Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas American Airlines is one of the world’s biggest airlines. Together with British Airways, Iberia, and Finnair, this highly respected carrier is part of the Oneworld alliance. With nearly 1,000 aircraft currently in operation, American Airlines flies to more than 350 destinations around the world. As well as regular scheduled transatlantic services, the airline operates services to several Asian hubs, including Tokyo and Beijing.
The vast majority of American Airlines’ fleet is dedicated to domestic travel within the United States of America. The carrier operates out of 10 hubs in the country, including Los Angeles, New York LaGuardia, and Chicago O’Hare. The world’s largest fleet of commercial passenger planes is comprised primarily of Boeing aircraft. However, in recent years, a number of Airbus and Embraer planes have been added.
American Airlines operates one of the world’s most successful frequent flyer programs — AAdvantage. Launched in 1981, the scheme has more than 70 million members. Frequent flyers are able to accrue miles with each completed flight. These air miles can be used for a range of purchases and discounts, including flight tickets, discounted car rentals and cabin upgrades.
American Airlines carries, on average, around 200 million passengers every year. During peak times of the year, more than 500,000 people fly with the airline every day. And with a workforce of more than 110,000, it’s the industry’s largest employer.
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There are six travel classes on American Airlines’ aircraft. Basic Economy is the cheapest, which offers a leg pitch of 74 cm or 29 inches. Most seats in this class are between 43 cm and 46 cm wide (17 and 18 inches). Basic Economy tickets are the cheapest, but they don’t include seat reservations, and they’re not eligible for upgrades. And a check-in baggage allowance is extra. A Main Cabin ticket includes a luggage allowance, extra legroom, priority boarding and full refreshment service. The Boeing Dreamliner offers Premium Economy, flights up to 3,000 miles include a Business Class option, and First Class is usually available on long-haul flights.
Wi-Fi is available on domestic and international flights for an additional charge. The price depends on the route and the aircraft, but it’s the same across all classes. Meals, beer, wine and soft drinks are free on international flights and those from Texas to Hawaii. Snacks and sandwiches are served on all flights, and they can be paid for with a major debit or credit card.
A range of airport lounges is available for American Airlines passengers. First and Business Class passengers can use The Flagship Lounge. All other passengers have the option of joining the Admirals Club, which has lounges at more than 50 international airports around the world. There may also be an opportunity to use third-party lounges, such as those operated by the Oneworld Alliance.
Passengers can check-in from 24 hours before the scheduled departure time. The cut-off for check-in is usually 90 minutes before the scheduled take-off time on international flights (45 minutes for domestic flights in the United States). A boarding pass can be sent via email for printing. Alternatively, passengers can print a boarding pass via the American Airlines app. Passengers are advised to arrive at the airport three hours prior to an international departure and at least 90 minutes before a domestic departure.
First and Business class passengers have a standard checked luggage weight allowance of 32kg (70 lbs) per bag. All passengers are allowed one personal item, which is classed as a handbag, diaper bag, a child safety seat etc. Passengers can also take one item of carry-on luggage on board, but American Airlines doesn’t stipulate a maximum weight. The limit for any single item of check-in luggage is 45 kg (100 lbs).
Economy class passengers have a standard check-in luggage allowance of 50 lbs/23 kg. The carry-on allowance is a single personal item and a single carry-on item.
American Airlines calculates size limits by adding a bag’s height, width and length measurements. For all regions and classes, the allowed checked luggage size is 158 cm (62 inches). Carry-on luggage shouldn’t exceed 56 x 36 x 23 cm (22 x 14 x 19 inches).
Additional charges are applied to oversized and overweight luggage items, such as those containing sports equipment and musical instruments. Oversize bags incur charges of between USD $150 and USD $200. However, the maximum size for any bag is 320 cm (126 inches). Overweight bags incur a standard charge of USD $100 — up to 32 kg (70lbs). Higher charges are applied to bags over 32 kg (70lbs).