In the midst of a pandemic and just weeks after a multi-billion-dollar bail-out, American Airlines is turning to you, the flying public, for an added influx of revenue.
Once flights to Europe and Africa resume, the airline is hoping customers flying Basic Economy will be ready to shell out $75 one-way for the privilege of checking a bag. The optics could not be worse, and it’s likely American is hastily rushing this new bag increase to minimize complaints at a time when no one is traveling.
Transatlantic Checked Bags Now $75 One-Way on American Airlines
Tickets purchased before April 20, 2020, will still have the $60 one-way per piece price tag, but effective today (April 21) all other fares between Europe, Israel, Morocco and the United States, the Caribbean, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, and South America will be subjected to the price increase of $75 per bag.
American claims the new pricing structure falls in line with its joint-venture partners, British Airways, Iberia, and Finnair. However, those European counterparts allow for bags to be purchased for $65 in advance online and $75 tag at the airport. A feature that American has not yet implemented and has not stated if it will. For now, the $75 price point is the only option.
United Airlines is not far behind, as they quietly raised their rates earlier this year to fall in line with StarAlliance partners Lufthansa, Swiss, and Austrian at $70 one-way for the first checked bag.
It is worth noting that Delta and its current joint venture partners, Virgin Atlantic, KLM, and Air France, still charge the previous baseline price of $60 per piece of luggage one way, at least for the time being.
Onboard all three major US-based airlines, Basic Economy fares to Europe still include a standard carry-on sized item, so the best option to avoid paying these newly increased rates is to pack light.