American Airlines has increased fees for checked bags on international flights. The increase is in place specifically for bags traveling between Europe, Israel, Morocco and U.S., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean (including Haiti), Central America and South America. Updated fees will also kick in when connecting to another destination through Europe. The new fee increase became effective on April 21.
American's newly increased baggage fee is only going to hit you if you're purchasing a Basic Economy fare because this tier does not provide a baggage allowance. The cost to check a bag prior to April 21 was $60. American Airlines passengers traveling on routes affected by the rate increase will now be charged $75 for their first checked bag.
American Airlines has not increased baggage fees on any of its domestic routes from what anyone can tell. Unfortunately, increases in charges for domestic checked baggage may be becoming trendy among carriers in the United States. Both JetBlue and United Airlines bumped up baggage fees on domestic flights from $30 to $35 if not purchased in advance. American's fee for a domestic checked bag is still $30.
Many are wondering why American Airlines has chosen now to bump up baggage fees. The decision may draw criticism from customers who are still trying to work out refunds stemming from canceled flights. American's official statement is that it is aligning its baggage fees to better fit the structures of its Atlantic Joint Business partners. This possibly explains why only international baggage fares were touched by the change.