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What to Expect When Flying American Airlines

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Flying American Airlines can be an exciting experience, whether you’re a frequent flyer or a first-time passenger. From the different cabin classes to in-flight amenities, baggage policies, and the airline’s response to the pandemic, there’s a lot to know about what to expect when you fly American Airlines. This comprehensive guide will give you all the insights you need to ensure a smooth and pleasant journey.


When flying American Airlines, passengers can expect a variety of cabin classes to choose from, in-flight entertainment, food and beverage services, and a comprehensive baggage policy. Amidst the pandemic, the airline has implemented stringent safety measures for passenger health and safety. They also offer a frequent flyer program, AAdvantage, for regular passengers. However, customer satisfaction and on-time performance may vary compared to other major airlines.

Cabin Classes and Services

American Airlines offers a variety of cabin classes to suit different needs and budgets. These include First, Business, Premium Economy, Main Cabin Extra, Main Cabin, and Basic Economy. Each class provides a unique level of service and comfort, with First and Business classes offering the most luxurious experience.

In-flight entertainment is a highlight of flying American Airlines. The airline provides a free library of movies, music, and TV shows that you can stream to your phone, tablet, or laptop. American Airlines also has exclusive partnerships with Apple TV+ and Apple Music, offering even more entertainment options. Wi-Fi can be purchased on select aircraft.

Safety Measures Amidst the Pandemic

American Airlines has implemented stringent safety protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures include health and testing requirements, touchless check-in, enhanced cleaning protocols, mask requirements, and a health assessment survey. The airline’s Clean Commitment has earned it GBAC STAR Accreditation, guaranteeing a high standard of cleanliness and safety.

Check-In and Boarding

The check-in process with American Airlines is straightforward. You can check in online, through the app, or at the airport. Boarding usually begins 30 to 50 minutes before the scheduled departure and ends 15 minutes before departure. American Airlines uses a graded boarding group system, with priority boarding available for certain groups.

In-Flight Amenities

American Airlines offers a range of in-flight amenities, including in-flight entertainment, Wi-Fi, and food and beverage services. The availability of these amenities may vary depending on the flight’s duration and the cabin class.

Food and Beverage Service

The food and beverage service onboard American Airlines varies depending on the flight’s duration and the cabin class. Complimentary snacks and drinks are available on most flights, with meals and non-alcoholic drinks served on select routes.

Baggage Policy

American Airlines’ baggage policy allows passengers to check up to 10 bags on certain flights and up to 5 bags on others. Carry-on items and personal items are also permitted. Baggage allowances and fees may vary for codeshare flights operated by partner airlines.

Customer Service and Complaints

American Airlines handles delays, cancellations, and passenger complaints through a combination of rebooking, refunds, and customer relations channels. The airline has procedures in place to address significant delays and offers compensation in certain circumstances.

AAdvantage Program

The AAdvantage program is American Airlines’ frequent flyer program. It offers a range of benefits, including earning miles on flights, redeeming miles for flights and other rewards, and gaining access to exclusive perks and privileges.

Comparisons to Other Airlines

In terms of service and customer satisfaction, American Airlines ranks relatively well compared to other major airlines. However, it still has room for improvement and faces stiff competition from rivals like Delta and United.

In-Flight Meal Options

American Airlines offers a variety of in-flight meal options depending on the class, destination, and flight length. Special meals are also available to meet specific dietary, medical, and religious needs.

In conclusion, when flying American Airlines, you can expect a range of services and amenities to cater to different passengers’ needs and preferences. While the airline’s reliability may not be the best in terms of on-time flights and baggage handling, it offers a comprehensive flying experience that can be tailored to suit individual requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the GBAC STAR Accreditation that American Airlines has earned?

The GBAC STAR Accreditation is a performance-based program by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) that helps facilities demonstrate they have work practices, procedures and protocols to prepare, respond, and recover from outbreaks and pandemics.

What is the AAdvantage program and how can I join?

The AAdvantage program is American Airlines’ frequent flyer program. It allows members to earn miles for flights and other activities, which can then be redeemed for flights, upgrades, car rentals, hotel stays, and other rewards. You can join the AAdvantage program for free on the American Airlines website.

What is a codeshare flight?

A codeshare flight is a flight that is operated by one airline but marketed by one or more other airlines. For example, you may book a flight through American Airlines, but the actual flight is operated by one of their partner airlines.

What is the touchless check-in process of American Airlines?

The touchless check-in process allows passengers to check in for their flight through the American Airlines app or website, print their own baggage tags at a self-service kiosk, and drop their bags at the designated location. This minimizes contact and enhances safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are the boarding groups in American Airlines?

American Airlines uses a graded boarding group system. Group 1 includes First class, Active duty U.S. military, and Executive Platinum members. Group 2 includes Business class, Platinum Pro, and Platinum members. Group 3 includes Gold members, AirPass, Citi / AAdvantage Executive cardmembers, and customers who bought Priority boarding. Group 4 includes Main Cabin Extra, Premium Economy, and eligible AAdvantage credit cardmembers. Group 5-9 includes Main Cabin and Basic Economy customers.

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