Booking an international flight with American Airlines just got costlier for those who book the most cost-conscious seats—that is, if you’re not a carry-on-only kind of traveler. The airline this week announced it would apply a $75 fee for the first checked bag for basic economy tickets on all transoceanic flights, effective immediately.
“With this change, our Basic Economy product will include all of the same features whether a customer is purchasing it for a domestic or international itinerary,” American Airlines said in a statement.
Previously, American Airlines charged $75 for domestic and transatlantic flights, so the change only affects transpacific flights to Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Those who had already purchased a basic economy ticket on a transpacific flight prior to the announcement will still receive one free checked bag. Frequent fliers with elite status will also continue to receive a complimentary checked bag on basic economy fares.
The prices for second and third checked bags ($100 and $200, respectively) remain unchanged.
At this time, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines are continuing to allow for a free checked bag on transpacific flights for all fare classes. All three legacy carriers charge $75 for the first checked bag on transatlantic flights.
American Airlines’ basic economy fares are not eligible for free flight changes (as are other classes of service) and do not include the option to choose a seat. A seat can be selected for an added fee or will otherwise be assigned for free (there’s no guarantee traveling companions will be seated together—though the airline states it will automatically try to keep families traveling with children under 15 together).