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American Airlines is raising its checked bag fees and overhauling how customers earn miles

American Airlines is changing up its baggage and AAdvantage policies.

  • American Airlines is raising its bag fees beginning Tuesday.
  • The Texas-based airline is also changing how customers earn frequent flyer miles and loyalty points.
  • The changes incentivize customers to book directly with the airline. 

American Airlines is making checked bag fees more expensive while also tightening its policy on which travel agency bookings can earn frequent flyer miles.

Beginning Tuesday, the fee for a passenger’s first checked bag on a domestic flight is $35, if they pay online. If you pay in person, the fee is $40. A second bag will cost $45 to check regardless of whether you pay online or at the airport.

It previously cost $30 to check one bag with American Airlines, and a second bag was $40. The last increase was more than five years ago in 2018, CNBC reported.

Although the price for checking the bags is higher, the airline has come down on the fee for slightly overweight bags. Travelers on April 17 and going forward will see a $30 fee for bags up to three pounds over the 50-pound limit. Before the change, it would cost them $100.

As for booking, American Airlines is cracking down on where travelers can earn AAdvantage frequent flyer miles when they purchase a plane ticket. Starting May 1, flights must be booked with American Airlines, preferred travel agencies, and eligible oneworld and partner airlines to earn flyer miles.

Passengers will no longer be able to earn miles or loyalty points on basic economy tickets that aren’t booked directly through American Airlines or its partner airlines.

For those who aren’t sure if the travel agency they’re working with is preferred by American Airlines, the website recommends checking with the agency or staying tuned for more information by the end of April.

American Airlines competitor Delta maintains a $30 fee for a passenger’s first checked bag and $40 for their second. Meanwhile, budget airline Southwest is still letting travelers check two of their bags for free.

Are you a current or recent employee at a major airline? Reach out to this reporter via email at jhart@businessinsider.com with any tips.

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