If you’re flying American in the future and are worried about the new bag charge, here are some things you should know. First off, the new fee doesn’t take effect until June 15th. Secondly it isn’t assessed to passengers flying on international routes or full fare domestic tickets. It also may be waived for certain classes of frequent fliers (read: Platinums) at the airline’s discretion. At $15 a bag one-way, you could save yourself $30 roundtrip just by carrying your luggage on the flight.
If you are planning to carry on, be sure you’re traveling with a suitcase no larger than 45″. Keep the weight under 50 pounds (there’s a fee for heavier bags), and don’t pack any liquids over 3 ounces (or TSA will take them away). Tim Wagner at American has clarified that if you board a plane with your bag and there is not enough overhead compartment space to stow it, your bag will go into luggage at no cost to you. That means if your flight attendant says you have to pay the $15 fee because the overhead bins are full, he or she doesn’t know the company policy. Be polite, but by all means fight back. Oh, and don’t expect any extra service here folks. There are still no guarantees that your luggage won’t be lost.