on the aircraft. This will allow any additional bags to be checked before a passenger gets on the plane to keep the boarding process moving forward. As a reminder: Forced bag checks WILL NOT be charged the fee.
- Once the pre-flight duties are completed, boarding should begin 30-40 minutes prior to departure, or as soon as the cabin is ready.
- Flight attendants will make announcements during the boarding process, including announcements about using the under seat storage space for personal items.
Most know about it, but in case travelers haven’t seen, AA.com has set up a page to explain the fee process.