American Airlines fees for overweight bags can be as much as $450 between the US and Asia.
The standard weight limit is 50 pounds. Between 51 and 70 pounds is $100 per bag. But once you get over 70 pounds things get really expensive.
Something I never knew, though, but that American Airlines shared on twitter is that you can prepay your bag fees over the phone. (HT: Demetrius J.) And since they can’t weigh your bags through the phone line, they assume it’s in the 51-70 pound overweight range.
This isn’t a good deal even if your bags are 70 pounds if you’re a premium cabin customer, an Executive Platinum, or a oneworld emerald (top tier in a oneworld frequent flyer program). That’s because instead of 50 pounds, the weight limit for these customers is 70 pounds at no extra charge anyway and that’s for their free baggage allowance.
But it could be a fantastic deal for someone checking a 75 or 80 pound bag! While not at all a guarantee, if you’ve prepaid your bags most agents aren’t likely to weigh them or worry about modest discrepancies. You may get to slide if you’re a little over.
They’d be entitled to collect a higher fee for a bag that’s substantially over the 70 pound limit, though in practice I wonder how many agents would. Put another way, if you know you’re going to check a bag that’s over 70 pounds and would be on the hook for a big fee it could help to prepay.
In any case I wanted to pass this along because I had no idea that American Airlines offered checked baggage prepayment via reservations.