Does the Military Get Free Bags on American Airlines?

Does the Military Get Free Bags on American Airlines?

Does the military get free bags on American Airlines? If you are an active duty service member stuck on how to go about these nightmares, don’t panic, your worries are over. Embark on a smooth journey of discoveries as we have got you covered with answers to your query.

Does the Military Get Free Bags on American Airlines?

The link between airlines and the military has always been the subject of controversy.

One of the questions is if the soldiers get the free bags when they fly with the airlines, for instance, American Airlines.

We will look into the truthfulness of this claim and illuminate the practices and benefits that American Airlines offers for service members.

Let’s first look at the overall picture of the military benefits offered by airlines. Then, we will dive into the specific policies of American Airlines.

Does the Military Get Free Bags on American Airlines?

Airlines appreciate and recognize the sacrifices made by military members, through perks and discounts, to express support.

When baggage allowance is concerned, policies may differ among airlines. Many assume that military personnel get free bags from American Airlines.

If you’re an active member of the US Army commanding official orders from American Airlines, you can check up to 5 bags for free.

Every bag has a max weight and size (length + breadth + height) of 100 lbs (45 kg). The only thing is to show your military ID and orders at the check-in counter.

By defining the topic we will talk about the standard baggage policies of American Airlines.

American Airlines has certain regulations with fees regarding checked and carry-on bags similar to many other commercial airlines.

These policies cover any passenger, military included. Here are the types of free military bag packages:

1. Checked Baggage

Usually American Airlines charges for checked bags. The fares depend on fare type, destination, and service class.

Nevertheless, the carrier provides some categories of passengers with a baggage fee waiver.

Including first class and elite members of AAdvantage and active duty U.S. military personnel traveling on orders.

2. Carry-On Baggage

American Airlines allows one carry-on bag and one personal item for each passenger, military member included. Also, some of them like laptop bags as well as purses.

For instance, there are things like this one that can be checked in free of charge; provided that you meet the airline requirements.

Special Considerations for Military Personnel

Special Considerations for Military Personnel
Considerations for military personnel

While American Airlines does not provide free bags for military personnel as a standard benefit, some other advantages and considerations can improve the travel experience for servicemen and women:

1. Waiver of Baggage Fees

These policies may be modified depending on the time when these regulations were enacted on active-duty personnel of the American Air.

However, this might have stated that they should not pay baggage fees when traveling on official orders.

2. Priority Boarding

American Airlines offers priority boarding privileges, which provide priority access to the aircraft to active duty U.S. military personnel.

This benefit has some perks as it lets servicemen take a breather before their departures, to make sure that all is in order and to be in a festive mood and not in a hurry.

3. Fare Discounts

American Airlines in conjunction with the others offer a discount to military personnel as well as their family members.

Discount rates for such locations are subject to change depending on the destination, accessibility, and travel type.

The military is not entitled to 4 free bags even on American Airlines as a courtesy standard benefit.

However, the given airline gives provisions and consideration to military personnel who are active.

They entail a waiver of the check-in luggage fees for those traveling on official call duties, priority boarding, and fare discounts to be enjoyed.

The learner needs to be aware of the fact that the content of most airline policies is likely to change over time.


How Do I Get Free Military Baggage?

Usually, active-duty personnel, reservists, and veterans are offered free military baggage allowance. Also, some of their dependents could be approved.

For each branch of the military, there is a policy on the luggage allowed.

However, officially there are possibilities of getting free or reduced bags for official travels or personal leaves.

Here is a comprehensive guide on obtaining free military baggage:

1. Official Travel Orders

The active-status members may receive a free baggage allowance during official trips.

Amounts differ based on service branches and means of transport (airlines, ships, or trains).

Usually, the free baggage allowance consists of checked-ins and carry-on. Make sure you have official travel orders and provide them to the officers at check-in to enjoy this benefit.

2. Space-Available (Space-A) Travel

The armed forces and their families can use Space-A travel opportunities, which are space-available.

These are military flights’ vacant seats. Space-A passengers almost always only pay the fees and taxes associated with the travel.

On the other hand, availability is limited, people should not always be sure their request will be accepted.

Remember that Space-A travelers tend to be the ones who get last priority for seat assignments; now, active duty members of the Armed Forces have priority for that.

Talk to your local earliest-associated terminal for more information about eligibility, requirements, and restrictions for Space-A travel.

3. Patriot Express (PE)

The Patriot Express is a federally funded emergency transportation system that uses commercial charter flights operated by civilian aircraft companies that have a contract with the Department of Defense.

The humanitarian flights are designed to reach any destination around the world and provide lower fares compared to a regular commercial flight.

This service is available to active-duty personnel, retirees, and their eligible family members. 

The approach to Space-A travel is to only pay the applicable taxes and fees such as departure tax.

PE flying sails on a specific schedule, therefore reservations must be obtained.

4. Personal Leave Travel

Some airlines offer discounted or no baggage fees for active-duty military members when they travel on personal leave.

Carriers’ policies differ, so it is important to do research before purchasing.

Most of the major American airlines such as Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United have complimentary checked baggage services for military personnel visiting on holidays.

You will be required to present a valid military ID at your check-in for you to access the listed benefits. 

Please be aware that airline policies and rates are always changing – verify what is valid now with the individual airlines.

5. Veterans Discounts

Some airlines, though less frequently, occasionally give free or reduced baggage benefits for military veterans.

To illustrate, Southwest Airlines has two free checked bags for all clients and also veterans.

Check whether any airline currently has a non-veteran baggage fee reduction or fee exemption.

6. Dependents’ Benefits

There are military dependents who may benefit from free or reduced baggage fees when they are on orders or when going on personal leave along with the service member.

Spouses, children, and other dependent travelers who are allowed should follow their individual branch’s regulations on allowances.

7. Honorary Military Status

Quite often, participants in the honoring of the military having honorary titles or rank or awards, e.g. Medal of Honor recipients, may enjoy special transportation arrangements, including free baggage allowance.

Contact the respective organizations or government agencies to receive more information/clarification on possible advantages.

8. Exceptions and Special Students

Some of these are specific conditions which include deployments, humanitarian missions, or medical emergencies and they may lead to modified baggage rules.

Make sure that you know the directives associated with your part of the world by consulting your Unit or Logistical Movement Office.

Therefore, know which military transportation service pertains to your status, destination, and reason for travel to receive free baggage from the government.

By studying the policies and taking the needed actions, you can save your costs and make the journey run conveniently.

Moreover, it is important to visit the site of American Airlines or another airline to learn the right and accurate information on military baggage perks.

Safe travels!

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