American has just announced some changes to their checked baggage policy for premium cabin passengers.
Currently all American first & business class passengers receive three free checked bags, each weighing up to 70 pounds.
For tickets bought starting March 29, 2016, passengers traveling in two cabin first class and in international business class will only receive two free checked bags.
Passengers traveling in international first class, as well as Executive Platinum members, will continue to receive a third free checked bag.
American reasons that this is in line with the policies of their competitors, which is indeed true. Delta and United allow their domestic first class and international business class passengers to check two bags weighing up to 70 pounds to most destinations, and I guess American thought they weren’t seeing much of a return on their more generous policy.
Still, as a precedent I find this a bit strange. While we’re seeing airlines cut frequent flyer benefits, other than that airlines are investing in their products at the moment. Cutting the free baggage allowance for premium passengers at a time when oil prices are as low as they are is disappointing.
In looking at American’s baggage policy, I also can’t help but note how tough it is to figure out that premium passengers can take bags weighing up to 70 pounds. The checked baggage policy page says nothing at all about it, but rather just the oversize and overweight baggage page makes reference to the increased weight limit.
This is a negative change for sure, and unsurprisingly simply matches the policies of Delta and United. On the plus side, at least Executive Platinum members and international first class passengers continue to receive three free checked bags.
Will you be impacted by this baggage policy change?