From now on when American Airlines takes your carry on bag at the gate and requires you to check it, you can expect to pay for the privilege – unless you’re entitled to free checked bags with a premium cabin ticket, AAdvantage elite status, or co-brand credit card.
Frequently customers bring more carry on bags than they’re allowed, or bags that are bigger than what’s permitted. Gate agents are supposed to insist that the passenger checks the bag. They used to do this for free, but according to a new American Airlines “Airport Excellence Advisory” agents are now supposed to collect a checked bag fee.
Some people used to take their bag that they planned to check through security, and just turn it over at the gate. Usually they’d hope that the agent would announce a voluntary program to check bags, since there won’t be enough overhead bin space for everyone. These offers will still be free (though much more rare since American’s new domestic interior includes larger overhead bins that can fit more bags).
According to American, charging customers whose bags don’t fit in the sizer “will create a consistent customer experience for those who bring non-compliant bags to the gate.”
The only exception to this policy is that agents aren’t supposed to sacrifice D0 and delay departure in order to process fees for gate checked bags.
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American will charge you for gate checked bags but they still won’t guarantee how long it will take for those bags to arrive once you land at your destination.