How to Check Odd-Sized Luggage on American Airlines

Photo courtesy of American Airlines


Here's an overview of American Airlines' check-in policies for luggage to read before you travel. It covers overweight baggage, strollers, car seats, mobility devices, sports equipment and restricted items.

Sports Items

Several sports items, including golf clubs, boogie boards, bowling balls, fishing equipment and bikes that are less than 62 inches and weigh under 50 pounds, count toward the checked-in luggage allowance (for some destinations, it may cost you what it would cost to check in your first or second piece of luggage, whereas for other international ones it may qualify to be checked in for free).

Heavier/larger equipment, for the most part, may be checked for a cost of $150 per direction. "Items that are larger than 115 inches and 100 pounds. will not be accepted as checked baggage."

Some sports items have different rules for traveling to, through or from Brazil. Bikes of all sizes, for instance, are considered bags. If your free bag allowance is exceeded, you’ll be charged $85. Similarly, the first surfboard in your luggage that traverses Brazil will cost $42.50. 

Other items that passengers can pay to carry include: antlers, archery equipment, boogie boards, bowling balls, camping/fishing equipment, golf clubs, hockey/cricket/lacrosse equipment, scuba gear, shooting equipment, skateboards, ski equipment, surfboards/kiteboards/wakeboards and tennis equipment.

Strollers, Car Seats

Ticketed customers are allowed one stroller, and only the small, collapsible type (up to 20lbs/9kgs) can be checked at the gate.

Larger strollers must be checked at the ticket counter.  Customers are also allowed one car seat per ticketed passenger. Both items may be checked at the ticket counter or one item can be checked at the gate and one at the counter. These items are checked for free.

Mobility Devices

Mobility and medical devices do not count toward a passenger's carry-on limits.

If space is limited, the device doesn’t fit in the cabin or if it isn’t required during the flight, it may need to be checked. This includes  canes, walkers and continuous positive airway pressure machines (CPAP). American offers pre-boarding, deplaning and airport assistance for those with mobility devices, and passengers should call the airline's special assistance number at 800-433-7300 to make sure devices are approved for travel.

Pet Check In

Checked pets cannot travel on the carrier's Airbus A321S, A321H, A320, A319 aircraft and flights operated by regional partner Air Wisconsin.

Cats and dogs are the only animals permitted to travel on American Airlines commercial flights. However, there are restrictions on certain breeds.  Brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs of any “mix,” such as such as pit bulls or boxers, cannot be checked as luggage. The same goes for brachycephalic cats such as Burmese or Persian breeds.

Passengers with pets traveling as checked baggage must present a valid health certificate.

Travelers who want to bring a pet onboard a flight can bring one kennel and: they  pay the $125 carry-on pet charge; the pet is at least eight weeks old; and the pet stays in the kennel and under the seat in front of you for the entire flight.


The airline can only accept up to seven kennels each flight (not including service animals). When traveling on an American Eagle flight, we can accept up to 5 kennels per flight (with a maximum of 1 in first class). Travelers are advised to call the airline's reservations department to make arrangements for their pets.